Recently they conducted UMR Online Omnibus Survey that said more New Zealanders preferred ANZAC Day to Waitangi Day. I’m an ex member of the Defence force 3rd generation Royal New Zealand Navy and my Grandfather served in the NZ Army 28th (Maori) battalion. I attend ANZAC Day dawn parade each year with my Ex-Army Malaysian conflict Father in law then we walk into the RSA for breakfast and a beer. ANZAC day holds a special place in my heart but after the shops open at 1pm and its all over. Now on Waitangi day I get up at 5am and jump in the car and drive from Auckland to Waitangi arrive about 10am in Waitangi and look for a delicious breakfast at the food stalls. Then I will wonder around the tents and listen to a few of the speeches. Then I venture up to the Treaty grounds and watch a aeronautical display by the Airforce and watch the brilliant Kapa Haka performances. Then I might go back down to the lower Marae and buy some ice cream in a watermelon and attend some more speeches on the Treaty of Waitangi. I celebrate Waitangi day like a New Zealander should I don’t make the decision to avoid it because of a little tension. To me Waitangi day is better than Christmas Day the culture the life and even the tension is fun in my dull life.
“One day is about remembering the other is about forgetting”
The reality with that survey is if there was a choice between a British holiday like Guy Fawkes and Waitangi Day the majority of Non-Maori would choose Guy Fawkes. People that avoid Waitangi Day is a decision they make for themselves out of fear they might be presented with what happened in the past. The difference is I accept what happened in the past and don’t fear a little tension because I view Waitangi day from a different lense.