February 04, 2014
Waitangi evolution shows nation changing
Northland-based Labour list MP Shane Jones believes Waitangi Day commemorations are evolving as the country tries to make sense of what it means to be in Aotearoa.
Mr Jones, who has been attending Waitangi Day events in the Bay of Islands for more than 40 years, says he’s heartened by the fact that around the country, iwi, councils and other organisations are creating their own focus for the day.
He says what happens at Waitangi itself will still be an important test.
"There will be a lot of focus on the hikoi to do with fears pertaining to the oil and gas exploration up home; people tend to overlook how numerous are the number of kids that come to the waka regatta, and there are a significant number of international visitors. Whether or not it will be boisterous because it’s election year, I doubt very much,," Mr Jones says.
He says the Treaty of Waitangi was not just about property rights, but also about the way Maori were going to deal with the waves of settlers on the horizon.
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