New Zealand Day In London

Yesterday I left the flat to run errands and was surprised to see a mob of drunk people in costumes.

Just realized there aren’t any people in costumes in this photo but just wait for the other photos. I’m not lying.

I asked one of the people dressed up as a cow what was going on and he screamed “IT’S NEW ZEALAND DAY!!!!” I googled it and this is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840, in a marquee erected in the grounds of James Busby’s house (now known as the Treaty house) at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The Treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, guaranteed Māori rights to their land and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. There are differences between the Māori and English language versions of the Treaty, and virtually since 1840 this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Māori have generally seen the Treaty as a sacred pact, while for many years Pākehā (the Māori word for New Zealanders of predominantly European ancestry) ignored it. By the early twentieth century, however, some Pākehā were beginning to see the Treaty as their nation’s founding document and a symbol of British humanitarianism. Unlike Māori, Pākehā have generally not seen the Treaty as a document with binding power over the country and its inhabitants. In 1877 Chief Justice James Prendergast declared it to be a ‘legal nullity’, and it still has limited standing in New Zealand law.[1]

 

New Zealand Day

In 1971 the Labour shadow minister of Māori AffairsMatiu Rata, introduced a private member’s bill to make Waitangi Day a national holiday, to be called New Zealand Day. This was not passed into law. After the 1972 election of the third Labour government under Norman Kirk, it was announced that from 1974 Waitangi Day would be a national holiday known as New Zealand Day. The New Zealand Day Act 1973 was passed in 1973.

For Norman Kirk, the change was simply an acceptance that New Zealand was ready to move towards a broader concept of nationhood. Diplomatic posts had for some years marked the day, and it seemed timely in view of the country’s increasing role on the international stage that the national day be known as New Zealand Day. At the 1974 celebrations, the Flag of New Zealand was flown for the first time at the top of the flagstaff at Waitangi, rather than the Union Flag, and a replica of the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand was also flown.

The election of the third National government in 1975 led to the day being renamed Waitangi Day because the new Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, did not like the name “New Zealand Day” and many Māori felt the new name debased the Treaty of Waitangi.[2] Another Waitangi Day Act was passed in 1976 to change the name of the day back to Waitangi Day.

Sorry too much reading I know.  I’m a visual person myself so here are more photos.  You can drink on the streets in London so there were drunk people everywhere with open bottles.  The police were there to keep them off the streets but couldn’t really do anything else.

This just proves that you never know what you will encounter when you walk outside your door in London.

 

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. How cool! I’ve never heard of this!

  2. Hi! I just found about your blog… and love it! This New Zealand day seems like a must-see next year…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: