Saturday, March 16, 2013

Holiday For The Anzacs

"Mondayising" of Anzac Day and Waitangi Day is all but reality.
NZ Prime Minister John Key expects an opposition MP's bill on the matter to pass into law, and ruled out a govt veto on it.
Labour MP (Dunedin North) David Clark's members' bill would see the Anzac and Waitangi Day holidays transferred to a Monday if they fall on a weekend. The National govt does not support it, claiming it'll put too much load on businesses and would detract from the significance of the dates. However the bill has the support of minority parties - giving it just enough support to pass without govt support.
Johnno Key says it's highly unusual for an Opposition member's bill to pass without the support of the main governing party, but it would be "disingenuous" for National to start supporting it at this stage. The bill is expected to pass its third reading and be law by the end of the year.
It needs to be acknowledged that the RSA opposes "Mondayisation" of Anzac Day. Although it's been assured that the commemorations themselves would still be held on every April 25th., the association is concerned that the acknowledgment of the day would be vulnerable to being lost, if it was buried amid the recreational and travelling distractions of a long weekend.
The RSA need not be worried. With kiwi attendance figures growing every year - even as the veterans' numbers dwindle - New Zealanders will still be moved to show up and honour the sacrifices made. Anzac Day matters because it matters. As a nation, we get that.
But as for Waitangi Day? Sacrifices? Commemoration? Ha, that's just a bloody joke...

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