Have some faith in us

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

A bill to ‘‘ Mon­dayise’’ pub­lic hol­i­days that fall on the week­end passed its sec­ond read­ing last week, sug­gest­ing com­mon sense may in­deed pre­vail.

We can be thank­ful Labour MP David Clark’s bill re­turned to the house in the wake of pub­lic con­ster­na­tion with Na­tional’s de­ci­sions to sell off state as­sets. Ve­to­ing the bill would have been a sec­ond cold shoul­der to pub­lic opin­ion in as many months.

Na­tional will still vote against An­zac and Wai­tangi long week­ends, de­cry­ing the $200 mil­lion dent they would ap­par­ently have on the econ­omy, but the Government knows which bat­tles are good to lose and which can be bad to win.

We un­der­stand the con­cern of RSAs, that the sig­nif­i­cance of An­zac Day could be di­luted if part of a ‘‘hol­i­day week­end’’, where fam­i­lies’ fo­cus may turn to travel and other events. But have a lit­tle faith in us. Com­mem­o­ra­tions will still be held on the tra­di­tional dates.

The grow­ing at­ten­dance at An­zac Day cer­e­monies in re­cent years – par­tic­u­larly among young peo­ple – should in­stil con­fi­dence in the high re­gard most Ki­wis hold April 25. This won’t change be­cause we may be vis­it­ing an­other town or have had fam­ily to stay.

And we don’t re­call any lag­ging na­tional con­scious­ness in the years An­zac and Wai­tangi day have fallen on a Fri­day.

If still in doubt, look at the Amer­i­cans. They aligned their pub­lic hol­i­days with long week­ends in 1968, and you would be hard pressed to find a peo­ple more rev­er­ent in hon­our­ing their past.

As for the bur­den on the econ­omy, we feel most New Zealan­ders have viewed it from the other side. Busi­nesses have for too long en­joyed a bonus wind­fall from Wai­tangi and An­zac days fall­ing on a week­end – and it’s time for that to end.

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