OPINION: I am a 35-year-old Maaori/Fijian Indian Male with a Pakeha partner.
We have three children whom are a mixture of our races. I was brought up Maaori by my grandparents in the old ways. Have lives a large part of my life in Hamilton and love this city.
So what does Waitangi day mean to me? Finally we get to share a day where both Maaori and Pakeha can look forward to this day and say to themselves, "Yes, we are able to live as a harmonious people as the treaty was designed to achieve".
Waitangi Day for me is about allowing my children to see and believe that their futures look bright and free of racism, discrimination and prejudices.
That I as their father have done my job in allowing my children to see that two cultures whose pasts were riddled with horrific events, can move past those and look forward to a brighter future.
The days of grievances should become a thing of the past, but not forgotten.
And this history will be taught to my children and grandchildren by me because the nz education system still continues to have grave fears about our history being taught in schools.
Waitangi Day should be that day when communities around the country and across the Tasman celebrate the milestones they have achieved with each others cultures and look forward to doing more things together in the coming years.
For me buying into the propaganda that is centred around activists views and radical approaches they make that disadvantage maaori defeats the purpose of that persons/groups ability to move forward and live a prosperous life.
But there are those who are able to retain that active and radical approach without blanketing negative attention to Maaori.
I would like to think that those people will be the very leaders of tomorrow.
Waitangi Day for me means that I have a job to do.
That job is to role model unity.
If i can achieve that, then im sure my ancestors in the heavens will be happy.
My advice to others still searching for what Waitangi Day is truely about is to embrace other peoples cultures and respect it for what it is. For me the meaning of the day also rests in the name, Wai (Water) Tangi (Cry).
Cry tears of sadness for what happened but dont dwell there forever.
But cry tears of joy and laughter.
You will live longer.
You will live Free!