It was Waitangi Day yesterday here in New Zealand and therefore a public holiday. The day is supposed to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the founding document of New Zealand, in 1840 between the native Maori chiefs and the British Crown. Shamefully (being British) some of the early settlers weren’t exactly honest, stealing land from tribes and to this day disputes still plague New Zealand society. The Pakeha (the whites) simply spend another day at the beach while Maoris seem to rekindle their resentment and bitterness.
As an (albeit British) outsider, there’s a lot of racial intolerance among the whites for “moaning, minority Maoris” who make up 17% of the population while the natives seem to cling on to past injustices 160 years after they were committed. Also minorities such as Pacific Islanders, Chinese and Japanese are growing and growing in New Zealand to create a much more diverse society: it’s no longer just Pakeha against Maori. The All Blacks are the perfect example of how Kiwis can put their differences behind them with Christian Cullen (white) performing the Haka alongside Jonah Lomu (Maori). I know it’s not as simple as I make it sound, but it’s still a major issue in New Zealand.
Best get off my soapbox! We spent the day in the sun watching New Zealand get stuffed by Sri Lanka. It really was quite embarrassing to watch the home team get completely thrashed by nine wickets in a one-day international. Cheap day out, though, and it was great to visit Eden Park. Can’t wait to go back for the rugby: a sport this country’s actually quite good at!