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Gongs for Waitangi Day
Badge of the Order of New Zealand.
Back on Waitangi Day 2007, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of establishing our own, independent honours system by issuing "special" honours to great New Zealanders on our national holiday. Labour leader David Shearer (in an apparent attempt to emulate Norman Kirk) is arguing in the Herald today that this should be made permanent.
Meanwhile, Colin James makes this point in his Otago Daily Times column (not online yet):
On that alleged national day we don't bestow our highest formal national honours. Many think Anzac Day is more of a national day -- that is, a military defeat symbolises our national spirit.
My personal view is that it would be a great idea. Like David Farrar, I'd support having two days for honours - our national day (Waitangi Day, or perhaps an Independence Day after we declare our New Zealand republic) and potentially Matariki (to replace Queen's birthday).