7 Feb 2011

PM rules out renaming Waitangi Day

7:10 pm on 7 February 2011

Prime Minister John Key says he does not support renaming Waitangi Day to reclaim it as a day for all New Zealanders.

Waitangi Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, is held at Waitangi in Northland on 6 February.

United Future leader Peter Dunne says intimidating behaviour and the demanding of koha, or a monetary gift, has Waitangi Day into a farce.

Mr Dunne suggests that a New Zealand Day be held possibly on a different day.

But Mr Key says the negative actions of a few isolated and frustrated people at Waitangi should not be overstated.

The Prime Minister says for the most part, there is a positive festival-type atmosphere at Waitangi and New Zealanders should feel they can go there and enjoy the event.