Here's the good news about tomorrow: our national day. We'll do it better than the Australians.

That Australia Day/invasion day fiasco was an international embarrassment. Mind you we've not exactly done ourselves proud over the years.

But this year - with the pregnant commander-in-chief resettling the Government for a week up north - you suspect the usual bollocks and noise and protest will be a distant memory.

I would like to think the week in Waitangi, which is an extraordinary gesture by the Prime Minister, might actually lead to something tangible. After all - if it doesn't what's the point?

Advertisement

In previous years most of us have seen the acrimony for what it is: a group of people that simply can't get out of their own way.

While so much of Maoridom have engaged with the government, settled and got on with their lives, the Far North is still as big a mess as it's always been.

Which is the other comparison we can make with Australia. By and large our national day is more harmonious because at least we've made a decent attempt at putting past wrongs right.

We have a treaty and we have a process to settle grievances brought about because of the treaty. Australia has no such thing.

But, although they have no such thing, we have made hard work of our effort.

The Waitangi Tribunal has been going for decades, deadlines have come and gone... billions have been paid out - and still we are not full and final when it comes to our history.

I'd still take our approach over Australia's any day of the week. But our approach is a very good example of good will gone array - good intention abused. And gravy trains galore when it comes to milking the process for all it's worth and some have done very nicely thank you out of our money being pumped into a process that's had increasingly less and less discipline around it.

As much as the prime minister might like to spend five days at Waitangi, it would do her well to remember that the country is a lot bigger than a small northern settlement. And that quite a few of us wouldn't mind a slightly different approach to our national day.

Advertisement

Less about the past -more about the future.
Less about grievances and more about productivity.
Less about race more about community... and multi-culturalism.

After all if you look back over the 150-plus years since the signing, add up all the good, all the advances, all the benefits, all the remarkable changes this country has gone through... then balance that up against those who claim the wrongs need addressing, they need independence, those who want a scrap… those who feel robbed and alienated -
the good wins hands down.

And given that, the appropriate amount of time and energy should be channelled in that direction don't you think?