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Hey guys, Neil will be in the US during Waitangi Day this year! Waitangi Day, which occurs on February 6, is the New Zealand equivalent of July 4, where the Maori tribes signed the Treaty of Waitangi with Great Britain. From what I understand, it's celebrated as the nation's birthday and is a very big deal in NZ and to New Zealanders.

What can we do for Neil during the tour to let him know we recognize his nation's holiday and appreciate him for spending it with us this year? (I think the Chicago show is the day before...)

(Our family likes the idea of Waitangi Day over July 4, because the concept seems cooler to us than that associated with July 4. July 4 symbolizes America winning independance through fighting, while Waitangi Day symbolizes two warring groups of people who decide to share the country and peacefully co-exist. Any kiwi's with more insights on this?)
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Most Maori folk I know and whom I have read about, kinda sneer at the Waitangi Treaty... however, I know there are stories on either side of this, and am actually good friends with a second cousin who happens to be half-Maori...

Still, what would I know, having lived most of my life in Australia ("Stolen Children", anyone?) and being now in the USA, where I see you now pay off your Indians by giving them casino licences.

(To quote Molly Ringwald in the movie "The Breakfast Club", "Oh, VERY nice...")

Pardon if I've inflamed this thread, but Waitangi Day may be an NZ celebration and as such relevant to a thread, but it ain't ever as simple as the country you come from. (This much I knew for myself from bitter experience before I ever considered leaving my country of birth, Australia...)

That said, happy "holidays" all (NZ and Australia - and I won't even START on Australia Day...)

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