What do Christmas, Maoridom and Syrian Terrorists have in common?

When Heather du Plessis-Allan is?not finding loopholes by breaking the law, she’s capable of some amazing leaps of … something.

How about we ditch the royals? These people cost us money and in return give us cute baby photos and headlines about toe-sucking. It’s a rubbish deal.

There are hordes of great Kiwis who can rule this country with far less scandal.

Instead of letting off fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, why don’t we let them off for Matariki instead? That’s a bona-fide Kiwi event that most of us don’t even honour because we don’t know it happens or what it marks.

Put a circle around late May every year. Save your fireworks and light up the sky for the Maori New Year.

And while we’re dealing with the calendar, this country doesn’t need Valentine’s Day and Halloween.

When was the last time you met an American living in New Zealand? Now ask yourself when was the last time you met a Chinese or Indian immigrant?

Maybe we could try celebrating Diwali and Chinese New Year instead.

Next to be turfed out of the attic must be the Christmas tree. Hands up all of you holding your breath for snow on your pine needles this December? Exactly.

We could save the tree the hassle of dying in our lounge in the heat of summer and just string fairy lights up on the pohutukawa – or any living tree – in the backyard.

In fact, while we’re hacking away the central idol of Christmas, I propose we shift the day altogether.

This time of the year we’re already rushing to finish 12 months’ work, pack up the house for the holidays and organise care for the kids who’ve finished school for the year. No one needs to spend their weekends hunting for Christmas presents as well.

Truth is, we could do with fairy lights, gifts and hearty food to brighten up the longest and most depressing days of winter.

That’s why the Northern Hemisphere does Christmas in the middle of their winter.

Realistically, we can’t cope with this much change.

It will take us centuries to change out all this cultural baggage we’ve adopted from bigger countries around the world.

So far so good. ? Now strap in for the good part. Because it takes a bit of a turn.

For now, I’d settle with reconsidering that hard Australian attitude we seem to have adopted towards human rights.

Syrian refugees need a home. Kiwi criminals don’t deserve to be punished for the rest of their lives. Sexual assault can’t be ignored.

Whether or not we abandon the current flag, let’s at least start thinking about what we value most about New Zealand, the things we want to keep, and the hand-me-downs we’ve outgrown as a country.

I’d love to keep Kiwi criminals who want to live in Australia in Australia.

I want to keep immigrants who want to change our way of life away.

And I want people to stick to the laws of the land, just quietly.


– Heather DPA, NZ Herald