A quiet time to reflect

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Crowds of people celebrated our national day in Waitangi yesterday, in what was a peaceful and enjoyable day for those gathered to experience the festivities, but was this felt here in North Otago?

Oamaru Mail reporter Ruby Harfield took to the streets to find out what people in Oamaru were doing on the day and their thoughts on whether our national flag should be changed.

Turn to page 10 for the full national Waitangi Day story.

Brett Eade, 47, contractor, of Reefton, came to Oamaru on holiday but usually spends Waitangi Day relaxing and having a couple of drinks.

The day is important to him as it is about celebrating the history of New Zealand.

Mr Eade does not think the flag should change.

“I think it should stay the same, it has been like it for years.”

Andrew Connochie, 35, teacher, of Oamaru, with Lachlan Connochie, 1, does not really celebrate the day.

“Unless you live up in Waitangi there’s not really anything happening.”

The day to him was a celebration of the coming together of two nations.

“Some people don’t see it that way.”

Mr Connochie would not completely change the flag but he would not mind seeing it added to – possibly to include the Maori flag in it.

“The main reason is the main alternative is the black with silver fern flag, which I think is awful.”

Noeleen Bean, 69, physio assistant, of Oamaru, saw the day as a holiday, as there were no celebrations in the region, and spent it with her granddaughter.

“We have been to the movies, it was nice. We’re going to have lunch at Subway then we’ll wander home.”

She would not change the flag as she felt the alternative was just advertising for the All Blacks.

“I just think it is okay as it is.”

Mark Jordan, 41, of Oamaru, sees Waitangi Day as just another day that does not have a lot of personal meaning.

Mr Jordan would not change the flag as it has been the same all his life and there has been no reason to change it.

“I think it is fine the way it is.”