Radio New Zealand National
‘Easter over Anzac‘, The Panel, 26 August 2015
Brief (five minute) chat between panellists Ali Jones, Damon Salesa and Joe Mora about the relative merits of Easter, Waitangi Day and Anzac Day as occasions for commemoration and celebration. One panellist suggests Easter is good for gardening, another finds Waitangi Day (marking 1840 treaty between Maori and Pakeha) overpoliticised.
The panellists agree Anzac Day in New Zealand is solemn and respectful. ‘This year has been “peak” Gallipoli’, says Salesa. It has been ‘so monumentalised on our landscape’. Yet Gallipoli is ‘a highly masculine, highly imperial moment that excluded most New Zealanders’. New Zealand has turned the soldiers into monuments ‘ten feet high’ and Anzac has become ‘the national myth that can’t be scrutinised’. Respect has migrated from the highly contested Waitangi Day to Anzac Day. Jones, an agnostic, finds sacred aspects (and sadness and humility) in Anzac Day that are lacking at Easter.