Some countries do national days with a spirit of unity and cohesion.
Neither of those have been features of Waitangi Days past.
The decisions to by-pass the lower marae at Waitangi this year has also by-passed a lot of the political posturing and protest that have marked, and marred, celebrations before.
The national media focus will be on Waitangi, and maybe Opposition leader, Bill English will get a little attention at the other end of the country.
He’s attending the Ngai Tahu Treaty Festival at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff.
In between there will be various official celebrations in various places and most people, who don’t have to work today, will be doing what they want to do – sailing, swimming, tramping, picnicking, partying, reading . . .
Unity and cohesion have their place but I’m more than happy with a country where for most, celebrating the national day gives us the freedom to do what we want.