Thursday, April 18, 2013
It’s not surprising that my favourite moment of the marriage equality bill’s progress Parliament was the end. But it’s not just because of the result, wonderful though it was. Instead, it was the great atmosphere in the House itself.
The song in this video is “Pokarekare Ana”, which some regard as an unofficial national anthem. It’s apparently not uncommon for expat Kiwis to join in singing it far from home, and it was used in a lovely Air New Zealand TV ad back in the mid-1990s (one of my favourite TV ads ever, actually) and another version was used in the 2000s (MP3 of the audio only and also low-quality video). All of which means, it’s quite well-known among New Zealanders.
The singing of the song last night may have been spontaneous, or it may have been the waiata the Speaker mentioned. In either case, once it got going it was lovely, and all of us watching at our house joined in, even if only to hum along.
Some foreign media outlets noted this (and the YouTube video has rather a lot of views for a NZ Parliamentary video), and commented on how civilised the NZ Parliament is, that after a political debate they join in song and share hugs. Yes, well, I can attest that this isn’t always the case. Still, the warm cross-party collegiality was very nice to see—I just wish we saw it more often.
And all of that is why this video is my favourite part of the whole evening.