United Future leader Peter Dunne says that Christmas Day has been “hijacked by the noisy few”, and that it is time the day was reclaimed for all New Zealand.
Mr Dunne said New Zealanders had “had a gutsful of being made to feel bad about themselves” on December 25.
The Ohariu MP said that every year saw the same sad stories about City Mission shelves being almost empty, and about the homeless and poor having to go without.
“I’m fed up with being made to feel bad just because some kiddies in South Auckland aren’t getting presents this year,” said Mr Dunne.
“What kind of society do we live in when, instead of celebrating on Christmas Day without thought or reflection about the perils of overindulgence and rampant consumerism, we are forced to think about those who have so little?
Mr Dunne said that the worst part of stepping out during the Christmas season was the risk of being assailed by noisy revellers.
“If people want to sing songs about Christmas, then that’s one thing. But the carollers who stand on street corners are just a rent-a-mob.”
Mr Dunne said that the Christmas festivities often had a sinister side to time.
“I understand fully people’s right to march, but those marches always end up as ugly, messy affairs, with streets closed. The aftermath of one of these parades is always a shambles, with litter everywhere and the unspeakable horror of crying over-tired children.”
Mr Dunne said he was not against Christmas, so long as it was restricted to mass-printed greeting cards and $15 sit-on-Santa’s-lap sessions in crowded shopping malls.
“I’m sure the day may have some significance in some cultures and among some religions. But Christmas Day has been hijacked by the noisy few.
“It’s time for New Zealand to move on. We need a new day to celebrate the cult of consumerism, and a new name for this day, with naming rights to be sold to the highest bidder.”