Maori meet to decide on national flag

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Marcus Wendel
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Maori meet to decide on national flag

Postby Marcus Wendel » 04 Aug 2009 21:54

A national debate on a Maori flag to fly at the Auckland Harbour Bridge - and Parliament - on Waitangi Day has begun with the old ensign giving a popular newcomer a run for its money.
A series of taxpayer-supported hui to discuss the flag began yesterday at Auckland's Te Puea Marae.
Debate was sparked in January when Transit New Zealand refused to fly the tino rangatiratanga flag, designed in 1989, from Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Prime Minister John Key entered the row, saying if Maori could come up with an agreed flag it would not only fly from the bridge, but from Parliament.
Rangatiratanga is competing against the flag of the independent tribes, the existing New Zealand flag and the New Zealand red ensign.
* Flag of the independent tribes: Designed by missionary Henry Williams in 1834 and adopted by 25 chiefs of the Far North. It served as the official flag of New Zealand until the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 when it was replaced with the Union Jack.
* The New Zealand flag: The symbol of the realm, government and people.
* The New Zealand red ensign: Gifted to Maori by Queen Victoria and favoured by Maori as red is a symbol of mana. The 1981 Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act permits Maori to use this flag on occasions of significance to Maori.
* Tino rangatiratanga: The winner of a national competition in 1989 and unveiled at Waitangi Day in 1990. Its dominant koru represents the unfolding of new life, rebirth, continuity, renewal and hope. It is a symbol of Maori sovereignty. ... onal-flag/


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Re: Maori meet to decide on national flag

Postby Jens » 05 Aug 2009 08:46

For the people who don't know, this is the tino rangatiratanga flag.



Not all Maori will agree to one flag, historian says

Not all Maori will agree to the idea of one flag representing Maoridom on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day, an Auckland historian says.

Auckland University of Technology Maori history professor Paul Moon said there have been many flags in Maoridom but none have represented a large grouping of people.

Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples is in Auckland today to launch a series of hui on the Maori flag issue.

Participants will be asked on which occasions they think it is appropriate for a Maori flag to be flown.

Dr Moon said in most cases in history, flags belonged to individuals and there was certainly no national flag.

He said The Nga Puhi chief Hone Heke had his own flag, as did the Kingitanga movement. The prophet and warrior, Te Kooti, had a flag, and so did the Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana.

"They've been a feature but a feature of emulation. They saw that the British had them and the French had them so we should have them as well, I think that was the view," Dr Moon said.

Dr Moon said, historically, the closest thing to a wide-ranging representative flag would be the United Tribes flag but very few chiefs signed the Declaration of Independence in 1835 and those that did were exclusively from the Far North region.

He said the tino rangatiratanga flag could be seen as more unifying but some say the whole idea of having one flag to represent all Maori is a colonised view.

"It overrides the importance of iwi and hapu affiliation.

"Some people argue iwi and hapu are sovereign units and when it came to the treaty for example, the Maori text that Henry Williams produced, it talked about Hapu signing the treaty," Dr Moon said.

He said the idea of a "Maori nation" came much later on.

Those taking part in the hui will have four choices - the flag of the independent tribes of New Zealand, the New Zealand flag, the New Zealand red ensign or the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

Photo / Martin Sykes

The 21 hui will be held in different parts of the country, with the first in Kaitaia on Saturday.

Dr Moon said Maori were angered when the authorities that run the Auckland Harbour Bridge refused a request to fly the Maori flag on Waitangi Day.

Prime Minister John Key said he would support a flag chosen by Maori flying from the bridge, Parliament and Premier House on Waitangi Day from next year.


FMI: ... d=10584330

Jens Voigt

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