Regional Council decision to fly Maori Flag `honourable

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Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell congratulates the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on their decision to consider flying the Maori flag, not only on Waitangi Day, but on other days of significance.

“I think it shows great leadership that this Regional Council has decided to fly the flag both on Waitangi Day, as well as to mark other special days for Maori, and our nation” said Mr Flavell.

Mr Flavell hopes the move will encourage other local Councils in his area to follow suit.

“Flying the Maori flag is an important way of acknowledging the special relationship that tangata whenua have in this country, by virtue of the partnership promised in the Treaty of Waitangi. In essence it is about letting the world know that we are proud of the Treaty as the most important constitutional foundation of our land”.

“For some time now, Maori have called for the use of the national Maori flag as a way of celebrating the unique partnership fostered through the Treaty. It is great to see local government listening to that call, and responding positively in such a simple yet symbolic way”.

“I look forward to other councils following the lead of the Bay of Plenty, in flying the Maori flag”.

Background

During 2009 a nationwide consultation process was held, in which 80% of the total submissions received selected the Maori (tino rangatiratanga) flag as the national Maori flag.The process was led by Hon Dr Pita Sharples in his capacity as Minister of Maori Affairs.

On Waitangi Day 2010 the national Maori flag flew over the Auckland Harbour Bridge for the first time. It also flew at other nationally significant sites including Parliament, the Beehive, the National War Memorial, Te Papa, the National Library of New Zealand, and a number of government buildings.

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