Waitangi Day will see Maori flag at Town Hall
The Tino Rangatiratanga flag will fly in Wellington on Waitangi Day for the first time.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown announced yesterday that the Tino Rangatiratanga flag will fly from Wellington Town Hall on Monday.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has thanked Ms Wade-Brown for pushing the Government to give the Maori flag the “official status it deserves”.
However, Mr Harawira said most Maori were against making the ensign into an official state flag because then the Government could determine when it could fly.
“Maori want to be able to fly the flag where and when they want,” he said.
Ms Wade-Brown said Monday’s celebration should be “the start of a long-running tradition on 6 February, and I urge the Government to give the Tino Rangatiratanga flag the official status it deserves”.
Mr Harawira congratulated Wellington City Council and said the gesture reminded Government the decision had been “made and passed” and should be honoured in “actuality and spirit”.
After months of consultation the flag was recognised by the Government in December 2009 after 80 per cent of 1200 submitters favoured it as the recognised Maori flag.
The Government agreed the flag could fly alongside the official New Zealand ensign on the Auckland Harbour Bridge from 2010.
“The only thing now is to make sure people fly it more and more often,” Mr Harawira said.
Although the Maori flag does not have official status, Ms Wade-Brown said it was good that it be flown together with the New Zealand national flag on the country’s national day of celebration.
It was appropriate to fly the flag from the capital’s civic buildings on Monday because it was also the first time Wellington would host the country’s Waitangi celebrations and the diplomatic corps, she said.
It was an operational matter and did not require the approval of the wider council.
(TW.com | Meanwhile false reports are circulated that Rotorua iwi Te Arawa have decided not to fly any Maori flag on Waitangi Day from the council buildings because they cannot decide which one is most appropriate. – what in fact actually happened is that a few Te Arawa Iwi leaders opposed the flag and used their influence to pressure the RDC to ignore the recommendation from the Te Arawa Standing Committee which recommended that the Maori flag fly.)
Last year the committee recommended a Maori flag fly alongside the NZ flag on Waitangi Day.
(TW.com | Deputy Mayor Trevor Maxwell falsely stated that “the committee was undecided and preferred not to fly any flag until the matter was resolved” this is untrue the committee voted and the majority of them approved the decision.
Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell said the decision not to fly a flag disregarded any recommendation made by the iwi.