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New Zealand Flag debate

The debate over the NZ flag has flared up since Waitangi Day (Feb. 6 2010) and the flying of a Maori flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge. Radio hauraki is pushing the silver fern on a black background and that seems the favourite of the Prime Minister. I think this has a long way to run.

This story seems to have died for the moment, more Herald hype than substance. It may be resurrected next Waitangi day

Latest Poll (NZ Herald Feb 12 2010)

Maori Viewpoint (from the Herald)

Many Maori would welcome a new flag if it reflected tangata whenua. However, concerns remain about disrespect for the current ensign. The Herald has also found little support for the Tino Rangatiratanga flag as a viable national option. Sociologist Dr Tracey McIntosh said a new design would better reflect the country's shared history, because while the present flag recognised European settlement, it was virtually silent about everyone else. “At a stretch you might say the stars recognise migratory patterns, but it's a stretch. I think what I'd say is that it's not mindful of other parts of our identity.”

Outspoken Anglican minister Dr Hone Kaa said the “Union Jack has done its dash”.

“I like the Tino Rangatiratanga flag but that's the Maori flag. I think a new flag ought to express something of our country, something distinctive. It must also express something of the spirituality of the nation because it's going to be for all of us.”

Haami Piripi of Te Rarawa tribe is typical of a group who do not want the flag changed, saying there is “real love” for the current ensign. Each component had a whakapapa to it, a “story in symbols” that meant something to the country, he said. Holding on to it honoured soldiers who fought in the Maori Battalion and later campaigns since World War II. Mr Piripi said if there was a change, he is not keen on the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, which he believes would be recognised first as a symbol for Maori rather than representing nationhood.

In a similar vein, former Silver Fern Noeline Taurua said any change would be “disrespectful to those who had bled for the flag”. A new flag would not get the pulse racing in the same way, she said. “I don't think you'd get the same tingle, or the hair standing up on the back of your neck. I don't think a new flag would have any history or substance.”

All Black great Buck Shelford said the flag spoke to him only of colonialism.

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Some of the Designs (from the Herald)

new_zealand_news/flag_debate.txt · Last modified: 2012/04/07 21:15 by art
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