Fly Maori flag with pride, council urged
The indigenous rights group that got the Tino Rangatiratanga flown on the Auckland Harbour bridge says the Christchurch City Council should fly the flag with pride.
Te Ata Tino Toa has launched a Facebook campaign urging people to send emails to the council voicing support for flying the flag from the Civic Offices on Waitangi Day and other significant occasions. The council has been reluctant to fly the flag because it is worried it could upset Ngai Tahu, who have indicated they do not consider the flag is representative of the iwi.
But Te Ata Tino Toa says the flag is the most recognised Maori flag and should be flown.
The group's chairman, Te Ao Pritchard, said yesterday national consultations in 2009 had confirmed that the Tino Rangatiratanga flag was the preferred Maori flag among Maori. "After five years we're surprised that Otautahi is dragging its feet with the flag issue. Council should be brave and fly the Maori flag with pride," Pritchard said.
Councillors are due to debate tomorrow the matter of what flag, if any, should be used on Waitangi Day.
A report prepared for tomorrow's council meeting by civic and international relations manager Duncan Sandeman cautions against singling out the distinctive black, white and red Tino Rangatiratanga flag as some runanga within the council's territory favour other flags, most notably the United Tribes of New Zealand flag.
Sandeman is recommending, based on advice from Mahaanui Kurataiao, that the council begin a process with the six runanga and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu to identify the options for sequencing the use of different flags from next year.