Flap over Maori flag

BY NATALIE AKOORIE AND NIKKI PRESTON
Last updated 10:05 05/02/2010

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Hamilton will largely snub the Tino Rangatiratanga flag during Waitangi Day celebrations tomorrow, unlike at least two other cities around the country.

The flag will fly from SkyCity in Victoria St, but it's understood no government departments in Hamilton will raise it.

Hamilton City Council would not fly it either, instead letting Waitangi Day celebration organisers Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa take charge of flag flying.

Hamilton mayor Bob Simcock said while the council contributed to the cost of running celebrations in the city, the urban Maori authority led the day and usually flew the flag along with several others.

Prime Minister John Key has signalled the Maori flag will be flown tomorrow outside government buildings including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa, Government House and Premier House in Wellington, along with the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

At Hamilton Courthouse the New Zealand flag did not fly outside normal business hours and there were no plans to raise another for the public holiday.

Wintec, Waikato University, Waikato Hospital and Hamilton Airport also had no plans to fly the Maori flag. The RSA said if it was to fly any flag in front of its Rostrevor St building it would be the New Zealand flag.

A Te Puni Kokiri spokeswoman said some government departments did not have flagpoles and she was unaware of which, if any, would be flying the Tino Rangatiratanga flag in Hamilton.

Glen Tupuhi of Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa said the group flew four flags every Waitangi Day including the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, the New Zealand flag, the group's own Waitangi Day flag and a United Tribes flag.

Weather in Hamilton tomorrow should be fine with light winds, cloudy periods and temperatures in the mid-20s.

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- Waikato Times

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