I’m just trying to understand this Maori flag thing.
The Crown (in the guise of Minister Pita Sharples) has decided that Maori will only get to choose from four designs – the United Tribes (or Busby) flag, the Tino Ringatiratanga flag, the New Zealand Ensign, and the New Zealand flag.
The last two are just jokes – what’s the point in having a Maori flag that is the same as the Crown’s flag? The United Tribes does not comprise all Maori, so that flag could never properly represent all Maori. That leaves the only viable option as Tino Rangatiratanga, which John Key doesn’t agree with “because it argue[s] the case of Maori sovereignty” and has become the default flag of the Maori Party.
There is increasing concern among Maori that it’s a foregone conclusion, foisted on them by the Crown and the Maori Party for political ends (and remember most Maori voted Labour, not the Maori Party).
So it’s a sham consultation. The proper way to decide on a new flag is through a design competition and a selection from finalists by stakeholders – like the Canadians did.
To top it off, all this hassle is over a flag which Key now says will only fly officially one day a year.
While the Minister for Maori Affairs is spending all his time on this piece of symbolism, 500 Maori a week are losing their jobs and a record 1342 more people joined the dole queue last week.