Flag it, more important things to do

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, July 21st, 2009 - 15 comments
Categories: maori party, national/act government - Tags: ,

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.

15 comments on “Flag it, more important things to do”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Careful now, Marty. You will have Zetetic calling you a dittohead for this post, for the remarkable synergy between the points you make here and the ones made by Mr Hipkins at Red Alert yesterday.

    • snoozer 1.1

      Old ‘No argument Tim’ gives his latest empty comment.

      No-one’s against a Maori flag but I think it’s completely wrong to have this government-led, government-dedicated approach.

  2. Irascible 2

    The reality is that the Sharples activity, like the intervention of Key to “resolve” the Hillary dispute with the Museum, is designed to produce a “feel good” belief that someone, somewhere is doing something while the economy crashes and burns and the Ministers dither about as they fail to produce or implement real policies.
    It is, to use a meme, the good PC stuff of empty rhetoric..

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Pita Sharples has just defended himself against criticism on this issue in the House. He did so by quoting words of praise for the Maori Party from the NBR.

    He’s come a long way from “Solidarity with Cuba”. In less than a year.

  4. Well how many flags do you want to be voted on.

    Should we have one big flag off?

    At the expensive of the tax payer of course.

    Perhaps school kids should get involved and design a special flag? Wont that be heartwarming.

    The we get can get Johan Lomu to vote on it (why isnt he our king anyway he does so much for humanity?)

    You want to copy the Canadians???

    Its ABOT TIME!

    I mean there are four flags, we know which one is going to win anyway.

    • snoozer 4.1

      Brett. It should be proper process for Maori to come up with ideas and decide between them. Not some government minister coming along and dictating the outcome.

  5. Anita 5

    I don’t think this was ever intended to come up with a new flag, the question is which of the existing flags should be flown.

    • snoozer 5.1

      Why should it be an existing flag? That leaves only one real option – the one the Maori Party has co-opted.

  6. Tigger 6

    We in the LGBT community will let you use our rainbow flag. Our only condition is that Pita Sharples cuts his hair. Ponytails are SO 1990s.

  7. Relic 7

    Hone Harawira and Shane Jones have been having an interesting “cuzzie fight’ over this flag thing in our local Far North rag the “Northland Age’ (aka ‘the Rage’) one of the last of the independent, albeit resolutely tory, newspapers in NZ. Their latest installment was in todays edition 21 July. Unfortunately the column does not feature on the ‘Rage’ website so if interested you will have to do the usual to access their respective columns which are too long to insert here.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      The editorialist for the Age is hoot ay? The letters page is great too, seems to be no word limit and a tolerance for some fairly out there views.

      And I think it’s the last paper in the country that still has a regular Maximite column.

  8. Let’s have a competition to design a decent flag that actually represents what Maori want.

    While they’re at it, can we get a new flag for the rest of us too? Maybe without the Union Jack in it?

  9. deemac 9

    I hear numbers at the hui have been tiny so maybe Maori have worked out this is a pointless exercise

  10. RedLogix 10

    I always liked the Koru flag.

    We need to leave behind the divisive symbols of our past; Hundertwasser gave us a clean, meaningful design that all New Zealanders could embrace.

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