So, John Key and Pita Sharples put Hone Harawira in charge of deciding which flag will fly to represent Maori on government buildings on Waitangi Day.
Only four options are put up: the New Zealand flag, the New Zealand ensign, the 1835 United Tribes flag, and Tino Rangatiratanga. It was always pretty obvious what the result must be.
Now, it has emerged that Harawira’s family had a neat little way to make some money off this process. Choosing Tino Rangatiratanga as the ‘official Maori flag’ was obviously going to increase demand for it. So, Harawira’s wife, Hilda, with his knowledge and cooperation was going to copyright the flag then ring-in the royalties for a trust.
Now that they’ve been sprung, Harawira has canned the idea but we have to ask: was this planned all along? Is this why only one plausible option was put up?
We already know that many Maori, particularly the Northern Iwi, are displeased that the Government has thrust Tino Rangatiratanga on them as ‘their flag’. Now, the whole process must be considered a sham and tainted by Harawira’s conflict of interest.