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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Flagging interest in ensign

Options for a Maori flag presented at the first of 21 hui to decide on a design is likely to cause robust debate across Maoridom.

Radio Waatea reporter Mania Clarke was at the hui at Te Puea marae in Mangere where four options were put forward by the Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples - the flag of Independent Tribes, the New Zealand flag, the New Zealand Red Ensign and Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

“Whilst there are four flags presented, two of the flags in essence cancel each other out The New Zealand flag I would imagine to many Maori leaders and Maori people themselves does not represent Maori peoples and also the New Zealand red ensign flag which I understand was often a flag used by Queen Victoria gifted to Maori people, I would not imagine Maori would see that as a representation of themselves either,” Ms Clark says.

She says while some may look to the flag of Independent Tribes which was established before the Treaty and agreed to by 25 chiefs within the Tai Tokerau area this may not be seen as representative of Maori in other areas while the Tino Rangatiratanga flag may be rejected because it is too modern and closely identified with radical Maori such as Maori party MP Hone Harawira.


Tuhoe are holding an economic summit later this week which could go some way towards addressing an inter-tribal dispute over $66 million of Central North Island forestry compensation.

Last month a High Court judge said there were tikanga-based mechanisms within Tuhoe for settling a dispute between dissident hapu and Te Kotahi a Tuhoe, the body which negotiated the claim.

Chas Te Whetu who is organising the economic summit which starts in Ohope on Friday says while resolution of the dispute isn't the purpose of the summit it will obviously be part of discussions.

“It’s an opportunity for open dialogue, to talk to each other but whatever outcome we desire it’s actually to do with economics and the result of what we’re about to receive for the Waitangi claims Tuhoe have lodged with the tribunal,” Mr Te Whetu says around 150 people are expected at the two day summit which aims to set an economic direction for the next 20 years.


Matariki celebrations are coming to a close in a good way.

Tonight sees the beginning of the Nga Korero Tataki Sustainability Symposium which includes panel discussions and guest speakers who will give voice as to how all areas of sustainability can be beneficial to Maori.

Matariki ‘09 organiser Rewi Spraggon is pleased there is now a summit on Maori sustainability that erases all notions of tree-hugging.

“There's more to sustainability. There’s sustainability of our culture, how we as Maori can be sustainable about our culture when we go to the world on business and also issues around the treaty.

The nightly symposium starts tonight at the Waitakere City Council Civic Centre at 7pm and will conclude on Thursday evening.


The leader of the Labour Party has given the thumbs up for a Maori flag, but says the national government and its Maori Party ally would be better off concentrating on the growing unemployment figures.

The first of 21 consultation hui aimed at getting consensus from Maori as to what flag should represent them started at Te Puea Marae in South Auckland today.

“We've got to sort out the flag that should fly but I think what is often called the tino rangatiratanga flag is the Maori flag, is an attractive flag. I have no difficulty at all seeing that fly alongside the New Zealand flag. I think it’s important to get some consensus around that. I think that can be done and it shouldn’t be a major issue,” Mr Goff says.

He says while a Maori flag is largely a symbolic issue that needs resolution, there are more important issues facing the country.
Four flag options were presented at today's hui by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples: - the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, the flag of Independent Tribes, the New Zealand flag, and the New Zealand Red Ensign.

It is expected that other options will be put forward at hui.


The National Heart Foundation believes Maori health providers hold the key to the success of a new home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme,

Twenty-two nurses from around the country have been trained to deliver care as part of the Heart Guide Aotearoa programme which is expected to reduce mortality and morbidity by more than 25 percent over two to five years.

Cardiac care manager Stewart Eadie says the programme offers a model that Maori clinics can best pick up on.

“Maori providers actually understand the needs of their people more so than mainstream PHOs. They are prepared to get out there and be really embroiled and involved with people where they are at home. They know the barriers and they really seek to overcome those,” Mr Eadie says.

Heart Guide Aotearoa has been six years in development by the Heart Foundation, Te Hotu Manawa Maori and the Ministry of Health.


The importance of late Kawakawa artist Selwyn Wilson is being recognised by the acquisition of 15 of his historical paintings by the Whangarei Art Museum.

The paintings, from a private collection, were painted in 1951 during Wilson's final year at Elam, and form the nucleus of the Northern Maori project exhibition.

Scott Pothan, director of the museum, says Selwyn Wilson influenced many contemporary Maori artists and was a pioneer of the Maori art renaissance.

“He was the first young Maori, together with Hirini Mead, to join the Elam school of art for formal art training in 1945 which was pretty remarkable because Elam was an extremely monocultural institution in those days so he was a pretty brave man to enter that bastion and study what was effectively Western art,” he says.

Last year the art museum instigated a memorial wall for Selwyn Wilson as part of Auckland Art Gallery’s Turuki! Turuki! Paneke! Paneke! exhibition celebrating the first exhibition of Maori contemporary art in Auckland 50 years ago.


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