District Māori Councils make claim against Govt over new flag

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

"The Government can't act alone in seeking a new flag for this nation."  That's the crux of a new application by the people of Te Rarawa and the Mataatua and Tai Tokerau District Māori Councils to the Waitangi Tribunal claiming it's another form of confiscation.

The Government's search for a new flag for this nation is the subject of a new claim with the Waitangi Tribunal.

Haami Piripi from Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa says, “The Government needs to acknowledge our sovereignty in regard to the issue of this flag and that is the crux of this claim.  Both Government and Māori played roles in constituting the current flag and hence our challenge as to why they alone are pushing for change.”

Claimants say it's another form of confiscation, with the Government still not prepared to acknowledge that Māori sovereignty rights exist.

Piripi says, “They have conveniently forgotten about our role in this issue and taken it to the nation and yet the current flag wasn't constituted by Government alone.”

The fact that hapū did not cede sovereignty on signing Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a key finding of the Waitangi Tribunal of late with claimants, pointing out that a lesson on the history of our nation's current flag would bring the Government's failing to light.

Piripi says, “Māori remain on the side-line watching what they are doing and that's not a good thing.  If Te Tiriti o Waitangi is to take its rightful place in this country, then we need to work together on these types of issues.”