PM is being nudged further on flag issue

Does the New Zealand flag fly for all New Zealanders? Or can some of us opt out, and demand to fly our own flag?

If so, which of us will be allowed that privilege? And in what circumstances?

The question needs asking now that some Maori are saying the Maori flag should fly alongside the New Zealand flag not only on Waitangi Day, but on all days of national significance.

The Government has been holding 21 hui nationwide to determine which Maori flag to fly on Waitangi Day.

Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene said Maori were also talking about when the flag should fly, and the consensus was that it should not be restricted to Waitangi Day.

Katene was not at last night’s Christchurch hui but said the feeling at others she had attended was that the chosen flag should fly on all days of national significance.

“People are saying days of significance and other times as well. Some are saying that whenever or wherever the New Zealand flag is flying, the Maori flag should also be able to fly,” she said.

“If that’s what people want, we [the Maori Party] would certainly push for that.”

But how can she know what people want when only some are being consulted about the Maori flag?

Or are non-Maori allowed to turn up at these meetings too?

A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key said Key was happy for the Maori flag to fly from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and other public buildings on Waitangi Day, but he had not considered whether it could fly on other occasions.

He had better start considering it. He will be under pressure to acquiesce on the issue – real soon.

And if Maori can fly a special flag – well, why not the good people of Eketahuna?

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