John Key – apparently jet-lagged before he even takes off for Copenhagen – is suffering under the delusion this flag celebrates cultural diversity, is a symbol of unity and will enhance the country’s race relations.
Key and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples announced yesterday it will fly on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, at Parliament and at Premier House, the PM’s official residence, on Waitangi Day.
But Alf sees the flag as a symbol of Maori separatism and of racial divisiveness.
Maori are divided about the decision reached by the Cabinet.
The Cabinet was divided, too.
It might help (but not much) if Alf could understand what the flag represents.
He found a site which describes it as the Maori Independence (Tino Rangatiratanga) movement’s flag.
The flag is black, red and white. Black represents Te Korekore (the realm of potential being), red represents Te Whei Ao (coming into being) and white represents Te Ao Marama (the realm of being and light).
Dribble. Pure dribble.
What does it mean?
Ask John Key. He can translate dribble, it seems.
According to the report at Stuff this morning –
Key said there were a variety of interpretations for the flag’s meaning.
But he saw potential and hope.
“It’s about the symbolism of Maori and Pakeha, that we chose to sign the Treaty in partnership, and that we chose to build a relationship under which to found modern New Zealand.”
But he’s not on top of his game with this issue.
He said he did not think it was likely the flag would be flown on other days besides Waitangi Day.
Think again, Boss, because…
Sharples said he wanted to see the flag flown on “special occasions”.
“I’d like to see it being flown on Matariki [Maori New Year] and on special occasions for Maori,” Sharples added.
The flag was a rallying point for Maori.
A rallying point? For what purpose, exactly?
Asked whether the flag represented protest and dissent,
Sharples said some people believed it did.
“I know some of the Cabinet might have had that opinion as well.”
He’s a sly bugger. He didn’t tell us what he thought.
But let’s not forget that tino rangatiratanga is the name of the Maori sovereignty movement, which argues for Maori self-determination.
As Stuff reports –
The flag has been flown at protest marches by those who believe Maori should have a separate government and justice system.
It is also the Maori Party flag.
This is a fundamental point of objection for former New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone, who is the new chairman of the Waitangi National Trust Board. He said the flag was more representative of the Maori Party than Maori in general and would not be allowed to fly at his marae.
“It’s a political symbol that shouldn’t be flown from the Harbour Bridge either.
“Why should their political flag fly from our marae? John Key and his cohorts can fly it anywhere they like but it will never fly at Waitangi.”
Much worse than rolling over (again) for his Maori Party coalition partner, John Key has put Alf in the highly embarrassing position of having to agree with Winston Peters.
A few months ago Peters eloquently expressed Alf’s view that a Maori flag should not be flown from Auckland’s Harbour Bridge and warned it was “taking us further down the road to two nations”.
He criticised the plans to choose a Maori flag to be flown on special occasions as “insidious, creeping crawling dissolving of the bonds and the symbols that unite us as a nation”.
“It is dangerous for the future of this nation to create another flag … Thousands of New Zealanders have died under our flag and many were Maori.”
Peters posed a bloody good question:
“Tell me who voted at the last election to set up a separate system for Maori? Tell me where is the mandate for [the] Maori Party to choose any national flag, let alone a Maori flag?”
Peters now is saying there should have been a referendum on the issue.
Alf agrees. It’s disgraceful we are going along with a decision reached by whoever bothered turning up at hui organised by a Maori Party which has an axe to grind and a flag to fly.