Maori flag to fly at polytech

Ezra Tamati holds the tino rangatiratanga flag after succeeding in his campaign for it to be...
Ezra Tamati holds the tino rangatiratanga flag after succeeding in his campaign for it to be flown it above Otago Polytechnic. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Following a year of campaigning, Otago Polytechnic students have been given permission to fly the tino rangatiratanga flag above their Dunedin campus.

Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association president Ezra Tamati originally requested the Maori flag be flown alongside the New Zealand one in February last year.

Mr Tamati, who is of Te Ati Awa and Ngai Tahu descent, raised the issue with the polytechnic board’s subcommittee, Komiti Kawanataka.

His goal to get the tino rangatiratanga flag flown took a long time to reach.

It took more than a year for approval, starting with the of polling Maori students on whether the flag should appear.

The polytechnic wanted to ensure opinions of all students were heard during the consultation process.

He was informed of the decision to approve the flag on Thursday, the day before Matariki.

He said Maori students were represented by the flying of the flag above the polytechnic.

"It means everything to us."

Otago Polytechnic had flown the Maori flag in the past, but not as a permanent fixture.

There was no set date for when the flag would become a permanent fixture at the polytechnic, but Mr Tamati hoped the date would be set after the mid-year break, which ends on July 18.

--  cas.saunders@odt.co.nz

 

 

 

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