Maori flag symbol of unity, Harawira tells hui

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira speaks about choosing a national Maori flag during a consultation...
Maori Party MP Hone Harawira speaks about choosing a national Maori flag during a consultation hui at Araiteuru Marae in Shetland St last night. Photos by Jane Dawber.
Maori Party MP Hone Harawira speaks about choosing a national Maori flag during a consultation...
Maori Party MP Hone Harawira speaks about choosing a national Maori flag during a consultation hui at Araiteuru Marae in Shetland St last night.

It is not just about choosing a flag but also about building unity and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to have their say, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says of the series of hui being held to consider a Maori flag.

Mr Harawira and staff from Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development) last night held a consultation hui at Araiteuru Marae in Shetland St, one of 21 being held throughout the country to gather feedback from Maori and local communities.

About 20 people attending were asked which of four flags presented they would chose as the national Maori flag and on what occasions it should be flown.

Mr Harawira said while he would not state his preference, any flag chosen would be a symbol of hope and unity going into the future.

"I'm not too fussed. At the end of the day, the exercise is about building unity through ensuring everybody gets a say."

Submissions on the flag can be made until August 28.

Analysis of all submissions will be presented to the Minister of Maori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples, for consideration.

• A Maori flag should fly on all days of significance, not just Waitangi Day, Maori say.

Maori Party MP Rahui Katene said Maori at nationwide hui were also talking about when the flag should fly.

"Some are saying that whenever or wherever the New Zealand flag is flying, the Maori flag should also be able to fly," Ms Katene told The Press newspaper.

• Shakespeare's sonnet 18 has been translated into Maori and is to be presented to the Globe Theatre in London.

Translated by Te Haumihiata Mason, the sonnet will be unveiled next Wednesday as part of the theatre's Compleate Workes 2009, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare's sonnets.

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