Polytechnic considering flag request

Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association president Ezra Tamati wants the black, white and red Tino...
Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association president Ezra Tamati wants the black, white and red Tino Rangatiratanga Maori flag to fly at the polytechnic. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A request for Otago Polytechnic to permanently fly the Maori flag outside its Forth St campus has been referred to local Maori for further consultation.

Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association president Ezra Tamati is campaigning for the black, white and red flag Tino Rangatiratanga to be a permanent feature at the polytechnic’s Dunedin campus as a symbol of commitment to equity for Maori and a symbol of personal transformation for Otago Polytechnic students.

A spokesman for the polytechnic said the school acknowledged Mr Tamati’s position, reasoning and motivations.

But the polytechnic had a range of partners, including Te Runanga o Otakou, with whom it consulted on such matters.

"It is a matter of respecting a broad range of views," the spokesman said.

Otago Polytechnic’s subcommittee to the board, Komiti Kawanataka, met to consider Mr Tamati’s proposal on Thursday, he said.

The matter remained under discussion and Otago Polytechnic was unable to comment further at this stage, the spokesman said.

Mr Tamati said he understood he would be updated on the matter next month.

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