Go decide on a flag

January 15th, 2009 at 8:29 am by David Farrar

I am quite impressed with John Key’s response on the Maori flag issue.

He has correctly pointed out there is no agreement on what flag represents Maoridom. So he has astutely bounced the ball back at them, and said if you guys go away and get all the Iwi to agree on a common flag, then yeah I have no problem flying it once a year on Waitangi Day to mark the fact it was an agreement between Maori and the Crown.

This removes any heat around the issue for 2009, is mana-enhancing for the , should ensure a smooth 2009 Waitangi Day, and while some will be upset with the decision, they are hardly going to swing to Labour because of it.

My personal stance is the same as last week. Don’t really care strongly about it. Hell we fly the EU flag once a year (including at Parliament) so the Tino Rangatiratanga one worries me far less :-) – and I much prefer MMP compromises that don’t cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

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49 Responses to “Go decide on a flag”

  1. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Well this should be interesting.

    Clearly Key is a student of Allenby.

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  2. wreck1080 (3,906 comments) says:

    That was a very good response from the PM.

    Helen or sub-helen would have said straight out no thus pissing off the maoris and winding up with tame iti shooting some grass dead.

    Now, the maoris will bicker and whine themselves to death.

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  3. LUCY (359 comments) says:

    A Maori Flag that ALL Maori agree on.

    In other words a united Maori flag that does not repeat the divided poilicies of the last government.

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  4. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    That was white mans opressive grass wreck. It was asking for it!

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  5. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Don Brash would have just straight up told them to go to hell. In fact, Don Brash would not have had them in government in the first place.

    Pandering to racists. Disgraceful.

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  6. southtop (265 comments) says:

    There are many ways to complete a journey. Key has taken a different route to Helen & I suspect Rodney, very romanesque. I like it, one because he has returned the serve and two cos it will really start to piss the lefties off by making decisions which are not totally polarising they will have little to focus on.
    Most lefties I know have Kauri sized chips on their shoulders [big bad bosses, globalisation, we're all going to drown cos of melting ice, all teachers are the same, Helen is the best prime minister ever yada yada yada] these responses will start making the Kauri logs very heavy.

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  7. Seán (397 comments) says:

    Yep I agree with DPF. It is refreshing to see some sound judgement from our leader, rather than the polarising or avoidance responses of the last one.

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  8. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    This is brilliant. Key has given the green light to flying the maori flag – that seperatist self determination flag -on parliament buildings as well – right in the heart of our Government and commenters on Kiwiblog are cheering him on! Excellent! Pita Sharples’ ploy was brilliantly successful and Key had no choice but to agree to the Maori Party’s demand. I support the move and salute Mr Key as does Tame Iti.

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  9. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    Maori bickering will continue for ever. The same can be said of the gravy train that feeds the Maori elites, lawyers, hangers on, and parasites that live off the Treaty of waitangi grievances.

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  10. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    The decision over flags will take a nanosecond. It’s the ol’ Red, White and Black flying high over the Capital and in our biggest city! What a proud day! Tino rangatira tanga!

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  11. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Lets not soil ourselves just yet geenfly, we have yet to see an agreement by Maori on what flag they want.

    Getting that aggrement could turn out to be more tricky than getting Arabs to agree how to run a city after dividing it up into tribal sectors.

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  12. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    Perhaps I misheard him, but didn’t John Key also say Maori had to agree on what the flag meant? If you think we’ll fly a flag that means having a separate Maori state, I think you may be surprised.

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  13. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The same can be said of the gravy train that feeds the Maori elites, lawyers, hangers on, and parasites that live off the Treaty of waitangi grievances.”

    Now thanks to Key’s strategy, likely to arrive at the advantage of being unified on their flag.

    Manolo has it quite right, and the best way to put an end to the grievance industry is to stop publicly funding it. Why the Maori/ Racist party needed to be in opposition not government. Less money. Less recognition. Less mana.

    Stop putting taxpayer’s money into this retrograde navel gazing nonsense and it will soon die the death it should.

    Giving the Maori party the pedestal of government influence was IMHO a completely wrong decision. One that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect on this country’s political and social stability. It baffles me that anyone looking into NZ’s long term future could not see the damage this party will bring to our social cohesion. Giving them even more mana by pandering to them on the flag issue is just as big a mistake for the same reasons.

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  14. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    Actually, imagine that Maori bickering does NOT go on forever over this relatively simple issue, and that they are able to find a unified position on this. Imagine then that this would be a start of a consensus within Maoridom over larger and more important issues as well, and a start of a real and serious dialogue with the “Pakeha side” of the new government, in a manner that represents common Maori views, devoid of most of the divisive infighting between fractions within Maoridom.
    Now wouldn’t that be the start of real and valuable progress towards a serious partnership, based on equality and common sense, rather than on political correctness and political pandering?
    We may just have witnessed not a smart move to put the flag issue back to Maori, but a real and sincere gesture demonstrating genuine intent to make something of this new partnership.

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  15. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    I really like the 1834 flag. It has a white field with the Cross of St. George with a canton of dark blue, which itself contained a red cross fimbriated black, each quadrant of this smaller cross featuring a white eight-pointed star.

    The one that looks like a slightly different coloured Confederate First National flag is quite good as well.

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  16. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    They want to fly the Maori flag alongside the NZ flag to signify the agreement between the Maori and the Crown. But the NZ flag already symbolises that agreement. There are only two options:

    Fly the Union Jack and the Maori Flag (Waitangi was an agreement between the British and the Maori).
    or
    Fly only the NZ flag (which already has the Union Jack only in a corner).

    Anything else is just pandering to revisionist nonsense.

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  17. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    “Go decide on a flag” – love the paternalistic tone DPF, is that yours or Key’s? Sounds like God, expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden – “Go from here!” Thunder and billowing robes. It’s all so grandiose!

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  18. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Yes – very smart response from Key.

    You see there are TWO tino flags – one from 1990, and then another from 1997 for a group that DIDNT want to be associated with the negative aspects of 1990 flag.

    Then theres the flag of the United tribes – or the first official flag of NZ – registered as such in 1835. BUT there are 3 versions of it (design details). One of them is the gazzetted version.

    Then theres the Ratana flag – probably the one maori flag with the most supporters.

    Then theres the flag of the T e Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe movement. The flag is Tuhoe – and you can imagine that they will only support this one- only. Two version however.

    Then theres the Flag of Potatau Te Wherowhero – otherwise the flag of the Kingi movement – but not really widely supported.

    Theres the Gate Pa flag.

    Then the Kotahitanga flag – the flag of maori unity – but its been used in protest movements.

    Oh – and the Maori party flag

    Then Next comes the Ngapuhi flag (-I think). Ngapuhi lay claim to be the guardians of Waitangi

    Theres the Takitimu red ensign flag

    (its a pretty big list……………)

    Then comes tribal flags – the pre-eminant one being Tuwharetoa Flag.

    Then theres Then comes the flag of Te Kooti at Tapapa. This flag was captured in 1870 from the great fighter
    But he also had the Flag of Te Kooti Arikirangi te Turuki. – its bit messy though. I think he was on hooch when he designed this one.

    and many, many more.

    Now – Id be very surprised if there wasnt agreemnt on the united tribes flag of 1835, but if this doenst get the OK, then the prospect of maori agreeiong on a flag (after all they didnt have flags themsleves until the terruible colonial people arrived and ruined them !!) in a big hurry is pretty remote.

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  19. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    So Mr key has been straight up with Mr Sharples, or is he shafting him? Which is it, eh?

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  20. MT_Tinman (3,184 comments) says:

    I am completely unimpressed with Key’s response to the maori flag issue.

    The Treaty of Waitangi, an agreement between a small group of Maori chiefs and a Pom queen, has nothing to do with it.

    NZ has a flag that represents NZ.

    Only that flag should be flown in any official occasion.

    The Maoris can fly a bedsheet, aunty Tui’s scarf, uncle Piri’s longjohns or whatever else they want on their land whenever they want but only on their land.

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  21. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “Go from here!” Thunder and billowing robes. It’s all so grandiose!”
    as opposed to the Green method of just banning things, so nobody has a choice? pffft

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  22. Seán (397 comments) says:

    The fact that so many Maori identify with Tino Rangatiratanga speaks volumes about the lack of inclusiveness of the current official NZ flag. Another reason why it needs to be replaced. Key has done the right thing, but hopefully it leads to closer partnership between Maori and Pakeha and not spark a wider division by highlighting the obvious difference (two flags doesn´t seem very unified does it?).

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  23. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Mr Sharples asked to fly the tinorangatiratanga flag. Has Mr Key enhanced the mana of Mr Sharples with his response? Has he enhanced his own? That’s what it’s all about. What we think of the flag(s) is of no importance here. Will Sharples prevail (my bet is YES) or will Key be able to represent the people who put him into power (my bet is NO). It’s fascinating watching Key supporters warming to the idea of the seperatist flag flying over head on Waitangi Day, so willing to support Key’s every utterance are they.
    Top of that list of backward-bender-overs, is Mr Farrar himself – “I am quite impressed with John Key’s response on the Maori flag issue.” – priceless :-)

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  24. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The fact that so many Maori identify with Tino Rangatiratanga”

    What fact and how many?

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  25. big bruv (13,886 comments) says:

    What the hell is this mumbo jumbo “enhancing the mana” bollocks?

    We are meant to live in a secular society yet so often we bow and scrape to Maori superstition and practice, if its not “mana” its silly “tapu” lifting ceremonies or (and this is my all time favourite) a rain dance to remove a “taniwha”.

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  26. Seán (397 comments) says:

    “What fact and how many?”

    I read from this NZH article that many leading Maori seem to find it reasonably wholly representative. I realise it´s not an official flag for all Maori but from what I´ve gathered, in recent years it has come to be the de facto flag representing Maori in general.

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  27. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “but from what I´ve gathered, in recent years it has come to be the de facto flag representing Maori in general.”

    This is mere supposition. It is my personal observation that there are more Maori who just want to get on with damn life than those who would indulge in this navel gazing introspective racist socially destructive bullshit.

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  28. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    It’s just a flippin’ flag.

    Key, meanwhile, is showing how shrewd he is. Maori to agree on a flag? I laughed long and hard at that one, and Key did a masterful job keeping a straight face. Maori will be squabbling amongst themselves for ages….

    Problem (Maori vs Colonialist Oppressors) neatly deflected.

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  29. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Problem (Maori vs Colonialist Oppressors) neatly deflected.”

    So Key is just fooling with Sharples then?

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  30. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    We are meant to live in a secular society yet so often we bow and scrape to Maori superstition and practice, if its not “mana” its silly “tapu” lifting ceremonies or (and this is my all time favourite) a rain dance to remove a “taniwha”.

    Mana is as secular as ‘authority’ or ‘prestige’.

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  31. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “From one particular point of view this is a separatist flag, at the other hand this represents the maori union.”

    WTF is the “maori union”???

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  32. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    redbaiter and pappito – Sharples made his play for the Red, White and Black flag and won. The only way for Key to take charge was to say “No”. He said he’d like that, thank you, and while we’re at it, lets have one on Parliament buildings as well. Masterful!

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  33. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    I like Key’s style. This is a far better way to deal with the issues than Clark & her command and control freak govt. I’m picking Key won’t be in tears because not everybody thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread and I’m also picking he will have the balls to walk the walk and turn up rather than go and have a photo-op with a sheep.

    Isn’t life a lot better under a PM that works for the better of NZ rather than the better of his/her own popularity profile.

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  34. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    I agree that Key has handled it in a way that will give him good publicity. Unfortunately, getting good publicity is often the primary purpose of what politicians do. But that doesn’t mean it is right. It is completely against the purpose of the Treaty to have anything but the one united flag of New Zealand flown on that day.
    http://sjdennis.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/maori-flag-on-waitangi-day/

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  35. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    “and I much prefer MMP compromises that don’t cost hundreds of millions of dollars.”

    That line was the icing on your cake david.

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  36. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    “hopefully it leads to closer partnership between Maori and Pakeha and not spark a wider division .”

    I say we need to fight the forces of profit that consume culture and make us robots for the facelss bureaucrats and multinationals.

    We need to recognise where humanity is still being preserved over corporate advancement that does not add to our stature or lifestyle one iota.

    We need holy days and old traditions that make us who we are.

    We ned to resist the overtures of Michael Cullen who told us to get rid of the no8 wire mentality.

    He not only hates rich pricks, but also the NZ way of life and therefore Kiwi’s.

    If we don’t have more than a semblance of culture, we’ll all be put in the laps of Robert Mugabe or Peking for that matter.

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  37. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Well if nothing else we have an oportunity to see “Maori” speak for themselves rather than listen to the likes of Tame Iti who claim to speak for them. Whether they asked him to or not.

    BTW for those taking the votes this Maori votes for the New Zealand Ensign. One nation, one people, stop trying to divide us.

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  38. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    The Maori Flag will probably be the one Tame Iti does not shoot!

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  39. Helensphotogenicimposter (244 comments) says:

    John Key is being very shrewd. At the end of the day, it is just a flag. It will sit beside the real NZ flag (which many want to see the union jack removed from anyway). It will fly on the Harbour bridge on one day of the year. For most of us, we will not see it. If we do see it, so what. Our lives will not be made any different for it. I have seen the Maori flag flown in other places on Waitangi day. My rights were not inhibited for it.

    What are the gains here? Politically, the Maori vote has traditionally been Labour’s. In the last election, the electorate vote went in the direction of the Maori Party, who are not afraid to oppose Labour. They are not afraid to find some common ground with the National Party. National have shown they have grown up by working with Maori. By working with a prominant Maori political voice, National are now open to a large block of Labour voters. Furthermore, with the Maori party luring voters away from Labour, Labour is weakened. In the next election, rather than attacking the National leadership, they will have to spend more time making themselves attractive to Maori voters, and less time promoting themselves to the electorate at large.

    Labour had many chances to fly the Maori flag on Waitangi day but passed it over. Ultimately this was to their detriment.

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  40. Nick Archer (136 comments) says:

    Big turn around from the Orewa days of the National party!

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  41. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Helensphotogenicimposter said: “John Key is being very shrewd. At the end of the day, it is just a flag”.
    Wondering if you felt the same way about flags (‘it’s just a flag’) when Tame Iti blasted the NZ flag with his shotgun..? just wondering :-)

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  42. Seán (397 comments) says:

    Greenfly asked: “Wondering if you felt the same way about flags (’it’s just a flag’) when Tame Iti blasted the NZ flag with his shotgun..? just wondering !

    I can´t speak for Helensphotogenicimposter but for me – Yes, absolutely. And in fact most probably share the same view. You don´t often see NZers get all emotional and passionate about their flag.

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  43. big bruv (13,886 comments) says:

    “Big turn around from the Orewa days of the National party!”

    Absolutely, the Nat’s have gone from telling the truth about Maori and the special privileges they receive to telling lies, pandering and generally being part of the whole PC bullshit cover up that sums up most things Maori.

    It seems that we must suffer at least another generation of Maori failure, crime and child killings before we come across a politician (one would be enough) brave enough to do something about it.

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  44. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    I’m going to LOL! if some honkey goes and chops down their flag, that to me would be the icing on the cake

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