I said back in January 2009 when the decision was made, that I think allowing a Maori flag to fly on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day was more than fine with me, noting that at various times all sorts of flags have flown there – even the EU flag I think.
On the day to commemorate an agreement between the Crown (now the Govt of NZ) and Maori, I think it is entirely appropriate to have a Maori flag fly one day a year.
I also think over time it will be seen as totally uncontroversial, and in fact will remove some of the divisiveness associated with the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.
But in the short term, I have no doubt there will be a backlash. Interestingly there was none when the decision in principle was made in January, but things have changed, and listening to talkback last night was a painful experience. A lot of the anger is at the PM personally. Mind you I don’t listen to talkback much, so this might be the normal state of affairs