Tino Rangatiratanga flag on Waitangi Day

The Herald reports that the want a policy change to allow the Tino Rangatiratanga flag to be flown on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day.

Dr Sharples said he would raise it with other ministers when MPs returned this month – despite John Key’s refusal to support such a step when he was leader of the Opposition.

“I want the flag up there,” Dr Sharples said. “I think it’s a symbol of the new direction this Government is taking by inviting the Maori Party to be part of it.”

It is a debate which has plagued politicians and the agency which decides which flags fly on the Harbour Bridge, and has divided public opinion.

The Transport Agency’s policy allows only the New Zealand flag to fly from the bridge, but Maori say flying the Tino Rangatiratanga flag would raise awareness of the part Maori play in the country.

I can’t say it is an issue that greatly concerns me either way.

However my pragmatic streak is telling me that in terms of keeping confidence and supply partners happy, I’d much rather allow a flag on a bridge one day a year, than have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more to MFAT and racing, just to make the Minister look like a breadwinner.

Even cheaper than the Families Commission!

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