Differing viewpoints are valuable. Hone Harawira has a view on the flag debate
“The NZ flag is the one flown by every government since the 1860s that has ever stolen our land, laughed at our Treaty rights, destroyed our spirituality, stomped on our culture, imprisoned our people, and tried to kill off our language.”
“It’s the flag of colonialism, given to us and every other colony by the Poms back in the 1800s. 80% have since dumped it; only the colonial urchins like Aussie, the Cooks, Tuvalu and us still fly that ugly little Union Jack that represents the country that called us to war when they needed help and dumped us when they wanted to join the European Union.
I'm pleased that I have voted for our current flag against the other one put up by key and his supporters. For me the tino rangatiratanga flag is my flag. The union jack has so many connotations relating to the colonisation of this country and I cannot get enthusiastic about it at all - I don't like it. But until we as a country are ready to embrace our past and move forward in partnership, as promised by The Treaty, then I will vote for the flag that actually represents us the way we are - warts and all. And there are lots of warts indeed. There is much work to be done to pave the way to allow a true flag for this country to come forth - I'll be working towards that.
“I’ve already chosen the flag that fits best with my heart, my soul, my life – the Maori flag. It’s the one that we designed, it carries the colours of my world, and it speaks of our history, our place in the cosmos, and the possibilities that lie ahead of us all.”
“And it was the flag that Maori people overwhelmingly chose when we ran our own flag referendum (government spent $28.57 on the whole shebang).
“And don’t buy the drivel about us losing the Treaty if we change the flag. We lose the Treaty the day we lose the balls to stand up and fight for our rights, not because somebody wants to change the NZ flag.”
“Changing the flag is a conscious decision to say goodbye to our colonial past and say hello to a brighter future. Maori people have already done it. Might be time for the rest of New Zealand to follow suit”