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The tino rangatiratanga flag

  • March 21st, 2016

I’ve finally sent in my vote in the flag referendum. I’ve vacillated. I do not like the black without red. When my subconscious finally formed a preference that held for more than a week, it seemed unfair that my vote might cancel out the vote of another (including in my family) to whom the issue obviously means much more. I will not care about the result.

I thought we should have taken the tino rangatiratanga flag. It is a great design, instantly recognisable. And if those who wave it persist with the false claim that we’ve wrongly stolen their sovereignty we might as well steal their flag. They want to feel wronged in any event.

I don’t much care about the referendum because I know familiarity with the puerile new flag would eventually turn to acceptance and possibly affection.  On the other hand I’ve never had sympathy with those who need gestures of repudiation to feel “grown-up”. I feel no need to doff my cap to any Pom, but I’m glad to be part of the British family. Then again I’ve always wanted to be able to remember how our flag differs from Australia’s.
If they now change theirs I’d want to get our current one back.

If the new flag is not approved, I hope the referendum attention  results in lots of flags flying. I must get a flag pole. When we’ve all been flying our preferred designs for a few years perhaps a consensus preference will emerge. Over time it will become our collective choice, and eventually a government will only need to make it official.

Will I dare start with the best – the tino rangatiratanga flag? Or the even better flag going unclaimed at the moment – the imperial rising sun of Nippon? We see the rising sun before them each day. We were in the team that defeated the soldiers carrying that flag. Victors commonly took home captured flags.

I know that appropriating it could be too soon after the horrors visited under it.
But it is a great flag.


  • John Brett
  • March 21st, 2016
  • 9:08 am

I had also thought that “I hope the referendum attention results in lots of flags flying.”
I believe that New Zealand is a country to be very proud of, and so do most people I know. Personally I liked the idea of a new flag, one that leaves behind the attachment to the Union Jack. I understand and respect the views of people who want to keep the old flag. The tino rangatiratanga has for me associations of racism and claims for special privilege, but- that’s just my view. If this referendum achieves only a more overt pride in our country, it will have been achieved a great deal.

  • mike moller
  • March 21st, 2016
  • 9:58 am

Personally I voted for the fern flag even though I would have rather have seen the red version or some other better flag offered.

It’s high time the country grew up and ditched the Union Jack (and became a republic for that matter)

I deplore the RSA’s blathering on about “our men died for the flag” I had close relatives who died in both the first and second world wars and I’m quit sure they didn’t go there to fight for a flag. NO! they went to fight for our democracy, our New Zealand way of life and for the continuance of both for the benefit of their children and grandchildren.

In point of fact I really feel that those of us who are over 60 (personally I’m in my mid 70s) should be leaving the referendum to the youngsters – they’ll have to live with the result after all so it should be at their choice. Us oldies and especially the RSA should STFU!

  • Phil Hogg
  • March 21st, 2016
  • 2:14 pm

A change means we are stuck with the “puerile new flag” for a long time.
Retention of the existing will inevitably result in change, hopefully to a proper design building on this amateur experience.

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