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Flag decision fuelling cultural division - Greens

29 January 2008

Flag decision fuelling cultural division - Greens

Transit's continued refusal to fly the Tino Rangatiratanga flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day is fuelling cultural division, says Green Party MP, Metiria Turei.

"The fact that Transit happily allowed the black fern 'loyal' flag for the America's Cup but changed its policy to prevent the Tino Rangatiratanga flag from flying on Waitangi Day was an act of pure prejudice against Maori. That they will continue with such prejudice this year is a disgrace.

"Such actions of exclusion, and refusal to recognise the legitimacy of Maori in systemic ways is at the core of the issues that surround Waitangi Day.

"Surely the country has matured enough to recognise that the treaty provides us all with the right to stand and a place to belong. Transit's refusal to allow the flag to fly denies Maori that place and that right.

"The Government's refusal last year to allow the flag to fly, because of the fear that it would have been seen to be siding with the Maori Party was shallow. I hope that this year, being election year, we will not see such a response.

"The flying of both flags on this one day of the year is a highly symbolic recognition of the need to bring our communities together. Transit's adherence to a one nation ideology has no place in a society built on an agreement between two peoples that has led to the modern New Zealand nation," Mrs Turei says.


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