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Letter To Dr Sharples About Flying The Maori Flag

Tena koe e te Minita

Firstly congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Maori Affairs.

Earlier this year and also last year we put in a request that Transit NZ fly the Tino Rangatiratanga / Maori flag on the Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day. We believe our request was turned down unfairly. We believe Aotearoa / New Zealand has matured considerably in respect of these issues as indicated by the high level of public support from non-Maori, we further believe that diversity and understanding difference are the cornerstone of any healthy society, the recognition of the unique role of Maori and the flying of the Flag is a definite step in this direction.

We are requesting your advocacy on this issue to get the flag flying on the Bridge in 2009. In particular approaching the Ministers of Transport and the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage along with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) the Crown entity now responsible for policy decisions for the Harbour Bridge.

The following is a list of benefits:

- The acknowledgement of tangata whenua on Waitangi Day.

- The high level support from non-Maori and Maori on this issue

- Support from Church, Peace and other civil society organisations

- There is a precedent for indigenous flags to be flown. The Aboriginal Flag has flown on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is flown on government buildings in Australia on official occasions.

We look forward to your constructive advocacy in this matter. Thank you.

Naku i roto i nga mihi,

Spokesperson for Te Ata Tino Toa Sina Ana Brown-Davis

ENDS

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