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Tribal leader joins criticism of Flagpole “fake”

Media Release:

Tribal leader joins criticism of Flagpole “fake”
14 December 2009

Maori academic and Ngapuhi leader, David Rankin, has joined in criticism of the “fake” piece of flagpole claimed by the Russell Museum to be that which Hone Heke chopped down.

Mr Rankin (whose ancestor was Hone Heke) has had reservations about the item for some months, and earlier succeeded in having auctioneers Dunbar Sloane withdraw the piece from sale.

“Our whanau support the position taken by Professor Paul Moon, that there is no evidence connecting this piece of wood with our ancestor. For this reason, we feel that Heke’s name shouldn’t be associated specifically with it, but overall, we support the work that the museum is doing”.

Mr. Rankin will be in Russell today as the guest of honour of the Russell Museum, and hopes that the controversy surrounding this event will promote interest in this period of the country’s history.

“This piece, despite the fact that it’s a fake, will still bring interest for the area, and arouse awareness of our ancestor Hone Heke”, he says.


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