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Maori leader bans “Hate Flag” from Waitangi

Maori leader bans “Hate Flag” from Waitangi

Ngapuhi leader and chief of Hone Heke’s hapu, David Rankin, has issued a warning to Government officials and to the Waitangi National Trust that the flying of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag at Waitangi next month will be seen as a direct breach of his hapu’s Treaty rights.

Mr. Rankin’s hapu – Te Matarahurahu – lodged a Treaty claim (Wai-1466) in May 2008 for the Treaty grounds at Waitangi, and is preparing an urgent claim to prevent any flying of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag at Waitangi until his claim over the site has been resolved.

“I am formally giving notice”, Mr Rankin has announced, “that if the Tino Rangatiratanga flag – which we see as a hate flag – is flown over land that is under our claim, we will consider this a further breach of our Treaty rights, and hold the Government directly responsible”.

Mr Rankin’s strongest warning is to the Prime Minister, John Key, “If Mr Key does anything to support the Tino Rangatiratanga Hate Flag flag being flown at Waitangi, he will be in breach of our Treaty claim and the urgent injunction we are currently preparing. He would be the first Prime Minister in history to act in such defiance of the Tribunal’s processes”, says Mr Rankin.

Mr. Rankin believes the Tino Rangatiratanga flag will do nothing to advance the country’s race relations and will serve as a beacon for those Maori who he describes as having ‘a chip on their shoulders’.

ENDS

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