21 Jul 2009

Two options favoured for Maori flag

3:14 pm on 21 July 2009

The Maori Party says the choice of a national Maori flag have come down to two options.

The party is leading a series of national hui to ask Maori what flag should represent them.

The Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says two options are clearly favoured, the 1835 flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the Tino Rangatiratanga, or Maori sovereignty flag.

Mr Harawira says the debate has been romantic, edgy, and at times aggressive because people are passionate about Maori having a single flag.

Prime Minister John Key had asked Maori to consult over which flag they most identify with.

The other options are the current flag, which has a Union Jack with four red stars on a blue background and a variation on that but with a red ensign.

Rangikohu marae chairman Roger Rawiri, says about 150 people from around Northland attended the first hui on Saturday.

He says the Tino Rangatiratanga flag has flown on the marae for 14 years and is its only possible choice.

The second hui took place on Sunday at Otangarei marae in Whangarei.