Friday, February 5, 2010

Flag-Flying Furore

It's the eve of our national day, New Zealand Day – many call it Waitangi Day, when the Feb.6th.1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi supposedly sealed a peaceful co-existence between settlers and indigenous people. Sadly the treaty and the day have come to represent racial divisions and civil disobedience.
Tomorrow atop government buildings and Auckland Harbour Bridge, alongside the NZ flag will fly the maori separatist flag. Let's be frank: it can't be regarded as anything else but...! It's fronted most protests and land disputes for the past few decades and, after hard campaigning by foulmouthed radical Hone Harawira, it was supposedly hailed by most maori as their representative flag.
But OMG! Northland maori are calling it a "hate flag", saying if it gets waved around at Waitangi tomorrow it'll be a breach of the treaty! (A breach of the maori? This cannot be!) Manukau City Council has sidestepped the whole PC issue: it won't be flying the separatist flag, neither will Hamilton City Council nor the Waitangi National Trust.
The National Government has tried so hard to paint this flag-flying issue as a wound-healing salve, while we all know it bought continued support from its Maori Party coalition partner. Hone Harawira, as many see himAnd now it seems the reason why Maori Party MP Harawira pushed so hard for this particular flag to be accepted as "the Maori flag" because a trust involving his family has been selling these flags for years!
I can't help but paraphrase Harawira's own "white motherf*****s" outburst from late last year: so Hone, just who is actually "ripping off your people? And all of a sudden you want us to play along with your puritanical bulls***?" Hmmm, hoisted with one's own petard, methinx, verily!
PS: 08 Feb.2010 - A valid opinion piece in NZ Herald today from Mike Moore, a former NZ Prime Minister and Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, and soon to be our ambassador in Washington: food for thought!

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