A national Maori flag will fly from Auckland Harbour Bridge, Premier House and other significant sites on Waitangi Day, Prime Minister John Key and Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples announced today.
"Earlier this year I asked Dr Sharples to undertake consultation with Maori about what Maori flag should be flown on Waitangi Day," Mr Key says.
"More than 1200 submissions were received and 80 per cent favoured the flag commonly referred to as the ‘tino rangatiratanga' flag as the preferred Maori flag.
"Cabinet today accepted Dr Sharples' recommendation that this flag be flown on Waitangi Day at significant sites such as the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Government buildings.
"The Maori flag will not replace the New Zealand flag, but fly alongside it, to recognise the partnership the Crown and Maori entered into when signing the Treaty of Waitangi. No changes are being made to the status of the New Zealand flag," Mr Key says.
Dr Sharples says: "The Maori flag is a simple way to recognise the status of Maori as tangata whenua and their contribution to New Zealand. Flying the Maori flag symbolises the Crown-Maori relationship which has grown out of the Treaty.
"However, the New Zealand flag remains the symbol of our nation, and there is no intention to change this, nor to diminish the status of our national flag."
Dr Sharples says Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Culture and Heritiage will publish guidelines later this week describing the appropriate way to fly the Maori flag in relation to the New Zealand flag.