|Sign up now!|
The national Maori flag, Tino Rangatiratanga, will be flown from Wellington's Town Hall on Waitangi Day for the first time.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says while the Māori flag does not have official status it is good that it be flown together with the New Zealand national flag on the country's national day of celebration.
Mayor Wade-Brown says it is appropriate to fly the flag from the capital's civic buildings on Monday because it is also the first time Wellington will host the country's Waitangi celebrations and the Diplomatic Corps.
"The Tino Rangatiratanga flag is a symbol of this great land and complements the existing New Zealand flag," says Mayor Wade-Brown.
"Waitangi Day is all about the spirit of mutual respect and nationhood so we will fly the two flags together. This symbolises and enhances the relationship between the Crown and Māori.
"This is the first time the preferred Māori flag has been flown from the Town Hall on Waitangi Day. Let this be the start of a long-running tradition on 6 February, and I urge the government to give the Tino Rangatiratanga flag the official status it deserves."
The national Māori flag was developed by members of the group Te Kawariki in 1989. On 6 February 1990, the group unveiled the flag at Waitangi. On 14 December 2009, Cabinet recognised the Māori (Tino Rangatiratanga) flag as the preferred national Māori flag.
A stage facing the lagoon next to the wharewaka Te Raukura will be set up where Mayor Wade-Brown will make a short speech at 10.00am to officially start the celebrations. Sir Ngatata Love, Chair of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, will also make a short speech. This will be followed by the arrival of two ceremonial waka in the lagoon where the waka crew will perform a traditional salute for invited guests and the public.
The stage performances begin about 10.30am and include kapa haka and cultural performances, the reggae band Grove Roots and the country music band Blue Highway Country Showband. There will also be food and craft stalls and storytelling inside Te Raukura.