Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Maori disagree over Maori flag

Pita Sharples and John Key have announced that the tino rangitiratanga flag will fly over the Auckland Harbour bridge on Waitangi Day next year, at Parliament and at Premier House. But the chairman of the Waitangi Trust Board, Pita Paraone is not so sure that the decision is a good one and doesn't appear to want to fly it at Waitangi on Waitangi Day. Apparently the flag is linked with the Maori Party too much and Paraone (and Shane Jones and a few others) would like to see the United Tribes flag flown,I guess.

I find it ironic that Paraone is the chairman of the Waitangi Trust Board. This trust offers Treaty of Waitangi workshops. This includes workshops on the relevance of the principles of the Treaty, their practical applications, and how they can be applied today.

Yet Paraone, a former NZ First MP, was a key figure behind NZ First's unsuccessful attempt to delete the principles of the Treaty from all legislation - including the Treaty of Waitangi Act, in 2006. In fact the party, in its 2005 confidence and supply agreement with Labour, had a clause that forced Labour to vote for the first reading of the bill and send it to select committee -and Pita Paraone, as a board member of the Waitangi Trust Board at the time, supported taking out all references to the principles of the Treaty in legislation, while Trust conducted seminars on the practical relevance of leaving these principles in legislation - and nobody in the House bothered to point that out at the time.

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