30 Mar 2009

Auctioneer investigates authenticity of flagpole remnant

7:42 pm on 30 March 2009

Plans to auction what is believed to be a remnant of the flagpole cut down by Maori activist Hone Heke have been withdrawn pending an investigation into its authenticity.

The item, said to be part of the flagpole cut down at Russell in 1845 sparking the New Zealand Wars, was valued by auction house Dunbar Sloane at $20,000.

Dunbar Sloane was to auction the piece next Monday on behalf of Lady Caroline Simmonds, a granddaughter of the Earl of Ranfurly, who was New Zealand's Governor from 1897 to 1904.

The manager of the auction house, Dunbar Sloane Junior, says the piece is being examined by experts to determine its origin.