Symbols of the Crown are unlikely to feature on a new tribal flag being designed by the tribal collective of Te Arawa - to fly in Rotorua on Waitangi Day next year.
Tribal elders, who make up Te Pukenga Koeke o Te Arawa, have been holding hui about the kaupapa for more than a year.
The idea of a flag had been raised by the Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa Standing Committee in 2011.
Committee of elders chair Arama Pirika said most hapu flags have a colonial influence, which he thinks should be avoided in the new emblem.
He said the tribe needs a Te Arawa flag because government influence can be seen on parts of the current hapu flags.
Tamariki (children) from local schools will also be asked to send in their flag ideas.