12 Mar 2014

Hungry kids can't eat a flag, says Harawira

9:01 am on 12 March 2014

The Government has many other more important issues to address than whether New Zealand needs a new flag, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says.

He says that while people are debating that matter, 285,000 children are living in poverty and 100,000 go to school hungry every day.

Mr Harawira says that eliminating child poverty and ensuring homes for all families and jobs for everyone are the real issues - not the flag. Hungry kids, he says, cannot eat a flag.

Meanwhile, Te Ao Pritchard of Maori rights advocacy group Te Ata Tino Toaa is welcoming suggestions from anyone who wants to include Maori symbols on a new flag, especially if that demonstrates a true Treaty partnership.

She says if people from other cultures want to incorporate Maori designs or symbols that represent their link with tangata whenua in Aotearoa, then they should not be put off by anything the Government is recommending.

The movement's position is clear, Ms Pritchard says: the Government has already endorsed the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, which is another flag that can be flown alongside the current one.