26 Feb 2015

Maori academics to consider new NZ flag

9:38 pm on 26 February 2015

Ngāi Tahu academic Hana O'Regan is on the 12 person panel set up to get the public's view on whether New Zealand should get a new flag - and also find out what it should look like.

The New Zealand and Tino Rangatiratanga flags flying in Wellington.

The New Zealand and Tino Rangatiratanga flags flying in Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Massey University researcher Malcolm Mulholland, of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, is also part of the group.

They join some well-known New Zealand names, such as Olympian Beatrice Faumuina and businessman Rod Drury.

The panel was appointed by a cross-party group of MPs, including Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

A new design for the nation's flag will go up against the existing ensign in a referendum next year.

The government said a change to the New Zealand flag would not affect the status of the national Māori flag - Tino Rangatiratanga.

Meanwhile, Maori sovereignty group Te Ata Tino Toa said if a new symbol was adopted, it wanted the country to have what it calls a 'two flag' policy.

It said the New Zealand flag should fly at all times alongside the Maori flag, as is done in Australia - indigenous alongside non-indigenous.

Members of the 12-person panel:

  • Emeritus Professor John Burrows - an expert in media law (chair)
  • Writer and reviewer Kate de Goldi (deputy chair)
  • All Black great Sir Brian Lochore
  • Commonwealth Games gold medallist Beatrice Faumuina
  • Saatchi and Saatchi chief executive Nicky Bell
  • TV supremo Julie Christie
  • Xero chief executive Rod Drury
  • Academic Malcom Mulholland - a flag historian
  • Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin
  • Youth councillor Stephen Jones
  • Maori studies academic Hana O'Regan
  • Former head of defence Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones

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