September 02, 2015
Silver fern a Maori symbol
A member of the Flag Consideration Panel says Maori will find plenty of choice in the final shortlist.
For designed will be put for ranking in a referendum in November, with the winner to be set against the current flag in a second poll next March.
Malcolm Mulholland says while the black and white koru design clearly has a Maori connection, so too does the silver fern featured in the other three designs.
"Our tipuna used it when they would go for excursions, especially in the night, and they would turn them upside down so the light would be reflected and they did that almost as a homing beacon so when I think of the narrative of a flag, it's supposed to represent home. We also have the whakatauki aramai he tetekura, as one frond withers and dies another one takes its place, so I see a silver fern as a Maori symbol," he says.
Mr Mulholland says people around the world are watching the flag referendum process, because no other country has ever given its citizens such a major role in choosing their nation’s symbol.
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