March 28, 2016
Maori most loyal to old flag
Almost four out of five Maori in Te Tai Tokerau voted to stick with the current flag.
Northern Maori proved the most loyal to the Union Jack and Southern Cross in the second flag referendum, but the rest of the Maori electorate were also more likely than other New Zealanders to vote for the status quo.
Te Tai Tokerau also had the highest participation rate of the Maori electorates, with 50.9 percent voting, compared with the overall average of 67.3 percent.
Just 43.2 percent of voters opted for the black and blue fern, but the best it could get in a Maori seat was Te Tai Tonga, where 31.9 percent were willing to change.
Ony six electorates favoured change – Bay of Plenty, Clutha-Southland, East Coast Bays Ilam, Selwyn, and Tamaki.
Flag Consideration Panel member Malcolm Mulholland believes the panel did its best to engage with Maori, but turnout remained low.
Mr Mulholland has been talking up the links between Maori and the silver fern, including Maori All Black captain Tom Ellison suggesting it for the All Black uniform and its traditional use in pathfinding.
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