August 09, 2019
Big welcome planned for Pootatau Te Wherowhero flag
Waikato Tainui and the Kiingitanga are preparing to welcome home a flag made for the first Māori king, Pootatau Te Wherowhero.
The flag was probably made soon after the coronation of Pootatau Te Wherowhero in 1858 and used at his funeral in 1860, but it was taken to England by an Anglican Minister in 1865.
After the Church returned it to New Zealand in 1929 it was placed by the Bishop of Auckland in the Auckland War Memorial Museum and largely forgotten about until it surfaced in last year’s exhibition of taonga of the Kiingitanga.
Ngira Simmonds, the chaplain for Kiingi Tuheitia, says as soon as the current bishop Ross Bay became aware the Church owned it, he set about returning it to the Kiingitanga, with the ownership formally transferred at a ceremony at Holy Trinity Cathedral yesterday.
"It’s a white flag, with the symbols on it. It's really big. it would be the length of a decent sized SUV, I'd say at least three, maybe four metres long and two metres high, so it's a big, big flag." he says.
Bishop Ross Bay will hand over the Pootatau Te Wherowhero Flag to Kiing Tuheitia next Thursday during the Koroheihana Hui at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawāhia.
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