National | Marsden

Māori Flag Origins

It's been over 20 years since the birth of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag with Rangitaane Marsden citing its launch date as the 6th of February 1990.
Now it has been adopted by many and flies in places of significance across the nation.

Rangitaane Marsden says “the flag in a sense reflects the creation story but if you take it to another level black reflects the potential, red reflects the realities and white reflects the wisdom and illumination that come with a persons own individual being”.

The concept of this Māori symbol was found in a national flag competition run by the Kawariki Action Group. It’s creators are Hiraina Marsden, Jan Dobson and Lisa Munn. Pou Erstich was responsible for the translations. The Marsden family continue to protect the special nature of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

Last October, Ngāi Takoto signed it’s Deed of Settlement at Rangiāniwaniwa in the far North. That same day a Hiraina Marsden scholarship was launched for the pursuit of arts, a sign of remembrance for this key designer of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

On Waitangi Day the flag will fly from the harbour bridge in Auckland and many other places in New Zealand.

Reporter: Harata Brown.