Yes, the flag is a symbol, but the starry eyed Wellington mayor may not be aware that the group that promoted the separatist flag, Te Ata Tino Toa, says the flag symbolises the struggle for Maori self-determination: Spokesperson Tia Taurere said:
The Tino Rangatiratanga flag symbolises the long tradition of struggle and resistance by Maori against colonisation and the Crown sponsored theft of Maori land and resources. It is a symbol used by Maori who continue to resist the pressures of colonisation and cultural and economic genocide. Such a concept embraces the spiritual link Maori have with 'Papatuanuku' (Earthmother) and is a part of the international drive by indigenous peoples for self determination.Te Ata Tino Toa keeps track of flagpoles that fly their flag. A big step forward was achieved two years ago when Prime Minister John Key and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples announced that the Maori sovereignty flag was to fly from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and other official buildings (such as Premier House) on Waitangi Day 2010. Every additional flagpole flying the separatist flag furthers the resistance to “cultural and economic genocide”.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira thanked the white Ms Wade-Brown for flying the flag this year, although you would remember Harawira’s attitudes to whites. He expressed his feelings in an email a couple of years ago, when he wrote. . . ”. . do you believe that white man bull**** too do you? White motherf***ers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit....And, quite frankly, I don't give a shit . . .”