Reappropriation 101


I’m not going to get too deep into the NZ flag debacle. Essentially – our PM decided it was time for a new flag. The process for deciding it has been fraught, highly criticized, undemocratic, overly expensive, and, many feel, poorly timed. The entire issue has been quite damaging for the National Party (haw haw).

After reducing the pool down to four entries, an online campaign pushed for a fifth option – and they’ve been successful (here’s the summary). People have their opinions about the pool, and the process, still, and that’s fine. I’m not here to argue with that.

What I am here to do is call out this kind of bollocks:

peak engineering


Ok so pay attention. THIS is niho taniwha:

Our ancestors have been using it since… well… forever. It’s even older, as a pattern, than our koru (spiral). I’m talking Lapita old:

The colours red, white, and black – are also old as the hills – no I mean literally as old as the hills, they’ve been used by our tipuna since they had access to red clay deposits, and charcoal, and white clay deposits. So yeah… since forever.

So whatever your opinion on the flag – keep it, change it, silverfern, southerncross, red peak, whatever… that’s all cool.

But STOP saying that this very basic pattern “belongs” to someone else. Our tīpuna were using it well before Peak Engineering, AND Aaron Dustin.

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