Maori flag to return to New Zealand

A Maori war flag, connected to the Battle of Omaruhakeke in 1865, that is currently held in Hawick Museum is to be returned to New Zealand.

Scottish Borders Council has received a request from Wairoa Museum, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, for repatriation of the flag, and councillors at this week’s executive committee meeting agreed to it being returned.

In 1921 the artist Tom Scott donated the flag to the museum.

Councillors were told that the flag has no local connection, has not been on regular display (once in the last ten years), is not in particularly good condition and will require conservation treatment before it could go on public display again.

The request from Wairoa Museum was made on behalf of descendants of noted Maori leaders inolved in the battle connected with the flag. Their hope is that it will become a powerful symbol of resolution of 160 years of social, economic, political and spiritual turmoil for the Maori people.