The flax bush features in a saying about the sanctity of human life, where a human is likened to the central shoot of the bush:
Unuhia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea te kōmako e
Ui mai ki ahau, ‘He aha te mea nui o te Ao?’
Māku e kī atu,
‘He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.’
If you remove the central shoot of the flaxbush, where
will the bellbird find rest?
If you were to ask me, ‘What is the most important thing in the world?’
I would reply,
‘It is people, it is people, it is people.’
The flax also represents the world of families within families.
Using this item
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Philippe Gerbeaux
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