Story: Ngā haki – Māori and flags

Rongopai flag outside Waimate North mission station

A flag with 'Rongopai' (good news, or gospel) written on it is shown flying outside the Waimate North mission station some time after 1835. The mission station was established by Samuel Marsden of the Anglican Church Missionary Society in 1831. In 1812 Marsden had given a piece of muslin with the words 'Ra Tapu' (sabbath day or Sunday) on it to Ngāpuhi chief Ruatara in New South Wales – one of the earliest examples of a Māori flag.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-049-020
Watercolour by Thomas Gardiner

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Malcolm Mullholland, 'Ngā haki – Māori and flags - Māori adoption of flags', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 June 2022)

Story by Malcolm Mullholland, published 20 Jun 2012