South Scotland

Hawick museum Maori war flag to be repatriated

Maori war flag Image copyright Scottish Borders Council

Councillors have decided that a Maori war flag held in the collection of a Scottish Borders museum should be repatriated.

A museum in New Zealand had made an official approach to Hawick museum for the flag, taken from a Maori tribe by Crown forces during a battle in 1865.

The bid was supported by descendents of key figures involved in the Battle of Omaruhakeke.

Members of Scottish Borders Council decided to approve the move.

Spiritual turmoil

The request for the flag by Wairoa Museum in Hawke's Bay on New Zealand's North Island was accompanied by four letters from descendents of Maori leaders.

They said the return of the flag could be a powerful symbol for the resolution of 160 years of social, economic, political and spiritual turmoil for the Maori people in that area of New Zealand.

Councillor Vicky Davidson had already said there was "no good reason" for the flag to be part of the local museum collection.

Scottish Borders Council's executive committee decided to return the flag to New Zealand.

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