Maori Flag (New Zealand)  LbNA # 37095

OwnerWisconsin Hiker      
Placed DateDec 7 2007
CountyOther International
LocationKarangahake, NI, New Zealand, INT
Found By 55 steps
Last Found Nov 20 2008
Hike Distance2-3 mi
Last EditedMay 14 2016

Location: The walk starts in the Karangahake Gorge carpark area. Karangahake Gorge is on State Highway 2 between Waihi and Paeroa.

Time estimate: 60-90 minutes.

Terrain: Fairly level path, with some pot holes. Path sometimes runs very near the river and also through a dimly lit tunnel. You may want to bring along a flashlight (torch) for additional illumination.

Suggested ink colors: black and red

We planted this box while we vacationed in New Zealand. One aspect of the country that interested us was the Maori culture, so I created several boxes on this theme.

In 1990 there was a national flag competition in New Zealand. None of the entries showed any Maori acknowledgement or inspiration. The TE KAWARIKI therefore held their own Maori flag competition. The stamp image in this box shows the winning entry.

The flag is black over white over red, with the thin white stripe incorporating a circular — almost spiral — pattern. The symbology of the flag is as follows:

BLACK represents Te Korekore (the realm of potential being). It thus symbolizes the long darkness from which the earth emerged, as well as signifying Rangi - the heavens, a male, formless, floating, passive force.

WHITE represents Te Ao Marama (the realm of being and light). It symbolizes the physical world, purity, harmony, enlightenment and balance.

RED represents Te Whei Ao (coming into being). It symbolizes Papatuanuku, the earth-mother, the sustainer of all living things, and thus both the land and active forces.

The spiral-like KORU, symbolic of a curling fern frond, represents the unfolding of new life, hope for the future and the process of renewal.

As a whole, the design represents the balance of the forces of nature, masculine and feminine, active and passive, potential and physical, air and earth. It can also be interpreted as symbolizing the white cloud rolling across the face of the land, as in the Maori name for New Zealand, Aotearoa ("Land of the long white cloud").
Source: Otago University Student Newspaper The Critic, Issue 10, April 1996.

The Maori were the first people in New Zealand, well before the gold miners that later worked in this area, To find the flag representing the Maori, start on the trail over the swing bridge, At the intersection, take the path towards and across another bridge. Stay left to walk past the Woodstock battery and then follow the river upstream until you reach another intersection. Here you must cross the river again and then enter into a LONG (1 Km) tunnel.

Upon exiting the tunnel, it is time to cross the river again. Go past the first set of concrete ruins, then stop to examine the second set. The largest section has a few trees growing in the center of it. Go to the corner with a ponga tree inside and a ponga stump outside the concrete. Follow the outside wall 4-6 steps (or now it may be small steps) from the corner towards the river. The flag is waiting beneath some leaf litter, behind a small upright tree near the wall. The box is covered in camouflage tape so it blends in better with its surroundings. Please watch for other people before you retrieve or rehide the box so it remains safe from muggles.

After stamping in, continue along the path staying to the left. You’ll pass the Crown Battery and eventually reach a swing bridge that will return you to the parking lot.

I’d really appreciate a status update if you find the box, since we live VERY FAR away and won’t be able to check on it ourselves. Kia ora!