28 Bastion Point

The image is of the Bastion Point flag from about 1977 (replica) 1977, Original flag designed by Orakei Maori Action Committee, New Zealand. Reproduced courtesy of Hawke Whanau Trust.

A flag like this flew during Ngati Whatua’s occupation of Takaparawha (Bastion Point) in Auckland, New Zealand, during 1977–78. It depicts the mangopare (hammerhead shark), a symbol of tenacity.

From 1912, Ngati Whatua opposed sales of land that they claimed had been wrongly taken from them. By the 1950s, they held less than 1 hectare.

In 1977, a housing development planned for Bastion Point – Ngati Whatua land taken by the Crown – was the final straw. Protesters occupied the site for 506 days until the government sent in the police and army. The protest camp was demolished, and 222 protesters were arrested.

In 1987, the Waitangi Tribunal upheld Ngati Whatua’s claims, and much of their land was returned.