The Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 has been amended to protect against the unauthorised use of words or emblems relating to the 28th Maori Battalion, including its Maori names Te Ope Hoia Maori 28 and Te Hokowhitu Maori 28. This amendment gives these names the same protection as names such as ANZAC and the Returned Services Association.
Recognising the status of the 28th Maori Battalion in New Zealand's war history is a major achievement, but this is not the first time the Act has provided protection for a Maori word. The Act previously granted similar status to the name RUAKURA, because it is the name of a government department.
This Act is used to protect words, names, and titles that are considered of national significance, such as the word 'royal' and flags.
Perhaps we will see the Act amended more regularly to recognise more Maori words, phrases, and imagery, as these symbols become more nationally significant.
For the entire announcement, read here.