Last modified: 2013-06-15 by ian macdonald
Keywords: taranaki | rugby |
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In 1858 New Plymouth was
Neale Rosanoski, 3 October 1999
Yellow and Black are the colours that are used in regional sports uniforms,
particularly those of rugby.
Robbie Ellis, 10 March 1999
image located by Valentin Poposki, 29 June 2012
The two peaks shown are the main and secondary peak (Fantham's Peak) of Mount
Taranaki (formerly Mount Egmont), the conical dormant volcano which dominates
the landscape of the Taranaki Region (the nose-shaped bump on the North Island's
west coast). Cheese production has long been the town's main industry. It has a
population of about 2000.
James Dignan, 30 June 2012s
image located by Valentin Poposki, 3 March 2012
Very few small towns in NZ have their own flags. Manaia is located on the
south coast of the "nose" of Taranaki, immediately south of the volcanic cone of
Mount Taranaki/Egmont, in the central west of New Zealand's North Island. It is
this volcanic peak which features prominently on the flag. Other than that, I
cannot easily tell what the features of the flag represent, though the landscape
of south Taranaki is dotted with numerous streams which radiate from the
mountain - one of the two shown on the flag will very likely be the Kapuni
Stream, one of the area's main watercourses and one with some local historical
significance. The flag appears to be sponsored by (or at least includes the
badge of) the local Lions Club. The white and brown figures at the base I can
only assume relate to the town's Maori heritage, particularly in connection to
the New Zealand land wars between Maori and European settlers in the late 19th
century - they could easily represent the brown European military blockhouses
and white palisades of a Maori pa, for instance. The area around the town was a
major focus of fighting during this time (one of the main phases of the wars is
known as the Taranaki War, and the village of Parihaka, some 30 kilometres to
the northwest, is one of this country's most famous - or rather infamous -
sites, and another location only some 10 kilometres from Manaia is the sight of
the killing of leading settler military leader Major Gustavus von Tempsky.
Manaia's nearest cities are New Plymouth, to its north, and Wanganui, to its southeast, and the large town of Hawera is located only about 10 kilometres east of Manaia. With a population of around 1500, it is located close to the centre of New Zealand's natural gas industry, which is focussed on south Taranaki, both onshore and offshore. The town's name is that of an early Maori chief who lived in the area, and is also that of a traditional mythological creature, a protective spirit often found in Maori carving.
James Dignan, 4 March 2012
The flag was the result of a year-long project between the Manaia and
District Lions Club and Yarrows the Bakers, It was designed by Paddy Robinson
and raised 14 March 2001 on a pole outside Yarrows in the centre of the town.
The flag was intended to create unity, instill civic pride and creative positive news for the town. Mr. Robinson described it as "an icon and taonga - a gift". A report of a raising ceremony held "in early April" in CenTar Regional Roundup, a newsletter for the Central Taranaki Region of the Anglican Church, says the flag features "Mt Taranaki, the Kaupokonui and Kapuni rivers, the loaf of bread and a cow."
The mountain (black, capped white) is in the centre, the rivers to each side
curving in symmetry through the green lower half of the flag. At the hoist
the name "MANAIA" is inscribed vertically in white on a blue band, and in the
upper fly is a yellow Lions Club badge on the blue background. The loaf of
bread, below the mountain, between the rivers, is not a simple loaf of brad,
but a depiction of the giant loaf of bread forming a welcome sign to the
town. The inscription is not clear in the picture of the flag, but the real
thing says "Welcome to MANAIA, // BREAD CAPITAL". (The bakery is the main
business of the town, as well as a co-sponsor of the flag.) I don't see any
sign of a cow, and I can't add any speculation on the white/black figures in
the lower fly.
Mr. Robinson himself performed the task of raising the flag most mornings, and one of the two flags produced from his design was buried with him on 29 August 2011.