National flag tops Sedcole flagpost again

The New Zealand flag is again waving proudly from the new Sedcole Flagpole in Pahiatua.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a small crowd gathered at a sunny ceremony as Honourable Trevor Mallard – Speaker of the House - gifted the flag from Parliament to the Pahiatua community, to top the iconic Sedcole flagpole. As part of the recent upgrades to the town centre, the original flagpole was replaced by a replica, after it became structurally unsound. A small crowd including committee members of Te Kohanga Whakawhaiti Marae, MP for Wairarapa Kieran McAnulty and Councillors attended the ceremony. After speeches and blessings by the local iwi the flag was hoisted by Stuart Malins and Wilson Duff of Tararua Alliance, Mayor Tracey and Louise Powick, the Explore Pahiatua Community Committee Chair.

In her speech Louise Powick said; This important event is another significant marker in the journey of Pahiatua. Celebrating a modern town - once again, poised for growth.”

Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis expressed gratitude to Honourable Trevor Mallard and MP Kieran McAnulty on behalf of the people of Pahiatua and the Tararua District; “I would like to extend a special thank you to our guest of honour, the Honourable Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the House, along with Kieran McAnulty, MP for Wairarapa who have enabled this ceremony to take place. We thank you for your generosity, for listening and understanding the significance of the Sedcole Flagpole to our community and honouring that with a flag from Parliament Buildings and with your presence here today. This gift acknowledges the significance of our flagpole and the town’s rich histories.

The Sedcole Flagpole is an important part of Pahiatua’s history.  Constructed in 1901 by local landowner Henry Sedcole, the flagpole was donated for the local community to have a focal point to mark civic occasions and important events.  A prominent landmark of Pahiatua following the settlement of the town in the 1880s, the Sedcole Flagpole was a marker of the maturing town, coinciding with other civic institutions in Pahiatua.  It was removed in 2015 for repairs and replaced with this beautiful replica as part of the Main Street upgrade.

During the upgrade process Tararua District’s roading Alliance partner, Downer, sponsored $5000 for the foundational work of the flagpole to be built into the upgrade. This was followed with a grant of $27,500 from Tararua District Councils Heritage Protection Reserve.

The original flagpole was donated to the family of Henry Sedcole and has been cut and made into placques for his desendants.

According to the speeches by Mayor Tracey and Louise Powick, this event is another significant marker in the journey of Pahiatua.  “The gift of our national flag portrays relationship - all the hopes, dreams and people it represents.  As this flag flies over our town, may it unite all cultures and bring healing to our land.”