In a significant move towards inclusivity and recognition, the indigenous flags of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia will be proudly flown at the upcoming Women’s Football World Cup. At each of the four host stadiums in Aotearoa—Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Kirikiriroa Hamilton, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, and Ōtepoti Dunedin—the New Zealand flag and the tino rangatiratanga Māori flag will be prominently displayed.
Likewise, in each of Australia’s six host stadiums, the Australian flag, Australian Aboriginal flag, and Torres Strait Islander flags will be raised.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed the organization’s recognition of the importance of First Nations in Australia and Māori as tangata whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand. He emphasised that these flags represent mutual respect, national identity, and acknowledgment of Indigenous cultures in the hosting of the World Cup.
To ensure meaningful engagement and inclusion, an all-women cultural advisory panel was established, fostering enduring relationships with First Nations and Māori communities throughout the tournament’s delivery and preparation.
The presence of First Nations and Māori cultures will be prominently showcased during team welcomes and on matchdays. Ceremonies, team captains’ armbands, and other cultural touchpoints will strongly represent the rich traditions and heritage of these communities.
New Zealand Football’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Pragnell, emphasized the power of flying the tino rangatiratanga flag alongside the official country flag, symbolizing the partnership between the Crown and Māori that forms the foundation of the country.