Coat of arms threat a 'joke'

  • 17/01/2014

The ministry isn't going to dump on Raglan Roast.

Minister for Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson has ruled out legal action against the Waikato coffee roaster over its coat of arms, which looks similar to the New Zealand coat of arms but features the Maori warrior holding a surfboard instead of a taiaha.

Earlier this week, it was reported the Ministry of Culture and Heritage had received complaints about the coat of arms, which is also featured on t-shirts, and was considering legal action.

But Mr Finlayson, himself a lawyer, says that when he first heard that he thought it was a joke.

The idea of legal action over a clear parody was ridiculous, he said.

"No action will be taken against Raglan Roast for the simple reason that they are doing nothing wrong."

The Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act protects the use of images of the actual coat of arms and was intended to prevent advertisers from claiming they have royal patronage, or wrongly claiming they were official suppliers to the government."

"It is not intended to prevent people from printing light-hearted t-shirts."

Mr Finlayson said he could not see how Raglan Roast could be breaching the Act.

"I understand the Ministry for Culture and Heritage had already reached the same conclusion."

NZN

source: newshub archive