A piece of Northland's early history may have to be rewritten.
A small bit of wood thought to have been from one of the flagpoles cut down by Ngapuhi chief Hone Heke in Russell in 1884 and 1845 was to have been auctioned in Auckland this month but was withdrawn after its authenticity was questioned.
Northland Maori later objected that they had not been consulted over the sale.
The wood was long thought to be from a kauri felled in Heke's forest, however scientific tests have shown it is baltic pine from a mast bought by the Government from a visiting American whaler.
The wood is valued between $20,000 and $30,000.