National MP Tau Henare, whose uncles served in the 28th Maori Battalion, says he is serious about getting a tattoo of the battalion's logo in defiance of a bureaucrat's request he stop using it on his social media pages.

Te Puni Kokiri - the Ministry for Maori Development - yesterday confirmed it is cracking down on use of the logo, while legislation to protect it is developed.

Mr Henare this week tweeted that he had been contacted by a Te Puni Kokiri official who told him he was not allowed to use the 28th Battalion logo as his profile picture for his Twitter account.

"My 2 Uncles (Grand dads bros) fought in WW2 as mbrs of the 28thBat. If you think im taking it down TPK, think again," Mr Henare tweeted.


Mr Henare yesterday said the official's objections "sounded like an issue of intellectual property rights", but he believed he was entitled to use the logo.

"Anyone who wants to portray the 28th Battalion logo and they do it out of respect, then they should be able to do it. My grandfather's two brothers served in the 28th Battalion and I think that gives me the right to revere them the way I want to. I might even get a tattoo."

Mr Henare later said he was "bloody serious" about getting a tattoo of the logo which he also uses on his Facebook page.

A spokeswoman for Te Puni Kokiri yesterday confirmed one of its officials had contacted Mr Henare.

"At a national executive meeting of the 28th Maori Battalion recently, the issue of the use of the logo and name was discussed," she said.

"It was agreed that while legislation was being prepared that would protect how the logo and name were to be used in the future, that the use of the logo and name by those other than the 28th Maori Battalion Association should to be discouraged."