When Jenny Jones was sent a letter criticising her family home for flying the Māori flag, she immediately did something about it.
She flew two more Māori flags.
The hand-written letter arrived in her mailbox on Friday last week. It said: "Congradulations (sic), you have won the prize for the most disgusting property in Glenholme. Some of us have pride in our area. You need to step up to the mark. Take the flag down."
Jones, 70, first moved into the house when she was three months old.
"My father was a 28th Māori Battalion returnee and I was born in the transit camp. This was a Housing Corp house and my father and mother bought it."
The home, on Ranolf St, has been in her family ever since and she moved back there after her mother died in 2010.
She has flown the tino rangatiratanga flag at the house for nine years.
Jones and her daughter arrived home from doing the shopping on Friday to find the letter in the mailbox.
"I was excited at first because I thought I'd won a prize but then I thought 'what the hell?'," she said.
"I thought to myself, 'well if you don't like my flag, I am going to put up another two'."
She now has three flags flying out the front of her home, two tino rangatiratanga flags and a Māori federation flag.
"They obviously have a problem with Māori. Who does that? I bet that flag has been flying here longer than they have been in the (area)."
She said there was no way she would remove the flag.
"I'm not taking them down. They can get stuffed."
In fact, Jones has now handed out a few more Māori flags to her neighbours and friends in the area, in case they want to put them up too.
Waiariki MP Rawiri Waititi said the "awesome reality" was the tide was turning and Māori were becoming more proud to fly their flags high and sing their songs. Waititi said being proud to be Māori was not anti-Pākehā.
"It isn't rebellious, isn't about confrontation and it's certainly not about superiority. Being proud to be Māori, is all about taking our place in Aotearoa as the first people's of this whenua and as equal tiriti relations."
He said it was also about flying their flags, wearing their moko and, especially this week, rejuvenating te reo Māori and tikanga (language and customs).
He said the fact people felt they had to write anonymous letters was confirmation the perpetrators knew they were in the wrong and "on the wrong side of history".
"They're the ones that need to step up to the mark."
Jones' granddaughter posted about the letter on social media where it had received hundreds of supportive comments and more than 500 shares.
"The relentless fight for equality and what that means continues day in, day out.
"We have always had to stand up stronger when behaviours like anonymous letters aim to bring us and our flags down. Shucks if it means putting up more flags, then let's all do it. From my flag up in Cape Runaway, to our kuia's flags in Glenholme in Rotorua - we support you and everyone committed to this challenge."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said she was saddened and disappointed there was still such intolerance in society today, especially in Rotorua and when the community was navigating life through a pandemic.
"It's tough for everyone right now and this sort of thing is completely inappropriate and unnecessary. We don't need any kind of division, we need to stick together as a community and look out for one another.
"My husband and I were subject to this type of intolerance and I would encourage Jenny and her whānau to ignore it."
Glenholme Neighbourhood Support street contact Tammy-Lee Holmes said Glenholme was a tight-knit multicultural community.
"It is disappointing to see that (people) couldn't talk to each other in this situation and the tone, let alone the content of the note, is unacceptable. This is not an example of how we do things around here if people don't see eye to eye in our community."
The history of the tino rangatiratanga flag
The flag is often referred to as the Māori flag and can be used to represent all Māori.
Hiraina Marsden, Jan Smith and Linda Munn designed the flag in 1990.
The design of the flag references the Māori creation story of Rangi and Papa, suggesting the sky, the earth, and the physical realm of light and being, which was created when they were separated.
The official recognition of the tino rangatiratanga flag resulted from a campaign by indigenous rights advocacy group Te Ata Tino Toa. The group applied for the tino rangatiratanga flag to fly on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day.
Transit New Zealand, the government agency that was responsible for the bridge, declined on the basis that the flag did not represent a country recognised by the United Nations.
After considerable debate in the public arena, Prime Minister John Key and Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples announced the Māori tino rangatiratanga flag was chosen to fly from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and other official buildings (such as Premier House) on Waitangi Day.