Prime Minister John Key’s tentative proposal to change the national flag has wide support within Parliament, although he admits that debate about an alternative design could distract people from more important issues during election year.
Mr Key planned to discuss a new flag with senior ministers and possibly put it to a referendum as part of this year’s election.
Do you have a design you believe could be the new New Zealand flag? We’d love to see it. Email us here.
He said that finding a consensus on a new flag would be difficult and if ministers backed a change, the Government would decide on a design and ask the public to vote for or against it.
“We have to make it simple,” he said yesterday.
The flag could be changed by legislation, but Mr Key said it was a constitutional issue and required consultation.
He publicly backed replacing the flag with a silver fern in 2010.
At the time, the Herald ran a campaign to change the flag and found more than half of the members of the Order of New Zealand supported a change.
Today’s editorial is also supportive of a move to change the flag. Read more: Key needs to be bolder on flag change.
“As the title says, New Zealand’s prime minister John key is imposing a vote on a flag change proposal that 80% of New Zealand citizens do not want; There is no valid reason to do so, except that John key wants a flag change as his ‘legacy’ as leader of New Zealand. In a democracy it is usual to ask the citizens whether they support such a proposal. Actually they don’t, going by all polls conducted since John key announced his proposal. Kiwis are not interested in the opinions of media editors or CEO’s, they want to know why such a policy was introduced in the first place.
John Key is using his position as prime minister to impose his opinion, not putting forward an idea. Before putting forward designs for a new flag he should have sought support. There is none!
If New Zealand was putting forward a proposal to introduce a constitutional change in this country such as a republic, there would have to be consideration for a new flag and an anthem. But there is no suggestion or conversation around such a change; people still get juvenile pleasure and excitement at royal visits by over-privileged princes and princesses. As for the designs circulated so far they are trite, amateur and unsatisfactory.”