Running against the wind: Key’s legacy flag

Even those who are blind supporters of John Key raised their eyebrows when the flag issue was first raised. ?It appears to be a solution in search of a problem, and right now Key doesn’t have enough support for the move.

Prime Minister John Key concedes that most New Zealanders don’t want a new flag, but he’s hoping he can convince the majority it’s time for a change.

The Government will hold a two-step referendum process to decide whether or not New Zealand should keep its current flag.

In the first vote, towards the end of the year, people will pick their favourite of three or four alternative designs. In the second vote, in April 2016, the current flag will be judged against the winning alternative from vote one.

The first stage is when those with strong Maori/Treaty related needs should ensure their design is among the final four. ?

Mr Key, who is in favour of a new flag, says time will tell whether he can convince most New Zealanders to join him in his views.

He has faced some criticism from commentators who questioned why New Zealanders weren’t first asked whether they even wanted a flag change before voting on alternatives.

But Mr Key said it was ordered as it was to help those people who were only prepared to change given a good alternative.

“There are a lot of people saying: `I might be prepared to change, but I want to know what I’m changing to first’.”

Here is the real problem for Key. ?First we’ll have a vote for 4 alternatives. ? Of that, the winner goes up against the old flag. ? But of those people that wanted the other 3 alternatives, a proportion will favour sticking to the old flag.

It’s a costly distraction that nobody asked for, nobody needs, and it isn’t really linked to anything sensible, like changing to a republic. ?It’s a huge waste of time and money, and it feels like a corporate looking for a re-branding exercise instead of a country looking to reflect its identity because it feels lost with the current flag.


– NZN via 3 News