New Zealanders will vote on whether New Zealand gets a new
flag during the next Parliamentary term, Prime Minister John
Key announced this morning.
Mr Key said in a speech at Victoria University that the
design of the current flag symbolised a colonial and
post-colonial era whose time has passed.
"I am proposing that we take one more step in the evolution
of a modern New Zealand by acknowledging out independence
through a flag," he said.
A cross-party group of MPs would be formed to recommend the
best referenda process and an independent steering group
would ensure that the public was consulted and was able to
contribute design ideas.
He said it was important that a new flag design had input
from the public and that a flag that united all New
Zealanders was chosen.
"This decision is bigger than party politics," he said.
Mr Key said that it should not be presumed that the flag
would change, and retaining the current design was a possible
He would like to see the referenda process completed during
the next Parliamentary term so that it did not intrude with
the 2017 elections.
Under the next government, all party leaders would nominate a
MP to be part of the cross-party group.
Mr Key has previously stated his preference for a silver fern
as the national flag.
- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald