White supremacists to attend flag change meeting

An informal discussion aimed at allowing Oamaru and Waitaki residents a chance to discuss the possibility of changing the New Zealand flag will still go ahead, even though a Christchurch-based white supremacist group says it will be attending.

After Prime Minister John Key last week made a tentative proposal to change the national flag if a referendum supported it, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean this week issued an open invitation for people in the electorate to gather at her Oamaru office to discuss the proposal ''over a cup of coffee''.

However, following that announcement, Mrs Dean's electoral office on Thames St was yesterday defaced with posters that called for the existing flag to be retained and which also promoted a website belonging to the Right Wing Resistance (RWR) group.

RWR founder Kyle Chapman said the group had just started a campaign to put the posters up on offices of all National MPs.

Mr Chapman, a former Oamaru resident, said if there was a meeting to discuss the flag issue, the group would send someone to attend.

''Our main thing at the moment is fighting National's move to change the flag.''

Three months ago the group was labelled ''a joke'' by Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher, after the group conducted a flyer drop in Oamaru letterboxes calling for locals to form ''armed coastal patrols'' to ''protect'' the coast from ''people smugglers'' and ''illegal foreign fishing''.

Mrs Dean said from Waitangi yesterday the Oamaru forum would go ahead tomorrow, and no-one would be stopped from attending.

''I am there to listen to all points of view, and I will be welcoming their (RWR) points of view just like anyone else; that's what it's for.''

She said she would not be taking sides in the discussion.

Add a Comment