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Widespread political support for changing NZ flag

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Latest Political News | Wednesday January 29 2014 15:51

Widespread political support for changing NZ flag

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UPDATED 6:40pm: There seems to be widespread political support for changing the New Zealand flag which could be the subject of a referendum at the election.

John Key's raised the prospect saying he wants the Silver Fern.

MORE: Key to discuss potential flag change

The minor party leaders, Peter Dunne, Winston Peters, Russel Norman and Hone Harawira are generally supportive.

Mr Dunne says were no longer a British colony, while Mr Peters says we've now got two flags and it's time it was sorted out.

"We've got the Maori Party flag that flies on Waitangi Day, we've got the flag that we all salute. And so sorting that would be a good idea."

Mr Peters sees a new flag as a way of ending the confusion between our flag and Australia's.

"The confusion with Australia is really bad, 90 per cent of Australians can't tell the difference."

Dr Norman says he'd like change but that's not surprising given he wants New Zealand to become a republic.

And Mr Harawira wants the Rangatiritanga flag.

He says: "We're not just babies of Queen Victoria."

United Future's open to there being a referendum.

Mr Dunne says this year's election is a good time to ask whether our flag represents all New Zealanders.

The only one opposed was John Banks who says our men fought in two World Wars under the flag and it should be kept.

The New Zealand Flag Campaign is thrilled with John Key's suggestion of a possible referendum on changing the national flag.

The Prime Minister says first he will take the idea to senior ministers to test the waters.

Flag Campaign spokesman Lewis Holden says its about recognising our independent national identity.

He says at the end of the day, the decision should be up to New Zealanders.

"You have a referendum asking 'Should the design be changed?' Then hopefully there'll be some sort of design competition, like there was in Canada during the '60s.

"And from that you should get, I think, a uniquely New Zealand flag."

John Key's launching today of a discussion on whether to change the New Zealand flag is delighting one man who's been pushing for change for some years.

Kyle Lockwood from SilverfernFlag.co.nz told NewstalkZB's Larry Williams when it comes to changing the flag, it's not a matter of if, but when.

"As the years have gone by the appetite for change has increased."

Mr Lockwood says the Union Jack doesn't represent all New Zealanders.

He also says the tino rangatiratanga flag is too divisive - and an All Blacks' style Silver Fern on a black background isn't quite right either.

"If the All Blacks lose a match it will be hanging on the flag pole and everyone will be looking at it going 'No, that's not quite right'."

Kyle Lockwood's design incorporates a white fern along with the current flag's red, white and blue.

Photo: Getty Images

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