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March 17, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Referendum Flagged

New Zealand could have a new flag by 2017, and all New Zealanders would be able to vote on the matter and submit design proposals.

On 11 March in the Hunter Council Chamber, John Key announced plans to hold a referendum on whether to keep or replace the current flag.

He suggested a two-stage referendum be held in the next parliamentary term, provided that the National Government is re-elected.

Firstly, a new flag design would be voted on from three or four options. Next, the public would vote to either introduce the winning design or keep the existing flag.

Labour and the Greens would both support a referendum on the flag, but David Cunliffe has questioned the timing of the announcement.

He said that Key’s timing “shows that he’s keen not to talk about the issues that really matter to New Zealanders.”

Key said the current flag reflects a colonial era, “whose time has passed,” and a new flag should be introduced to reflect “the evolution of modern New Zealand”.

However, he remains in favour of New Zealand’s ties to the monarchy.

“Our status as a constitutional monarchy continues to serve us well.”

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