PM reignites national flag debate

By Maiki Sherman

John Key sparked the discussion around a new flag just before Waitangi Day and despite his own personal preference of a black flag with a silver fern, he's opened the process for more public input.

The question is, should Maori have a right to include some form of its own culture under the Treaty of Waitangi or by right as the indigenous people of this country?     

The Prime Minister said today, “A flag can never be all things to all people. As we consider alternative designs there might be some people who want a stronger representation of Maori.”

Yes indeed as the country prepares for options regarding a new flag, one question is whether it should include some form of Maori design? 

Despite strong advocacy by John Key for a flag carrying a silver fern motif, he was staunch in saying that he had “come to this debate advocating for change and with a personal leaning toward the silver fern.”

He is, however, keeping quiet on whether it should include a bit of Māori ‘flavour’.

Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira says the cost of a referendum is the main focus. The Prime Minister estimates it to be around $10 million.

In the end, an independent panel will choose a number of proposed flags from those submitted by the public, a winning design will be voted on by the country and it will be that which goes up against NZ's current flag in the referendum.