NZ Flag referendum a waste of time from the start says MP

By Heta Gardiner
  • Northland
  • South Island

John Key is getting flak from all sides after his project to have the New Zealand flag changed, fell flat. More than two million people voted, and the result, was accusations from some pockets of Parliament, calling the whole thing a waste of time and money.

Hopes of a new flag have been blown away.

“It was a vanity exercise from John Key, and it was a total waste of money, says Te Waipounamu MP Rino Tirikatere.

The Prime Minister's pet project has now come crashing down, with the ensuing backlash. 

Tirikatene says, “He was prancing around, pulling out every celebrity and sports person mate of his.”

There was debate over this issue from the very beginning. First, there were submissions made by the NZ public, over 10,000, which were looked at by the selection panel. It was then narrowed down to 40, then four. But another flag was well liked by the public, and so the 'Red Peak' flag was added to the selection.

But the biggest opposition was pointed at the price tag for this endeavour, which totalled $26mil. 

But despite the unrest, the process continued, and this flag was chosen as the alternate to go against the current New Zealand flag.

NZ First MP, Pita Paraone says their message was clear from the start, “We told the Prime Minister that this was a waste of time right from the start.”

Despite the backlash, the 'pro-change' side found an ally in the Māori Party.

“I think our current flag represents the Queen, so I don't support it. But the people have spoken and I'm happy with that,” says Māori Party MP Marama Fox.

Time will tell if the National Party flag is hurt, by this result.