READER REPORT:

Flag change referendum 'flawed'

NOEL BURLAND
Last updated 10:48 22/09/2015
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The government's flag consideration panel chose four designs from the 10,292 submitted.

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The Red Peak flag, designed by Aaron Dustin.

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The referendum to change the flag has been an interesting one since John Key announced it. Plenty of people have put forward their designs hoping that they would be still there at the pointy end of the referendum.

Some took the opportunity to have a bit of a laugh, especially the laser kiwi and the stick figure on the pushbike designs.

As it currently stands, we are left with four designs competing to be the one to take on the original flag in a final voting process.

A problem arose when the final four designs chosen left a lot of people feeling underwhelmed, and convinced that they would not be able to usurp the current design.

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The other more interesting issue I found was that three of the final four designs incorporated a silver fern.

The problem with this is that John Key has stated numerous times since he got the referendum under way that his preference was for a flag with a fern on it.

Therefore I think it's highly suspicious that three of the final four flag designs have ferns on them.

I am not against a flag referendum and I would be OK if one of the Kyle Lockwood designs became the new flag, or if the original survived the final vote. But the whole process seems to have been influenced by John Key and the National Party to ensure a fern design is there to compete with the current flag.

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The whole process seems to have been flawed and should have been handled a lot better.

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Over the past week or so the Red Peak design has caused quite a lot of friction in parliament. I think it's ugly and wouldn't want to see it become the new flag.

Labour jumped on the Red Peak bandwagon and inevitably ended up butting heads with the National Party.

Of course, given the stated preference by John Key for a flag with a fern on it they were never going to want to allow the Red Peak design to be added as a fifth contender to take on the original. It would be hugely embarrassing for the National Party if the Red Peak flag got in and ended up becoming the new flag!

Given how underwhelming the final four designs have been and also the apparent influence the National Party have had on the elimination process, this could easily be seen as a giant waste of over $26million that could have been spent elsewhere, where it's needed more.

This will be a hard point to argue if the current flag remains after the final vote.

READ MORE: Full coverage of the flag debate    


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