Considering a new flag

John Key

The time has come to discuss New Zealand’s flag formally, carefully and respectfully, allowing all New Zealanders to have their say.

The Prime Minister has outlined a plan for a cross-party group of MPs to recommend the best process for referenda on the flag, and a steering group to ensure the public has the opportunity to engage in discussion on the flag, and to submit design ideas.

Consideration of a new flag will begin after the 2014 election. The referenda process will be completed during the next Parliamentary term, so it does not intrude on the 2017 elections.

Retaining the current flag is a very possible outcome of the process. There will be no presumption in favour of a change.

Any consideration of a new flag must include genuine input from New Zealanders – all voices will have an opportunity to be heard.