All New Zealanders should have a say on future flag

  • Bill English
Deputy Prime Minister

Every New Zealander who is eligible to vote should have their say on which flag will represent the country in the future, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says.

The referendum that allows New Zealanders to choose between the existing flag and the Kyle Lockwood-designed silver fern begins tomorrow.

Mr Lockwood’s design received 670,790 votes in the first postal referendum held late last year.

“A total of 1,546,734 votes were cast in that first referendum, which is 48.78 percent of enrolled voters,” Mr English says.

“This indicates the time is right for us to be having this conversation.”

Mr English says Kiwis should celebrate the fact New Zealand is the first country in the world to ask citizens for their views on the design of their national flag, through two postal referendums.

“To have a process which is legitimate, and for the outcome to endure, it is important to do it properly.

“Our current flag has served us for over a century, and it is possible that a new flag would serve us for another century or longer.

“I’d encourage everyone to have an input in this decision – even for those who didn’t vote in the first referendum, everybody eligible to vote can do so in the second, conclusive referendum,” he says.

The referendum runs until 24 March 2016.