Flag Bill Moves Forward

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 — 4:51 PM

The New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill completed its second reading following Question Time today.

This bill establishe a process for the holding of two postal referendums on the New Zealand Flag. The first will determine which alternative flag design is preferred by voters, and the second will determine whether that alternative flag or the current flag is to be the New Zealand Flag.

The Minister responsible Bill English said the bill would ensure debate about the flag was completed in a respectful way.

A number of people questioned the order of the questions being asked, but the committee by a majority decided to stick with bill as drafted. Mr English said he believed it was the logical process to follow so people could decide between alternatives.

Mr English said many seemed to opposed a change in flag because they did not like John Key, which was not a very good basis for a debate around the flag

Labour Leader Andrew Little said New Zealanders did not want the change now, many wanted a change in flag but they knew a bad thing when they saw it. People and were not comfortable with the expensive process taking place at a time when the economy was weak.

National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future all supported the bill and it progressed by 63 to 58.

MPs then returned to the set piece committee stage of the Appropriation (2015/16 Estimates) Bill with eight hours and 50 minutes left in the Estimates Debate.

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