Flag debate: what are the options?
"An obvious and unnecessary distraction. Excuse me Mr Key, your strategy is showing"Featured comment
Prime Minister John Key has indicated a choice over a change in the country's flag design could be put to vote this year.
Mr Key says he may put the flag debate to referendum as part of this year’s election. The prime minister had backed replacing the current Union Jack with Southern Cross flag with a silver fern in 2010.
Most political parties backed the proposal - Labour's internal affairs spokesman, Trevor Mallard, says his party supports a referendum.
United Future leader Peter Dunne said the present flag "smacks of British imperialism" and recommended the Union Jack be removed.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says any new design will be an improvement.
He has indicated his preference is the tino rangatiratanga flag. Greens co-leader Russel Norman said he supported a change but the design should not be left to the cabinet.
Act Party leader John Banks opposes any change, saying New Zealand soldiers had fought and died under the flag in many campaigns.