February 25, 2016
Key divisive factor in flag vote
A Flag Consideration Panel member says the debate has been worthwhile, even if people vote against it next week.
Voting papers go out next week on the second referendum, where people get the chance to choose between the existing flag and the Kyle Lockwood black and blue fern design.
Malcolm Mulholland says it's the first time New Zealanders have been given a chance to say what they think of their flag.
He says while the panel tried to stay neutral, the debate has become anything but – which he would like to see change.
"Think about it in terms of a debate around identity as opposed to what I think is happening lately, which is more around political division. So do you like John Key or not ? a lot of people are deciding on the flag referendum in terms of that question. I don't necessarily think that that's a healthy way to look at it to be honest," he says.
Malcolm Mulholland says 90 flag facts including a maori dimension are contained in a new e-book, New Zealand Flag Facts, which is available from www.govt.nz/flag
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