The Flag Consideration Project announced today that the formal process for the New Zealand public to consider the national flag had begun.
Kiwis can participate online and a roadshow including community meetings and engagement hui will be held across the country. These meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss the flag and what it should signify about New Zealand, starting in the South Island with the first hui on Saturday 16 May in Christchurch.
Flag Consideration Panel chair, Emeritus Professor John Burrows, said whether the public voted to change the flag or not; this was the first time in history the public has had the opportunity to discuss options and have a say in the future of the New Zealand flag.
“It is important that we, the Panel, provide as many opportunities as possible for New Zealanders to get involved. Anyone can attend a community workshop, hold their own discussion or share their thoughts online.
Resource tools, including a community kit and schools resource kit, are available. For example, schools can run their own flag discussions and referendums to mirror the formal process as part of their own learning exercise,” said Professor Burrows.
“New Zealanders can join the conversation online at www.standfor.co.nz to share their thoughts on what they believe the flag should stand for. These contributions, as well as those from community meetings, will provide us valuable insights and form the criteria for the Panel to consider designs knowing what is most important to everyone.
Anyone participating can also choose to have their name etched on a national flag pole monument, Te Pou Herenga Tangata (the post that binds the people together), that will commemorate this historical event and be erected at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington,” said Professor Burrows.
Flag designs can be uploaded at www.flag.govt.nz from now until 16 July 2015.
There will be two postal referendums held by the government. This process and dates are subject to legislation currently progressing through Parliament. It is proposed the first will be held this year between 20 November and 11 December where eligible voters will be asked to rank the shortlist of four flag alternatives. Between 3 and 24 March 2016, the choice will be between the current New Zealand flag or to change to the preferred alternative determined by the first referendum.
Updated on 23rd July 2015