New flag long over­due

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

use? A sil­ver fern, a kiwi, some­times a koru, an All Black strip . . . but the of­fi­cial flag, hardly ever – and when we do, peo­ple who can’t tell the dif­fer­ence call us Aus­tralians. It doesn’t get worse than that. So surely a bit of a dis­cus­sion about a sin­gle, uniquely us im­age – cap­tured in the flag we choose to wave (and wear) is a bit over­due? I’ve al­ways liked the sil­ver fern, and some of the koru op­tions.

I’m not per­suaded by the ar­gu­ment that we have to re­tain the ex­ist­ing flag be­cause our servicemen and women fought and died un­der it. Nor that it has his­tor­i­cal and na­tional sig­nif­i­cance – Bri­tain aban­doned us when I was a boy.

We’ve learned to stand on our own two feet, and we’re very good at it.

Choos­ing a new flag in no way di­min­ishes the sac­ri­fices peo­ple made in the past. But it would sig­nify what’s dif­fer­ent about us and where we come from – maybe even what we stand for.

Change is long over­due.

Iwent along to a re­cent public meet­ing in Wanaka ready to be fired up over pro­posed cuts to fund­ing for Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal. came away a lot bet­ter in­formed and even feel­ing a lit­tle sorry for the South­ern Dis­trict Health Board who fronted up at the meet­ing and even made a con­ces­sion that they needed to think a bit more about this re­gion, and how our hos­pi­tal can be funded in the fu­ture.

The na­tional health sys­tem is a bit like the blood-thirsty plant Au­drey II in Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors.

It doesn’t mat­ter how much blood Sey­mour man­ages to feed her, Au­drey II al­ways wants more with her plain­tive cry of ‘‘feed me Sey­mour, feed me’’.

You could prob­a­bly throw hun­dreds of mil­lions more tax­payer’s dol­lars at the health ser­vice and still have peo­ple ask­ing for more fund­ing for this or that.

Flag de­bate long over­due.

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