The Tribune (NZ) - - VIEWS - Ken Bate­man Palmer­ston North Don Robert­son Palmer­ston North

A ‘new’ New Zealand flag?

Wow, ev­ery­body seems to have an opin­ion.

Be­fore we choose a new flag or even de­cide whether we want to change, the first ques­tions should be ‘‘Why do we have a na­tional flag?’’ ‘‘What pur­pose does it serve?"

The pri­mary rea­son is so that we can recog­nise other na­tions.

With that in mind, can you easily iden­tify the Ger­man, Bel­gium, French, Rus­sian, Ar­me­nian, Dutch, Ro­ma­nian, Ir­ish, Ital­ian and Egyp­tian flags? Thought not. Now put the Eif­fel Tower on the French flag, pyra­mids on the Egyp­tian flag, sham­rock on the Ir­ish flag and how easy does it be­come.

The Cana­di­ans re­alised this 50 years ago. Bingo.

Out­side of New Zealand and Aus­tralia, 99 per cent of the world pop­u­la­tion can­not tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween our flags.

As­sum­ing that we want to be recog­nised by our na­tional flag, we need a de­sign that shouts ‘‘New Zealand"to the world.

The cur­rent fad to pick the ‘‘Red Peak’’ flag is flawed. Tome it says a red tent (North Amer­i­can In­di­ans) or a snow capped moun­tain (Ever­est, Nepal).

You know (and some Aus­tralians know) NZ has a few moun­tains but is that how ‘‘the world’’ thinks of NZ? Thought not.

We must not be ar­ro­gant and think that be­cause we know it’s our flag, ev­ery­body else (the world) will also know it’s our flag.

For me? Any de­sign with the sil­ver fern.


A big thank you to all our city coun­cil­lors who, have in the past, voted to give the city’s se­nior cit­i­zens two hours of free park­ing.

Whether long term res­i­dents or re­cent ar­rivals, the over 65s are bound to have vary­ing in­comes. Some have sav­ings on top of Na­tional Su­per­an­nu­a­tion, to­gether with as­sets that they have been able to ac­crue over the years. Oth­ers will be liv­ing on the base pen­sion alone.

Life’s cir­cum­stances can change in a trice – white col­lar crime, and life’s hard knocks make fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als un­able to save.

It is highly likely that the par­ents of to­day’s se­nior cit­i­zens faced the rigours of the de­pres­sion and the aus­ter­ity of World War II.

There is no doubt that some will have big­ger nest-eggs than oth­ers, ir­re­spec­tive of in­come large num­bers of the su­per­an­nu­atants swell the ranks of the vol­un­teer army that keeps the Can­cer So­ci­ety, Hos­pice, Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau, Meals on Wheels and such run­ning smoothly.

Na­tional Su­per­an­nu­a­tion and ACC are uni­ver­sal in their ap­pli­ca­tion and should re­main so. The for­mer iswell known for its sim­plic­ity.

The prin­ci­ple of uni­ver­sal­ity is rightly ap­plied to the pro­vi­sion of free park­ing for the over 65s and should re­main in place.


Are there any other mo­bil­ity scooter pilots here in Palmer­ston North who are fed up with the atro­cious con­di­tion of the lo­cal foot­paths?

Are you fed up with hav­ing to find al­ter­na­tive routes be­cause the likes of Cho­rus and other com­pa­nies have taken up the en­tire foot­path with­out giv­ing a safe or prac­ti­cal way past?

Are you sick of com­ing into con­flict with peo­ple’s front gar­dens out of con­trol and over tak­ing the foot­path?

Does any­one have any ideas on what to do about this, are you in­ter­ested in a com­bined ef­fort to get the PNCC to give us de­cent paths? If you are, drop me an e-mail- al­

AlWin­der Palmer­ston North HAVE A SAY Letters can be emailed to tri­ or posted to PO Box 3, Palmer­ston North to be re­ceived by 4pm on the Thurs­day prior to pub­li­ca­tion.

The Fire the Lazer! flag de­sign by James Gray that at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Bri­tish satirist John Oliver in an Au­gust episode of Last

Week Tonight on US TV.

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