The Tribune (NZ) - - VIEWS -

Go­ing by the lat­est polls it would ap­pear we will be keep­ing the ‘Aus­tralian flag num­ber two’.

While I can’t un­der­stand why the ma­jor­ity of New Zealan­der’s would want to keep the cur­rent flag, there is an old English say­ing that comes to mind: ‘‘There’s nowt so queer as folk’’.

And one of those queer folk is lo­cal gar­den­ing ex­pert, Wally Richards. He reck­ons [ The Tribune, March 2] ex All Black Richie McCaw, who turned down the of­fer of a knight­hood, is sup­port­ing a change of flag to curry favour with the PM.

The fact of the mat­ter is that when McCaw saw the Aus­tralian and New Zealand flags hang­ing next to each other at the last Rugby World Cup cham­pi­onships he re­alised how sim­i­lar in ap­pear­ance they were and reck­oned we should have a new one. Sim­ple as that.

Wally also reck­ons the fern on the pro­posed flag looks like a feather to him. Could I sug­gest Wally in­vests in a new pair of spec­ta­cles.

I agree with McCaw. We def­i­nitely need a new flag. At this mo­ment in time it looks like we aren’t go­ing to get one, but we won’t know for sure un­til the fat lady sings.

I am­heart­ened by the fact that well over one mil­lion New Zealan­ders voted for the Lock­wood de­signs in the flag ref­er­en­dum and a fur­ther 200,000 voted for them as the se­cond choice to the red flag de­sign. Hope­fully the polls will be proved to be wrong.

Mike Stock­dale Palmer­ston North.


Flag it al­ready. In an ef­fort to in­flate sup­port for his flat idea, the Prime Min­is­ter is pur­su­ing two per­verse claims. The first is that, to his tremen­dous sur­prise, the de­bate has been politi­cised. The se­cond is that if the flag isn’t changed now, we will be robbed of this op­por­tu­nity for years to come.

Re­gards the first, ev­ery­one knows any­thing even slightly con­tentious is­su­ing from a sin­gle party will be politi­cised. The way to defuse that is with a cross-party work­ing group to kick the process off. Only sen­si­ble for some­thing this fun­da­men­tal to our iden­tity and fu­ture. But he didn’t go there, leav­ing only him­self to blame for his prob­lem.

Re­gards the se­cond, the whole flag ex­er­cise has fol­lowed a poor process, foisted on us with­out ap­par­ent rea­son. So poor as to make one ask if it was set up to fail. If we are be­ing robbed of the


Yes, I’ve been asked for money by beg­gars at dif­fer­ent times in our city. Yes I’ve some­times felt slightly un­com­fort­able with the ex­pe­ri­ence. But hey I also get ac­costed quite fre­quently on the street by char­ity col­lec­tors, at my door by sales­peo­ple, or on my phone by tele­mar­keters.

They have a way of some­times mak­ing me squirm too.

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