Leaked National Party emails show its MPs are divided over John Key's flag change and that a crisis meeting of MPs has been held to give the campaign a boost.
An email obtained by Newshub shows that only 32 out of 59 National MPs were invited to a meeting about changing the flag today -- meaning about 54 percent of Mr Key's Caucus is in support.
The email follows a Caucus meeting yesterday where the flag was discussed.
It was sent to the following list of recipients:
The invite says: "Following our discussion today at caucus", flag change proponent Lewis Holden would "outline some of the flag change campaign initiatives" and "share our own proven and effective ways to engage people".
The meeting was later moved to Ms Barry's office at the last minute.
The second email was sent to a much smaller list of recipients:
With poll ratings consistently showing a clear majority of New Zealanders want to keep the current flag, the campaign for change is effectively in crisis.
The meeting was originally due to be held at the Backbencher pub for breakfast, with an invite sent out to almost all of National's 59 MPs asking them to come along "if you support the flag change and would like to hear more about the campaign".
Then last night the venue was changed to Maggie Barry's Beehive office, and another email was sent out – but only to 30 MPs. Once you add in John Key and Ms Barry that means 32 MPs are clearly in favour. It is not known exactly where the others stand.
Ms Barry says that only 10 MPs showed up to this morning's meeting.