New Zealand ponders gender-neutral anthem as Canada takes the plunge

Canadian athletes are being reminded to sing the new version of their national anthem at the Winter Games opening ceremony tonight.

A gender-neutral revision of the anthem became official this week.

Canadian MPs have officially sung the new 'gender-neutral' anthem in Parliament for the first time, with a one-line revision that changes "True patriot love, in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command".

But should New Zealand follow suit?

The second and fifth verses of the English version of 'God Defend New Zealand' have references to "man" or "men".

Newshub asked Kiwis whether that should change.

"Absolutely, gender neutral would be really good," said one person.

"Yes, I suppose it should be gender neutral," said another.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage says it has had feedback about the anthem being old fashioned and regarding the religious tone of it, but it has not had any requests to make it gender neutral.

Culture and Heritage Minister Jacinda Ardern could not be reached for comment, nor could Women's Minister Julie Anne Genter.

The matter's not high on the Opposition's priority list.

"I don't think it's the biggest issue on people's minds," said Opposition Leader Bill English.

So, New Zealand's anthem will still refer to men for now.