Parliament divided over Red Peak addition

  • 15/09/2015

Momentum is building behind the Red Peak flag design, with John Key giving his strongest indication yet it could be added as a fifth option.

It was excluded by the Flag Consideration Panel, but there has been a groundswell of support to have it included in November's referendum.

The Prime Minister says if all parties apart from New Zealand First agree to a law change allowing five finalists, he would introduce the amendments to Parliament.

So far it has support from ACT and the Maori Party, and Greens co-leader James Shaw, though Mr Shaw says the whole party has yet to discuss the idea.

ACT leader David Seymour has been campaigning to have the design added, while United Future leader Peter Dunne is on the fence.

"I'm not adverse to Red Peak as a flag, but I'm mindful of the fact I'm one person out of 4.4 million," Mr Dunne says. "I think we've gone through a process, and frankly I think the process should stand or fall."

Mr Dunne says the whole process is turning to custard and Mr Shaw agrees.

"The process was flawed in its design and its execution," he says. "To have Red Peak included would be the best outcome."

Mr Seymour says last minute changes aren't unusual, pointing out that both Canada and South Africa selected flags that were late-runners.

An online petition asking for the design to be added to the referendum is currently closing in on 50,000 signatures.