World leaders 'amused' by NZ flag debate

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully (Simon Wong / 3 News)
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully (Simon Wong / 3 News)

Talk of changing the New Zealand flag is not only a discussion point across the nation, but it's also a source of "banter" for world leaders, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.

The flag is the subject of small talk at his many high-powered meetings, with Mr McCully saying his foreign counterparts sometimes ask how and why New Zealand could be changing its flag.

But he insists it's never been the main agenda.

"Sometimes it's raised with me, but not as a main item of foreign policy business, but rather as an item of discussion or amusement.

"I just make the point we've got a very good process whereby the public will make the decisions and you can contrast this with other countries, which have made these changes without consultation of the public," Mr McCully says.

Because the possible flag change is reported in the New Zealand media, those he meets can be briefed and have their attention drawn to it "as a matter of interest".

But while Mr McCully is happy to talk to others leaders about the issue, he wouldn't say which side of the debate he is on, which of the four alternatives flags he prefers or his opinion on the Red Peak design.

3 News