'Misleading' flag vote form claim debunked


A claim the Hindi translation of the voting form for the second flag referendum is misleading voters has been rubbished by the Electoral Commission.

New Zealand First believes the 100,000 people fluent in Hindi have been given the wrong instructions, and has called for the referendum to end.

MP Mahesh Bindra, who can read Hindi, says the translation on how to vote should read "tick the flag you want to be the New Zealand flag".

However, he claimed it actually read "tick the flag you want to be the NEW New Zealand flag".

"That's misleading. I think it's manipulating -- the voters get a different impression from the language," he says.

"I would think it was intentional to sway the voters."

But the Commission says when the question over the wording was raised, it immediately double checked with its translation services provider to make sure the translation was right.    

"The Commission's translation services provider has confirmed the content according to its internal quality-assurance process, which involves peer review by a professional translator.

"They have confirmed that the translation accurately represents the first instruction in Hindi."

NZ First leader Winston Peters said the apparent flaw in the voting form is a ploy to get people to vote for "the Prime Minister's flag" and "now has some serious explaining to do".

John Key said any questions about the translation would need to be asked of the Commission because they act independently.

"I don't think that would be right, but you'd have to ask them."

The Commission would not comment further on the translation.

Earlier this week, Newshub helped debunk an online conspiracy about the layout of the form claiming the placement of the silver fern flag gave it a disadvantage.

However, the Commission said the placement of the flags was chosen at random according to the legislation and was witnessed by a district court judge.