On my walk this morning I was thinking about the flag referendum and concluded that the alternative one needs some champions.
I got home and found it has several:
All Blacks’ great Dan Carter is just one of a number of high profile New Zealanders to have joined a campaign to support changing the New Zealand flag.
The 112-Test veteran appears in a short video along with other sports, business, cultural and civic leaders. Other kiwis stepping up to vote for change include Silver Fern Maria Tutaia, New Zealander of the year finalist Rob Fenwick, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, former Mayor Sir Bob Parker, business leader Rob Fyfe and playwright Roger Hall to name just a few.
There’s another champion not in the video.
New Zealander of the Year Richie McCaw has just told Kathryn Ryan he favours the new flag.
Back to the media release:
These leaders come from a wide variety of backgrounds and political persuasions, and more leaders are expected to join the campaign. The video also features members of the public advocating for change.
New Zealand is the only country in the world to vote on its flag and the campaign encourages kiwis to take the once in a lifetime chance to change it.
Campaign Chairman Lewis Holden says he was struck by the passion of the high profile New Zealanders who have joined the campaign.
“Though the polls show we’re the underdogs, we’ve got a great team that’s prepared to advocate for change and explain why having a new flag makes sense economically, culturally and internationally.”
Mr Holden says a recent poll of 1000 people by Curia Research showed support for the new flag was growing, while support for the old flag had dropped to just 56% from a high of 69% last September.
“The trend suggests it could be much closer than people think and we believe that momentum is swinging towards change. I think New Zealand is ready for a new flag after 114 years of the old one.”
Mr Holden said the video would be highly visible on social media, with more than half a million views expected over the coming weeks.
“I think people will engage with this campaign and would like to hear the arguments for change from some of our most successful New Zealanders.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to vote for change and get a flag that represents New Zealand and New Zealanders in the 21st Century.”
Some people genuinely don’t want change and some are open to it but are not enthusiastic about the alternative to vote for it.
There are also people who want change and will vote for it.
Then there are the people who want change but have let politics and what they see as an opportunity to knock Prime Minister John Key trump that.
It would disappointing and a waste of both money and opportunity if those political tragics held sway.
It is good to see people across the political spectrum and with no overt political preferences in the video because this shouldn’t be about political partisanship.
The first country in the world to give women the vote is the first to offer its citizens a choice about its flag.
We should celebrate that and vote for change or not because that’s what we want and not waste the vote on petty politics.