The Greens have announced:
The Green Party will today ask Parliament to allow it to introduce a Bill offering New Zealanders the choice of the popular Red Peak flag as a fifth option in the upcoming flag referendum.
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes will seek the leave of Parliament to introduce the New Zealand Flag Referendum Amendment Bill 2015 and put it at the top of the order paper. This requires the support of every MP in Parliament if it is to be successful.
It won’t be given leave, but the important part is down further:
“We won’t be supporting any changes other parties may put up to this Bill. We want to keep it simple and allow the opportunity for Red Peak to be included without re-litigating the whole referendum process.
The Greens are saying they will not back Labour’s demand to sabotage the process by having a yes/no vote before we even know the final alternative design.
“If the Bill is blocked today, we would call on the Government to adopt it as its own, to put politics aside and provide the choice that New Zealanders clearly want,” Mr Hughes said.
The bill would then have the support of National, Greens, Maori Party, ACT and (presumably) United Future. Is that enough to meet what the PM has said he wants – cross-party support?
If it then becomes a Government bill, Labour then has to decide whether to try and vote the red peak bill down, even after their amendments fail. They’d piss off a lot of red peak supporters if they do.
If the bill passes then the first referendum will have five flags, and people will get to rank them for 1 to 5.
UPDATE: The Herald reports:
The Red Peak flag will be added as a fifth option in the flag referendum, Prime Minister John Key has confirmed.
“The whole way through I have said my preference is to stick wwith the process that the officials gave us – accept the four [designs already selected].
“I said I was prepared to go outside of that but I just didn’t want people playing games. The Greens have been very, very straight – they have said, here is a straight bill.
“In the end, I’m not wanting to be the one that stands in the way of people having some choice.”
I’m looking forward to people campaigning for their preferred design.