Immigrants should get to have their say when it comes to choosing New Zealand’s flag in the upcoming referendum, according to the Change the NZ Flag chairman.
Immigrants with New Zealand residency are presently allowed to vote in the referendum, but NZ First leader Winston Peters has argued that “outsiders” such as immigrants shouldn’t be heard.
“Why should thousands of immigrants who have come here in recent years be involved in making a decision that goes, in the words of the flag committee, to the very heart of who we are and what we are as a nation?” he said.
“You will not find any other country that would allow outsiders to make a decision about their national identity and it certainly should not happen here.”
But Change the NZ Flag chairman Lewis Holden rebuked the NZ First leader and said the alternate fern and stars flag will unite all New Zealanders under a new, fresh banner.
“I had hoped Mr Peters would have grown tired of playing the immigrant card,” he said today.
“Some people who have residency may have lived in New Zealand for very long periods of time and have legitimate reasons to keep the passport of another country.”
Peters trying to compete with Donald Trump.
A permanent resident in not an outsider and it is insulting to label them so.
Anyone on the electoral roll should be allowed to vote in the referendum.
There is a wider issue of whether overall voting rights should be restricted to citizens. I think there are some benefits to this (to encourage citizenship), but if you ever changed you’d grandfather in existing residents. No one should ever lose the right to vote, unless they go to prison etc.