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Time for a new flag?

3 January 2006

Time for a new flag?

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The largest ever representation of the silver fern has been planted in a maize (corn) field in Halswell, Christchurch, in an effort to find out how many people think New Zealand needs a new flag.

Halswell maize maze owner Steve Godfrey has planted three football fields of maize with an alternative design to New Zealand’s present flag. His choice – a Silver Fern and Southern Cross star combination.

“I want to see whether in Christchurch, New Zealand’s most English of cities, people are interested in moving away from a flag that has its origins in England to a flag that has its origins in New Zealand” says Mr Godfrey. “This largest ever representation of the silver fern is just one possible design for a new flag.”

To gauge public opinion, every person that visits the Halswell maize maze will be asked whether or not New Zealand needs a new flag and if so give an indication of what that new flag should be. Given that over 25,000 people are expected to visit the maze, Mr Godfrey expects the result to reasonably indicate city wide opinion.

“In previous travels around the world I always found that people see our current flag and think it is Australia’s or else they don’t even know what it is. However everyone always seems to recognise the silver fern. To me it makes sense to change the flag and give ourselves a bit more of an identity” says Mr Godfrey.

The fern, at a length of 150m, is also accompanied by the four stars of the Southern Cross, bringing together in one giant design two of the most famous symbols of New Zealand.

The maze, which is made out of approximately a quarter of a million GE free maize seeds, is located on the corner of Halswell Junction Road and Springs Road and opens to the public tomorrow Wednesday 4 January. The maze has around 2km of pathways.

In addition to the maze, 23 other entertainment activities are on offer at the family attraction, which is called Amaze’n Stuff.

Amaze’n Stuff remains open until early May when the six foot tall corn maze will be cut down. The corn is then fed to cows.

ENDS

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