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Flag Consideration Panel members announced

Flag Consideration Panel members announced


The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says.

The panel will be chaired by former deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Canterbury Emeritus Professor John Burrows, ONZM, QC of Christchurch who was co-chair of the Constitutional Advisory Panel. Writer and reviewer Kate de Goldi of Wellington will be the deputy chair of the Flag Consideration Panel.

The other 10 members are:

Nicky Bell – CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand and board director, Auckland

Peter Chin, CNZM – Former Mayor of Dunedin, director and trustee, Dunedin

Julie Christie, ONZM – Director of Julie Christie Inc. and board member, Auckland

Rod Drury – CEO of Xero and technology entrepreneur, Havelock North

Beatrice Faumuina, ONZM – Olympian, Commonwealth gold medallist, ASB Head of Talent & People Strategy, board member and trustee, Waitakere

Lt Gen (Rtd) Rhys Jones, CNZM – Former Chief of NZ Defence Force, Wellington

Stephen Jones – Invercargill Youth Councillor, Invercargill

Sir Brian Lochore, ONZ, KNZM, OBE – Former All Blacks captain, coach and administrator, Masterton

Malcolm Mulholland – Academic and flag historian, Palmerston North

Hana O’Regan – Academic, Māori studies and te reo Māori, Christchurch

“Many New Zealanders were considered for the panel following nominations by a cross-party group of MPs,” Mr English said.

“I am pleased with the panel’s independence, calibre and experience and each member has committed to undertake the flag consideration process carefully, respectfully and with no presumption in favour of change.”

The panel will hold its first meeting in early March. It will:

• Consider and oversee a public engagement process to begin in May.

• Invite New Zealanders to send in designs or ideas regarding a possible alternative flag.

• Shortlist designs for the first postal referendum, which will be held this year using a preferential voting system, inviting voters to rank the designs in order of preference.

The winning design will run off against the current New Zealand flag in a second, binding referendum to be held next year using the First Past the Post voting system. A New Zealand Flags Referendums Bill containing these measures will be introduced to Parliament shortly.

“This process will give New Zealanders the rare privilege of having a say on one of the most important symbols of our nation,” Mr English says.

“I hope New Zealanders will take the opportunity to listen and talk to each other and consider the design suggestions that come forward before making their minds up and taking part in the referendums.”


ends

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