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MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand First – Press Release/Statement

Headline: National Believes It Can Ignore Flag Change Opposition

The government plans to ride roughshod over opposition to the flag referendum process, the Finance Minister Bill English confirmed in Parliament today.

“Even if more Kiwis cast a protest vote than vote for one of the five alternative flag options, the government says it will refuse to consider the weight of opposition,” says Spokesperson on Justice Denis O’Rourke.

“However, the Key government is sensitive to signs of disapproval, as seen by the sudden decision to change the law to add a fifth option to possible flag alternatives.

“It is therefore likely that there could be a desperate desire to placate voters if the protest vote is overwhelming.

“Anyone who believes the referendum process is flawed should cast a protest vote by writing ‘KOF’ or ‘Keep Our Flag’ on the ballot paper. This will be counted as ‘informal’.

“We must send an unequivocal message that the first referendum should have asked: ‘Do you want a change of flag?’. A strong vote will mean there is no credibility in a second vote and savings for taxpayers of at least part of the $26 million referendum cost.

“A strong informal vote will test the government’s determination.

“They must listen to the voice of New Zealanders. Democracy will not be served if a minority is allowed to decide on a change of flag.”