Oh great John, now look what you’ve started

Spending the blunt end of $30m on a new flag is making the rest of the idiots come out of the woodwork.

As pressure builds to change the New Zealand flag, a Canterbury pensioner has renewed his one-man campaign against the national anthem.

Songwriter David Smith says the anthem violates Kiwis’ human rights and should be changed. He has spent $10,000 and two years campaigning.

Smith, 87, has written alternative lyrics, set to the existing anthem melody, that he considers more appropriate for what he says is a largely secular nation.

God Defend New Zealand was written in 1876 and has long been considered the national anthem, despite God Save the Queen having equal legal status. However, Smith says the anthem, with its many references to religious belief, is out of date and violates the human rights of citizens who were not religious.

He wants the lyrics changed to be secular.

“We deserve better.”

He says the idea of God defending New Zealand is not a strong, positive message to deliver to the rest of the world. He proposes lyrics promoting New Zealand’s beaches, colonial and Maori history and snow-covered mountains.

While he would like his lyrics chosen for a replacement national anthem, he would be happy to see a competition allowing the public to choose new lyrics.

He wants to change the lyrics, but keep the tune.

What else can we change?  Becoming a republic is obvious, although the recent decision about Maori never having ceded sovereignty might get in the way of that.

Changing the flag is a non-issue, and quite likely to be as important to Key as the train set is to Len:  it is a legacy item.

And a very, very clever distraction that can be brought up at any time to change the narrative away from something that is negative to National.  Because nothing gets us going like changing the flag.  And yes, it is that cynical.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.