Flag change: Former PM backs current PM

Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, who led the National government between 1997 and 1999, has revealed she supported changing the flag to a silver fern during her time in office. …

“Do they need someone else to speak for them or can we, as New Zealanders, speak for ourselves? I expect to speak for myself,” Shipley said. “I am proud of where we’ve come from but I want my children certainly my two grandchildren who live here and one in Aussie, to speak from themselves. They don’t need Britain to speak for them.”

“I’ll be very disappointed if a young spirited, fleet-footed nation like this still has to clutch on to something that’s got a dubious past in its origin and speaks to a time where, frankly, it is completely irrelevant today. While our history is colonisation, I’m horrified to think that people would allow a colonial symbol to be part of the shadow that flies over us.”

Shipley said her support was nothing to do with backing her successor as National Party leader and prime minister, John Key.

It is interesting how different people see the current and various flags as meaning something quite different.  Shipley is clearly uncomfortable with the notion that New Zealand is a young, colonised, mostly British originated nation and wants to have that removed from the flag.   No matter that it is actually true, and history is what it is.  

The Kyle Lockwood silver fern (red, white and blue) is her pick, with the black, white and blue fern in second place. She said ferns represented new life unfolding and red had chiefly heritage in Maori and Pakeha cultures. ..


Despite her support for removing the Union Jack from the flag, Shipley remains a monarchist, saying the English king or queen serves as an extremely efficient titular head.

But that hasn’t stopped her from wanting to fly a silver fern from the flagpole in her Auckland garden.

“My husband Burton has been walking this new flagpole around the garden trying to decide where it’s going to be put. I have a magnificent woollen current New Zealand flag, but I will be sorely tempted to put one of the change ones up. I’d prefer to.”

“I’ve had the privilege of being Prime Minister and I’ve walked into many war graves and I [didn’t] see the existing flag in any of them.”

So she clearly wants to progress past the notion of having British origins and links by removing the Union Jack from the flag, but at the same time finds the Monarchy as a titular and constitutional platform quite “efficient”.  No problems being British there then.

It’s an absurd argument that contradicts itself in the same interview.

If you haven’t voted in the referendum yet, make a point to do so.  Or not.  But make a clear decision.  Don’t just let time run out on you.


– Sunday Star Times

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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

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