Someone should tell Winston the flag debate is over already

Changing the New Zealand flag will bring with it a cost of up to $458 million to change passports, according to New Zealand First.

On Thursday, Newshub revealed the Government had no idea what the cost to taxpayers would be to roll out a flag change if the alternative option wins the referendum.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he has since done some further investigating.

“We asked the Minister of Internal Affairs what would the cost be if every valid New Zealand passport had to be recalled and re-issued,” says Mr Peters.

“The minister replied ‘from $0 to $458,221,788’. So, the cost of changing the passports would be $458 million, but by saying $0 suggests no reissue is contemplated by the Government.

“If the alternative flag was adopted we would have the bizarre situation of having our passports with one flag, and our country with another flag.”

I’m fairly sure that current passports wouldn’t be invalidated by having the “wrong” flag on them. As for everyone wanting them re-issued, the cost won’t be one borne by the government. Winston’s $458m will come out of the pockets of those feeling strongly enough to pay for their passport to be reissued with the new flag on it. 

New Zealand First has raised several concerns about the flag referendums, from alleging inaccuracies in the translation on voting papers to expressing anger that immigrants were allowed to vote.

“This is just another example of the Government’s incompetence and the work they never did when they put the issue to the New Zealand public,” says Mr Peters.

“This week the Prime Minister said he was unconcerned that there had been no work done to find out the full cost of a flag change.”

Someone needs to tell Winston he’s flogging a dead horse.

passport2

Especially as I can’t even find the NZ Flag in my current passport. (Perhaps the older ones do?)  It does have lots of Kyle Lockwood-like fern designs all over and through it though.  Perhaps he’s confused with driver licences?

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– Newshub


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