Too late to swap Red Peak

Yesterday the ACT Party said that 21 September was the latest that Red Peak could be swapped with another of the final four flag designs. From their Free Press weekly newsletter:

Last Day for Red Peak
Free Press has campaigned for Red Peak to be included in the ballot.  With 69 per cent of New Zealanders opposed to change upon seeing the options, the Prime Minister’s project needs a circuit breaker.  The legislation says the final four flags must be identified 60 days before the referendum period begins, and it’s supposed to start on November 20.  The PM should sub one of the options that’s created zero enthusiasm off, and sub Red Peak on.

It wasn’t done yesterday so that option has now run out of time.

Stuff has more details in Red Peak stalemate continues as deadline looms over its inclusion in flag referendum.

The only way the design could be added as a fifth option is by a legislative change, but that would not be required if the Government decided it wanted to swap it out for one of the current finalists.

A spokesman from Deputy Prime Minister Bill English’s office said that appeared to be in line with the August 31 “order in council” establishing the referendum on the four finalists.

It’s understood that applied to any move to swap one of the four flags out for a different option. But it was still unclear whether or not there was time for new legislation to add a fifth design.

But it seems clear that neither John Key nor Andrew Little are going to reach an agreement to put through legislation that would allow Red Peak to be added.

Key has said he would consider it if Labour backed a law change to allow it, without using the opportunity to attempt to change the referendum process.

Labour leader Andrew Little has said his caucus would support Red Peak being included, either as a replacement or an extra option, as long as there was a yes/no vote in the first referendum.

On Monday, Key told media he did not buy Little’s later assertions that he would be willing to discuss the design “in good faith and without pre-conditions”.

Despite Little previously supporting flag change and despite flag change being Labour Party policy Little and Labour have opposed and tried to sabotage this flag change process, citing amongst other things that it is a Key ‘vanity project’.

Labour reacted quickly and poorly to Key’s offer to possibly consider legislation, demanding much more extensive change to the referendum process as well. In response Key said he would only consider adding Red Peak without any other changes, resulting in a stalemate.

“But if you take a step back … I actually think the process has been a good one. We’ve done it on a very cross-party basis, we’ve sought the very best advice we can, and it’s been an extremely thorough process.

“We’ve accepted that advice and it’s really not negotiable,” Key said.

If the Opposition introduced a proposed amendment to a new bill, Key said he was confident the Government would not lose a vote on it (the bill).

But he was still not prepared to run a new bill through the house.

This bill was opposed so did not proceed. It was noted that the flag bill was not included in the Members’ ballot later in the week.

“The question isn’t about winning it, the question is [that] we have had a process and that process is to accept what the flag committee recommended to Cabinet.”We’re quite comfortable with that process. If other political parties felt really strongly about change – i.e. adding another flag, or proposing to drop one of the other flags to stop the need for legislation, as I said last week, we were genuinely open to that.

“But it required them to actually play ball and be reasonable and supportive of the process. I think that’s where that’s falling down.”

So it looks like we have passed Red Peak. Even the twitterrati seems to have moved on to other things, #RedPeak appeared to fizzle out about a week ago.

Leave a comment

19 Comments

  1. What about a fifth “write-in” option to give those who simply cannot abide the committee’s choices a reason to vote for whatever they prefer? Obviously there would be little chance of lesser flags winning but at least it would be “democratic”.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd September 2015

      Grotesquely ugly mess that only a socialist loony could love. Good riddance.

      Reply
      • Like that socialist looney David Seymour.

        It is quite a typical MO to try and make this a left/right issue, especially when addressing the real issue seems too hard.

        Reply
        • DaveG

           /  22nd September 2015

          It was MADE a left right issue by the Media Party, and the Labour Party, end of story. They picked it up and used it as a battering ram to TRY and sway the legitimate and pre determined selection process. A petition of 50,000 (odd) people means LESS than 0.05% of the voting population, its a dead duck, and the logo of a USA engineering firm. No one wants it.

          Reply
  2. So it looks like we have passed Red Peak. Even the twitterrati seems to have moved on to other things, #RedPeak appeared to fizzle out about a week ago.

    I find your disdain amusing. Red Peak generate more debate and more enthusiasm than any other flags combined. In fact without red peak there would have been hardly any talk of the flag referendum at all.

    If it did fizzle out, at least there was something to fizzle out.

    Because of the shambles of a process that this was and the inability or rather unwillingness to correct it, it now looks pretty dire for a change.

    John Key has the numbers to make the change, he didn’t need Labour to initiate the process, he doesn’t need Labour to change it. So complaining about Labour not rubberstamping John Key’s process is a bit of a red herring.

    Anyway, if John Key ends up spending $27m and the current flag remains (which unfortunately now looks more likely than not), the public are certainly not going to blame Labour.

    At the end of the day, if you design (pardon the pun) a crap process, you get a crap result.

    Reply
    • And if you get numerous people and parties crapping on the process you get a crappy process – which was of course Labour’s aim.

      Reply
      • That’s just complete nonsense.
        How did anything that Labour did or say have any affect on the process? Nothing was changed at all. The process continues as it was designed and intended.

        Blaming Labour for this failure is just lazy and lame and fails to acknowledge where the actual problem lies.

        Do you think that having a discussion about the process or criticising it or suggesting changes is “crapping all over the process”? If someone is not championing you point of view unreservedly, are they unworthy of having an opinion.

        The failure of the government to properly set up a process and champion the change adequately lies solely with the government, not with the opposition.

        National (not Labour) did a crap job with the flag referendum and therefore New Zealand is worse off.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd September 2015

      There was nothing wrong with the process other than the people who didn’t want it to succeed – a bizarre combination of conservatives and Lefties. And Gareth Morgan’s ego.

      Reply
      • Sorry, I am confused, wasn’t the process meant that people would have a choice and a say?
        They are having their say and you don’t like it? Too bad.

        So a government who has nearly 50% of the vote and a PM who is one of the most popular ones in recent history can’t convince more than a 3rd of the voters of his point of view.
        But it’s the left who’s to blame. Yeah right.

        Reply
  3. Mike C

     /  22nd September 2015

    Andrew Little’s behaviour trying to attach conditions to negotiating with John Key, reminds me of when the Maori King cut off his own nose to spite his face when he demanded to spend a lot more time with Prince William than he had been given on the Royal Visit 🙂

    Reply
    • HONGI

       /  22nd September 2015

      Not sure you’re correct there with your reference to the Maori King’s nose Mike C.
      I think you’ll find it’s always looked like that..

      Reply
  4. who cares, its clear the flag vote will be for no change.

    Reply
  5. jamie

     /  22nd September 2015

    It’s not just “red peak” that has fizzled out. It’s the chance to change the flag that has fizzled out.

    Personally I don’t care for the “red peak” design, but it is the only one that seemed to get any traction. With that possibility gone, I predict that the vast majority will utter a collective “meh” and move on to more important things like rugby world cups and christmas holidays, pausing briefly to vote “no thank you” to the second referendum.

    As for Key, he has blown his chance. He never needed Labour to alter the flag options – according to the legislation, the four final flag options are decided by the Cabinet, not by the parliament and not as Key has laughably tried to suggest, the opposition.

    With the backing of his Cabinet, he could have chosen at any time to swap one of the four for red peak, cut Labour out of the discussion, and quite likely cemented his legacy as the PM who changed the flag.

    That ship has now sailed. He has badly misread this flag thing right from the start. Whether that points to him “losing his touch” more broadly remains to be seen, but it’s definitely not a good sign for him.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd September 2015

      He’s got more sense. Better the useless insipid current one than the grotesquely ugly red peak. That would really brand the country as a bunch of tasteless idiots.

      Reply
      • jamie

         /  22nd September 2015

        I see your grotesque red peak and raise you four more tasteless idiotic flags 😀

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  22nd September 2015

          No, I could live with any of the official four. I wonder how much the Canadian flag has added to their GDP. Quite a bit I would guess. It has made a very substantial contribution to their national brand and identity.

          Of course the Left are perfectly entitled to be as thick as a brick and to make the country and themselves poorer. This is no surprise. I realised at age 12 I was going to have to live my life amongst a huge number of stupid adults. It kept me awake at night for quite a while but I’ve got used to it.

          Reply
          • jamie

             /  23rd September 2015

            Trying to make the flag a left/right issue is the wrong approach, Alan. It’s probably what has sunk the chance of changing it.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd September 2015

              It was the Left who took the opportunity to do this, seizing on the cost as the excuse to overturn their own policy. The conservatives who have their own special stupid corner were always going to oppose change.

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