26 Feb 2015

All Black great on flag panel

5:22 pm on 26 February 2015

An All Black great and Commonwealth Games gold medallist are among the 12-person panel the Government has appointed to help the public decide whether New Zealand needs a new flag.

Tattered New Zealand flag flying high on a yacht in Wellington.

A well-worn New Zealand flag flying high on a yacht in Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said today the panel would be chaired by Emeritus Professor John Burrows, an expert in media law, with writer and reviewer Kate de Goldi as the panel's deputy chair.

Sir Brian Lochore

Sir Brian Lochore Photo: SUPPLIED / Photosport

Among its members are All Black great Sir Brian Lochore and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Beatrice Faumuina.

Mr English said he was pleased with the panel's independence, calibre and experience.

Each member had committed to undertake the flag consideration process carefully, respectfully and with no presumption in favour of change, he said.

The panel will hold its first meeting early next month.

The other members are:

  • Saatchi and Saatchi chief executive Nicky Bell
  • TV supremo Julie Christie
  • Xero chief executive Rod Drury
  • Academic Malcom Mulholland - a flag historian
  • Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin
  • Youth councillor Stephen Jones
  • Maori studies academic Hana O'Regan
  • Former head of defence, Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones

The estimated cost of the flag review project is $25.7 million over two years.

Most of the budget is for two postal referendums totalling $17.3 million, with $6.6 million for public consultation.

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