30 Jan 2014

Call for people to design flag

6:33 am on 30 January 2014

A Maori sovereignty group says the people should be responsible for any re-design of the national flag - not the Government.

Prime Minister John Key has raised the prospect of holding a referendum on changing the national symbol during this year's election.

He says voters would be able to choose between the current flag or another option picked by the Government.

But sovereignty group Te Ata Tino Toa says Mr Key is a bit lost over who should be making choices about a flag and that suggestions for an alternative flag should be driven by the public, not ministers.

Te Ata Tino Toa is pushing for schools and prisons with Maori focus units to fly the Tino Rangatiratanga flag on Waitangi Day.

Spokesperson Te Ao Pritchard says any new flag needs to represent all cultures in New Zealand.

Mr Key says while it's not the number one issue, he'll consult his senior ministers to decide whether to seek public opinion.