The Labour Party is calling for the Government's flag referendum to be abandoned because of the cost and what it says is a distinct lack of public interest.
Labour leader Andrew Little said millions of dollars could be saved if the Government dumped what he said was a hugely expensive vanity project.
Mr Little said the public was not interested in changing the flag.
"This is not an issue that many people are taking seriously. We have too many other very important issues that we're confronting at the moment, not the least of which is a major economic slowdown - the Government should focus on that," he said.
"The remaining $17 million [$8 million has been spent so far], that could go a long way to insulating houses, providing meals to kids in schools, things that are actually going to make a difference."
Mr Little said he personally would like the flag to be changed.
Prime Minister John Key today pointed out that one of Labour's policies in last year's general election was to carry out a review of the design of the New Zealand flag.