Flag, Helen Clark

Clark government advised to ensure flag change if public supports it

There was a fascinating revelation in the fine print of Saturday’s Herald article about Helen Clark’s flag preference.

It seems her government was advised in 2004 not to lead any flag debate, but that if there was a mood for change, the government should take steps to drive the change through:

The advice given to Helen Clark was from former Cabinet Secretary Diane Morcom, and the chief executive of the Culture and Heritage Ministry.

Released this week by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, it advised Helen Clark that the Government should not lead the initial stage of the process – public debate about whether to change the flag.

But if it was established that there was wide support to change the flag, the Government should get involved to ensure that the process for change succeeded. If it didn’t succeed it could damage the flag as a unifying symbol.

Well, well, well. This begs the question: is the Key government being given similar advice?



One thought on “Clark government advised to ensure flag change if public supports it

  1. Did you get the Cabinet papers on this John?

    No Lewis, I was simply quoting the Herald.

    I’d like to think that advice would be the same for a monarchist PM as a republican one, but the bureaucracy was so hopelessly sycophantic under Clark that it may not have been truly independent.

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