Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project at a time when New Zealand can least afford it.
“He has committed the country to spending another $10 million on the first referendum in November and refused to put a simple “yes or no” question into the mix.
“Today we have added two Supplementary Order Papers to the flag referendum bill, one seeking to defer the referendum for five years and the second to stop the final referendum if voter apathy continues at its current level.
“New Zealanders all around the country have told us now is not the right time to change the flag. Almost no one turned up at public events to promote it, millions of dollars were wasted on websites and postcards and a celebrity panel of experts. And now John Key is continuing to push his pet project through despite overwhelming opposition.
“Even those who want to change the flag are appalled at the process that has been used.
“These SOPs offer a final chance to save some of the millions of dollars being spent by a Government out of touch with public opinion.
“We would cancel the whole process tomorrow if we could and save $17 million that should be spent on building affordable homes or insulating cold Kiwi houses.
“If fewer than half of the country turns out to vote in John Key’s referendum in November, then even he must admit it is an abject failure,” Andrew Little says.