New Zealand First says only citizens should be able to vote in the flag referendum.
Currently, to be eligible to enrol with the Electoral Commission, a person must be a permanent resident or a citizen.
But New Zealand First MP Winston Peters said only citizens should have the right to vote on the future of the flag.
"If you want to have a say in a flag, surely your belief is that you want to be, seriously, part of the country and make a commitment to it.
"It's that lack of entitlement that we're talking about that should not entitle them to have a vote."
No other country allowed non-citizens to make a decision about their national identity and it should not happen here, he said.
In the second and final referendum next month, voters will choose between the current flag and the Blue and Black Silver Fern flag designed by Kyle Lockwood.