17 Feb 2016

Govt MPs meet on flagging flag support

8:16 pm on 17 February 2016

A group of government MPs met today to work out how to drum up more public support for changing the flag.

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The public will next month choose between the two flags. Photo: RNZ

Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry said she organised the meeting so MPs who are in favour of change in next month's flag referendum could meet Change the Flag campaign organiser Lewis Holden.

Ms Barry would not be interviewed but said in a statement MPs had an informal get together with Mr Holden to discuss what he had planned for the next few weeks.

Prime Minister John Key earlier rejected the suggestion it was a crisis meeting and said the government was not panicking about the result of next month's referendum.

Mr Key said it was simply a meeting of politicians who supported change.

"So some MPs have said they support change, some don't, but some like-minded ones actually like the idea of seeing how they can continue to garner support.

"There's nothing new. We meet on that stuff all the time."

A second referendum will be held next month, where voters will choose between the current flag and the Blue and Black Silver Fern flag designed by Kyle Lockwood.

Recent polls have suggested the public remains largely opposed to changing the flag - despite the government having spent $26 million on two referendums.

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