A profile of the NZ flag change panel as appointed by the cross party committee of Act Party leader David Seymour, Green MP Kennedy Graham, Labour MP Trevor Mallard, Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox, National MP Jonathan Young and United Future leader Peter Dunne. Winston Peters withdrew from the panel as he considered it unrepresentative of NZ in general and that the flag change proposal was purely a National Party/ John Key idea anyway.
Peters has a point. Seymour is National’s poodle and got very few votes of his own accord. Peter Dunne also has very few voters supporting him. His political fortunes too rest with the favour of John Key and it is the same with Marama Fox. The Conservative Party, who received over 95,000 votes (3.97%) in the election are against the flag change but of course they were not represented. Even though that number of votes exceeds ACT, the Maori Party and United Future put together. (53,824 or 2.23%)
Bill English said on the choice of panelists- “I am pleased with the panel’s independence, calibre and experience, and each member has committed to undertake the flag consideration process carefully, respectfully and with no presumption in favour of change.” I say that statement is patently untrue. The panel is stacked with proponents for flag change and therefore claims to “independence” and “no presumption of change” are obviously false.
Beatrice Faumina- Past olympic shot putt champion. In 2006 she appeared in the New Zealand version of the television series Dancing with the Stars where she was placed second. Since 2006 she has been a presenter on the Television New Zealand Pacific Islands current events programme Tagata Pasifika. Samoan ancestory. Probable vote for change.
Hana O’Regan- University of Otaga lecturer. Lectured for four years in the areas of Māori language, creative writing and the Treaty. The topic of her thesis, Māori tribal identity development, became the basis of her book Ko Tahu Ko Au – Kāi Tahu Tribal identity, that was published in 2000. She left Otago in 1997 to take up a position at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology where she headed the Māori language programme before taking up the position of Head of School in 2000. Probable vote for change
Julie Christie- Successful reality show producer. Touchdown Productions heavily subsidised by grants from NZ on Air. Shows all of the hallmarks of a champagne socialist/ political progressive. Probable vote for change.
Kate De Goldi- Writer, heavily subsidised by Creative NZ. Dean of Te Puna Wanaka, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, New Zealand Kāi Tahu, MA with Distinction, University of Otago. Hana O’Regan was raised in Wellington in a family immersed in Māori Treaty and identity politics. Probable vote for change.
Malcolm Mulholland- Malcolm of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa is a Senior Researcher at Massey University and has written a number of publications including Beneath the Māori Moon and State of the Māori Nation. He has also co-edited “Kaitiaki: Māori and the Environment”, and “Weeping Waters: The Treaty of Waitangi and Constitutional Change for Aotearoa New Zealand”. Probable vote for change.
Nicky Bell- Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand’s CEO since the beginning of 2010. Born in NZ, Nicky spent the last decade working in New York and the decade prior to that in Australia. She began her advertising career at Ogilvy & Mather in Sydney where she gained invaluable experience across diverse businesses: FMCG (Unilever), American Express, Xerox, Philips, Ansett and developed a real passion for Government business through her work on Young Driver, Drink Drive and Child Immunisation. Another champagne progressive. Probable vote for change.
Peter Chin- Lawyer and one time Mayor of Dunedin. Chin chaired the Chinese Gardens Trust which built the Dunedin Chinese Garden, using $3.75 million of New Zealand taxpayer’s and $1 million of Dunedin ratepayer’s money The Gardens were constructed in an authentic manner, using almost a thousand tonnes of rocks imported from Lake Taihu, China. Ancestry and record suggest probable vote for change.
Lieutenant General Richard Rhys Jones- Jones enlisted in the New Zealand Army in December 1978, and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra from 1979 to 1982, graduating as a Bachelor of Arts, having majored in politics. Supported twenty-five members of the Defence Force who marched in the Auckland LGBT pride festival 2013. Probable vote for change.
Rod Drury- Drury lives in the Hawke’s Bay region with his family, and claims he is of Ngai Tahu descent. A keen surfer, Drury received a number of other accolades during the year being named EY Entrepreneur of the Year as well as being voted one of the “50 Coolest Kiwis Ever” by the NZ Herald. Probable vote for change.
Stephen Jones – Invercargill youth councillor. No information. I’d guess on the vocation alone, its pretty likely he would vote for change.
Professor John Burrows QC- A law lecturer for many years, Professor Burrows is a well-known commentator on New Zealand’s legal system. He enjoys presenting legal topics to both lawyers and the general public. Co-chair of the Constitutional Advisory Panel. Probable vote for change.
So there we have it. Out of the twelve “objective and independent” members of the flag panel, only one possible member (Brian Lochore) who I would guess (barely) as possibly against the change. The flag change memo specifies “all perspectives are invited”. Surely if that was so we would have at least a couple of opponents on the panel?
The process for this referenda is already a hoax. The composition of the intial panel selection committee was suspect. The makeup of the panel those appointees selected by my estimation seems to follow the same pattern.
This is a complete John Key stitch up and the NZ public needs to know the truly outrageous level of deceit he has applied in his ambition to provide a political legacy for himself. Nobody really wants this flag change, but John key doesn’t care about that. He’s ready to spend $28 million of taxpayer money and indulge in some outrageously deceptive practices in pursuit of his goal.
See Crusader Rabbit for more comment on the panel. Snouts in the trough.