We asked members of the New Zealand Order of Merit the question, "Is it time to change the flag?" Here are their thoughts.
LADY JUNE BLUNDELL
88, founding patron of the Child Cancer Foundation
No, because of the many lives we have lost fighting under the flag. We need a flag to unite everyone.
SIR DON McKINNON
70, former Deputy PM
I'm not one that says you dump them [issues which are part of our history] tomorrow because you think you need a new suit.
61, former PM and World Trade Organisation director-general
I'm opposed to a change unless it involves a long process including other constitutional issues.
SIR LLOYD GEERING
I think changing anything like that can be very disruptive. Until there is a strong demand it's better to leave things as they are.
SIR OWEN WOODHOUSE
93, former Appeal Court president and founder of ACC
I don't have a strong view. I don't feel we need to change the flag to support our national identity.
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73, children's author
The Maori element in our society is more relevant today than the small but dominant Union Jack in the corner of our existing flag.
DAME CATHERINE TIZARD
78, former Auckland City Mayor and Governor-General
I don't think our flag says anything about modern-day NZ and it's too close to the Australian flag.
74, former Prime Minister
Yes, we should start the process of socialising and discussing the idea now.
SIR MILES WARREN
80, architect who designed Christchurch Town Hall
The New Zealand flag is so similar to the Australian flag that we're lost in the pecking order.
73, artist and designer of Te Papa marae
There is this real strong move by Maori to have a flag. It would be nice to have something happen.
74, founding president of the NZ Council of Trade Unions
We need a flag that really identifies the NZ culture and history and I guess national identity.
SIR PAUL REEVES
77, former Anglican archbishop and Governor-General
I think we should have a debate about the flag and I believe we could have a flag that will serve us better.
71, former Speaker of the House
We are a fully independent country, time has moved on from British colonial times.
77, novelist and poet
My preference is for the Southern Cross on the blue background without the Union Jack.
SIR GEOFFREY PALMER
67, former Prime Minister
The main difficulty we have is confusion with the Australian flag. Many outside of Australia and NZ can't tell them apart, and I think that's bad for our national identity.
SIR BRIAN LOCHORE
69, former All Black captain and coach
My preference is the silver fern on black. It's very distinctive and when people support NZ teams it's the Kiwi black flag you see.
78, former Cabinet minister, longest-serving woman MP
The Tino Rangatiratanga one is superb. The colours and the design are absolutely perfect. It's distinctive, it's appropriate for NZ.
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SIR MURRAY HALBERG
76, 5000m gold medallist
We as a nation, democratically, will decide what will be our flag ... it's not my prerogative to say anything to influence any of these things.
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DAME MIRIAM DELL
85, former president of the International Council of Women
I'm a bit stick-in-the-mud, but if there is a change I'm not averse to a change.
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PARTY LEADERS" VIEWS:
48, National Party
Changing the flag is simply not on our agenda at this point.
56, Labour Party
Any decision to change our flag, which is a powerful symbol, would need substantial agreement by New Zealanders. I don't believe most support a change and I don't see any need for [it] at this time.
There is no momentum for change, and changing would not address the other more important issues facing the country like the economy, the health system, the education system.
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If Canada can have its own strikingly beautiful distinctive flag, then surely we can too.
Yes, it's definitely time to talk about it.
55, United Future
[We need] one that much more reflects New Zealand today, the modern face of the country rather than our colonial past.
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UNAVAILABLE TO COMMENT:
Helen Clark, 59, former Prime Minister, now head of the United Nations Development Programme.
Sir Kenneth Keith, 72, judge on the International Court of Justice.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, 65, opera singer.
Cardinal Tom Williams, 79, Catholic Church leader.
Pita Sharples, 68, Maori Party co-leader.
Tariana Turia, 65, Maori Party co-leader.