The Red Peak flag will be added as a fifth option in the flag referendum, Prime Minister John Key has confirmed.

The Government has agreed to pick-up legislation that was put forward by the Green Party yesterday, which means the Red Peak design will join the four flag alternatives already selected.

"The whole way through I have said my preference is to stick with the process that the officials gave us - accept the four [designs already selected.

"I said I was prepared to go outside of that but I just didn't want people playing games. The Greens have been very, very straight - they have said, here is a straight bill.

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"In the end, I'm not wanting to be the one that stands in the way of people having some choice."

The remarkable turn-around comes after growing popular support for the design appeared to count for little after a stand-off between National and Labour on how it could be added to the four designs already selected.

However, yesterday the Green Party offered a solution, and sought to introduce a bill this afternoon to have Red Peak added to the first referendum.

Join the conversation. Have your say on the new flag designs here.

NZ First have blocked the measure. However, it will ultimately be successful after Mr Key's confirmation that National will pick up the legislation itself.

Urgency will be used to get Red Peak added, Mr Key said.


Earlier this month, Bay leaders spoke about the final four options.

Mayor Stuart Crosby was pleased to see the design he favoured, the silver fern and Southern Cross keeping with traditional colours, made the top four.

However, Mauao Maori Bay of Plenty regional councillor Awanui Black feared the $26 million flag change could potentially put the Treaty of Waitangi in "danger".

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges favoured the two flags which were adorned with the silver fern and southern cross but could not yet decide on his final preference.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller also liked the two versions with the fern and Southern Cross.

Mount Maunganui RSA club support manager Peter Moss did not think change was necessary but believed keeping the traditional colour scheme was important to the country's Commonwealth heritage.