John Key flies out to Sydney this afternoon for his first formal meeting with his Aussie counterpart, knowing he'll be made welcome in more ways than one.

Malcolm Turnbull and our Prime Minister made their mega money in the finance industry, although the Ocker shocker's bank account is about four times the size of Key's paltry fifty million bucks.

Still a good vintage is bound to be poured over dinner tomorrow night and they can bask in the glory of being political rich listers until their hearts are content.

Key will be greeted wearing a lapel badge that the Aussie will empathise with, the Kyle Lockwood flag design.


As the former head of the Australian Republican Movement and more latterly an advocate of flag change across the ditch, Turnbull will look on in envy at his mentor's badge, even if he's doubtful of the design.

At least this country's getting the chance to vote for a flag change which is more than he could achieve in his country.

When Turnbull was heading the republican movement, a majority of Aussies for the first time were in favour of a flag change.

That was in the late nineties.

By 2010 that had reversed with a poll showing 66 percent were opposed to change which ironically is exactly the same percentage of people here now wanting to keep our current flag.

The two leaders will no doubt commiserate with each other about what an uphill struggle it is to get change, to cut the apron strings with the Mother Country.

Even Key's own caucus is divided, hardly surprising though considering an UMR poll this week showed National voters were split down the middle when it came to changing the flag.

Key's cheerleader Maggie Barry's trying to drum up support for a campaign of change among her colleagues but only managed to get ten of them along to a meeting.

More worrying for Key though is the answer to a question posed by the pollsters in this week's poll.

The flag referendum has been a distraction and a waste of money.

New Zealanders should send John Key a message by voting for the current flag.

Two thirds of the respondents agreed with that and 47 percent of National Party voters also agreed with the contention.

So with the storm the flag debate's created, the biggest backlash Key's had since taking the top political job, the Aussie newcomer may now think twice about resurrecting the debate in his country.