The great Kiwi flag debate has had a helping hand from comedian John Oliver.

Oliver, who hosts HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, suggested three flag designs after seeing John Key's preferred design of a silver fern on a red-and-blue background.

The first was a bungee jumping sheep, the second "a Kiwi bird having sex with a Hobbit" and the third a sheet with the words "we are not Australia".

Oliver's reaction to the flag reflected the opinion of TV3's Paul Henry, who told Key the red-and-blue fern flag was "bloody horrible".


The words chosen by Henry, and replayed on the US television, appeared to astonish Oliver, who asked: "How are you able to speak to your Prime Minister like that?"

Oliver's show has previously had a go at Key and the National Party when it was called out over the similarity between its campaign song and an Eminem track (see below).

In the most recent skit, which broadcasts to about a million viewers, Oliver said Mr Key needed the flag changed because he kept being mistakenly seated at the Australian flag while on overseas trips.

Oliver described NZ as "the country that, like a bad edible arrangement, is full of f***ing kiwis".

Watch: Oliver tears into NZ election

John Oliver pokes fun at the New Zealand election campaign and the scandal over the National Party's use of Eminem's song.