This story was published on RNZ in March 2016. All interviews were conducted by me; a companion piece was read out on the evening news.
A survey of MPs by RNZ News shows their votes are almost evenly split.
We surveyed 117 from the total of 121 MPs, and found 54 voting for the current flag and 57 the alternative.
Despite claims that the referendum is not political, party lines have been drawn in Parliament.
The entirety of NZ First voted to retain the current flag, and the vast majority of the National Party followed their leader in supporting the alternative blue and black Kyle Lockwood design.
Only five National MPs voted for the current flag: Judith Collins, Paul Foster-Bell, Brett Hudson, Simon O’Connor and Jami-Lee Ross.
The two Maori party MPs, Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox, also voted to change the flag, but said their preference would be for a dual flag policy, where the ‘national’ flag sat alongside the tino rangatiratanga flag.
In the Labour Party, only former leader David Shearer publicly supports the Lockwood flag.
The rest of the piece is available here.