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RSA ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO BE HEARD IN FIRST FLAG BALLOT

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The RSA encourages everyone to share their view.

The Returned and Services’ Association is encouraging everyone to take part in the first referendum on the future of the New Zealand flag when they get their ballot papers in the post over the next week.

RSA National President BJ Clark said: “Democracy is about freedom of choice and freedom of speech.”

The ballot paper will ask people to rank the five alternative flag options, and Mr Clark says people who have a preferred option should express their preference.

“However if people do not want any of the five options, but want to keep the current flag, then it is their right to express that point of view.

“One way they can do that is by writing ‘I support the current flag’ on their ballot paper.”

Mr Clark accepts that people will have the opportunity to vote for the current flag in the second referendum but says everyone should feel they can take part in both votes.

Mr Clark says most RSA members support the current flag. “There are different views in our organisation, just as there are in every group in New Zealand, but the vast majority of members agree with the RSA taking a stand on this issue”.

“We have also heard from many New Zealanders, young and old, supporting our stand and asking us to keep speaking up.”

The first postal vote gives the public the opportunity to vote on the five alternative flag designs. The successful design will then go up against the current flag in the second referendum in March.

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