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Vote on new New Zealand flag delayed

Flag_half_mast_NZThe vote on whether to change the outdated colonial hangover that no longer symbolises this go-ahead economic miracle that continually bats above its weight will not now be conducted at the same time as the vote to decide how long Winston Peters will hold the same country to ransom while he plays king-maker, according to the Prime Minister John McSmirkie Keys.

“We’ve had to shift the date of the general election for some dropkick reason that makes no real sense,” he told WWNews through a waterproofs-clad interpreter. “So it makes even less sense to postpone the flag referendum to a later date. And that’s what we’ve done.”

Mr Keys said that while having the referendum at the same time as the election might have saved “a small number of millions of dollars”, cost-benefit analysis would show that there was no real difference. “Once we work out how to fudge the figures,” he smirked.

The Prime Minister’s personal flag-like preference is for a silver fern on a black background. “It’s the symbol that sells everything from butter to violent contact sports,” he read from notes. “We… I mean it… may as well sell the whole country.”

New Zealand’s schoolchildren will be encouraged to enter a design competition to see if they can come up with something better, Mr Keys said. “It worked before when we asked for advice on asset sales, so I’m looking forward to some arty suggestions. Especially from our charter schools.”

In other news TVNZ bosses have broadened the scope and range of their scheme to root out news and current affairs staff suspected of not being loyal to the company brand. Already membership of any political party is grounds for instant dismissal and, from Monday, anyone having passed NCEA Level 1 English will be sacked on the spot. Unless they’re really pretty.

To sports and beleaguered Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett admitted he has no answers. “I’m stuck on 17 across,” he told WWNews. “If this lack of form continues I’ll have to try Sudoku.”

Over to the weather now, and there’ll be fine patches all over, largely as a result of the resurgence of interest in embroidery.

[References to Justin Beiber or Lorde have been removed for safety reasons.]

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