Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The $26 million question.

What would you do with $26 million dollars to improve lives? Build more affordable homes?   Invest in job creating opportunities?  Would you use that money to help our neighbours in devastated Vanuatu or Nepal?

Or would you hold a referendum on changing New Zealand’s flag?   Maybe when you are a politician overseeing a multi-billion dollar budget, such a cost seems insignificant. But $26 million is significant to children and elderly who would benefit from warmer homes, or to the completely homeless in Vanuatu.

I am personally ambivalent to a change, as I imagine are many New Zealanders, but it seems to be an unnecessary cost and distraction when there are greater issues to address.
Proponents for change argue that a new flag would improve pride in our country and our visibility on the economic stage.  But what really can a piece of cloth do to help our national prosperity or happiness? 

If our identity is placed on external things, even in our private lives – cars, clothes, homes – we will never be truly fulfilled.   Trying to stir up a greater sense of identity and pride through a change of flag will never come close to what we need as a nation.  We need forgiveness, unity and peace.  We need love, joy, patience, faithfulness, self control all of which the bible says are the “fruit” of a relationship with God (Galatians 5:22), and which lead to better home and work environments and therefore to a healthier more prosperous country.   We could then be truly proud of our country and as Israel’s King David said “May we shout  for joy over [God’s] victory.  May we lift up our flags in the name of our God” Psalm 20:5.   

Larisa Hockey – Mangapapa Church.

Larisa is a homeschooling,wannabe farmer enjoying God's creation and gift of family on a rugged little bit of Gisborne hill country.  A proud New Zealander she believes that God has great plans for our country, if only we will turn back to Him as a nation.

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