New Zealand is to hold a referendum on whether to change the national flag, Prime Minister John Key has announced.
Key, who on Monday called an election for 20 September, said the vote would be held within three years. The current flag shows the Southern Cross constellation and includes the Union Jack - the UK's national flag - in one corner.
Key said the flag represented a period of history from which New Zealand had moved on.
"It's my belief... that the design of the New Zealand flag symbolises a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed," he said in a speech at Victoria University.
"The flag remains dominated by the Union Jack in a way that we ourselves are no longer dominated by the United Kingdom. I am proposing that we take one more step in the evolution of modern New Zealand by acknowledging our independence through a new flag."
But he said he was open to all ideas and that retaining the current flag was "a very possible outcome of this process". One poll late last month showed only 28% of respondents wanted to change the flag, compared to 72% who were happy with the current version.