The two biggest subjects in New Zealand right now are flags and refugees; A change of the national flag that has served NZ moderately well since around the late 1800s will likely be changed in a public referendum. The public were invited to send in their own designs of a NZ flag and from over 10,000 entries, a panel has whittled them down to four and the first of two referendums will vote in the most popular of the four to go up against the present flag. So before the Rio Olympics next year, NZ could have a new flag flying with less confusion between the NZ and the Australian flags which are very similar at present, and a flag more relevant to NZ going forward. Largely because of the Iraq and Syrian conflicts, various parts of the world have been inundated with refugees and would be refugees and NZ is contemplating taking in more than its usual quota. Currently,between refugees and immigration NZ on a 'normal' basis is probably taking in more new settlers per annum than any other country in the world on a per capita basis - and this includes the USA. But the plight of Syrians in particular is very sad and very dismal so something has to be done. This Middle East crisis all started with the dreadful decision of the USA to invade Iraq. And now parts of the ME are a complete shambles.