Since when has this had ANYTHING to do with being practical and sensible?
It's a massive (and rather pricey) distraction so Key and Co and continue looting the national silver. Which apparently all OK, as long as mom and pop get to buy a little of it too.
Try and get a referendum about an actual issue, that'll get buggered about like no-ones business. Want to distract everyone? Lets all discuss what flag we want, then have a shortlist, then have a campaign to get stuff added to the shortlist, then a referendum to choose the choice, then an actual vote on the flag, and then no doubt an appeal (legal or public) if things don't go the way someone wants.....
And all this time the actual governing of the country, the Nats being huger than usual shits, just gets ignored.
Goddamn distraction politics and USA style divide-and-rule works wonders in MMP.