#NZflag Debate Heats up in Countdown to Referendum, New Zealanders Have their Say

Harbour Bridge Flag

The debate over a change in NZ flag is heating up as the clock ticks down to the unpopular $26 million referendum.

There are only two flags on offer – the present (much loved) flag is the favoured design by two thirds of voters. The outsider is a new offering from Lockwood Smith. The latter has a blue and black design: variously described as a ‘tea towel‘ or ‘corporate logo‘ with a white fern, white feather or ponytail design across it.

If you want to follow public opinion on the flag change debate, a bunch of Twitter hashtags have been made. You could try #nzflag, the inevitable but clever #PonyTailTeaTowel,   John Key’s #vanityproject, #nochange or #nzpol.

Last Friday the runner-up design began to make an offical roll-out across the land, with a sighting on Auckland’s harbour bridge (above): a place traditionally reserved for flags of great importance. It was approved by transport Minister Simon Bridges, much to the chagrin of MP Winston Peters who accused National of acting like an “ad agency“. Given the ‘corporate’ design of the flag perhaps he’s not wrong.

Other places the flag has been spotted flying include the Anchor Inn in Kaikoura, where Lyn and Paul Meikle (below) are happy to display both options, as published by the Kaikoura Star…

flags at pub in kaikoura

image supplied

However, many Kaikoura locals appear to be against the change, thinking that the whole process is a huge waste of money. Money that could have been spent on far more worthy endeavors.

The flag has also been spotted flying in Wellington

spotted in Wellington

and even the Carterton library

Carterton Library

but perhaps the best sighting was this one, caught beneath a bridge ‘somewhere in NZ’


best work of art NZ



15 thoughts on “#NZflag Debate Heats up in Countdown to Referendum, New Zealanders Have their Say

  1. Neo-Con John’s latest attempt to erode national identity. The death of patriotism. “Divide and Conquer”
    Their arrogance knows no bounds, and all the while, the sheeply graze in the medow.

    • Very true,National identity has been hijacked ,reconstituted and reintroduced in a new form which suits the governments agender.N.Z didn’t always suck,apathy has always been a problem however we used to have political satire shows on T.V ,the News used to actually be fairly unbiased didn’t seem to involve the same propaganda content.I was reading today that reporters will soon be charged to access information which is supposed to be available for general public exposure,which means we are likely to read more articles in the Herald about what Max Key -Kardashian did on his latest holiday,or how another hero Kiwi saved an old lady from an angry Goldfish.

  2. A complete waste of money. This was wholly intended to devert attention away from TTPA. The people are right, the new proposed flag is fake in many ways – a teatowel, cowardice design with white feather and an insult to all the soldiers that fought for the current flag. No mention another insult that New Zealand should feel they have to change their flag because its like Australia’s. So we should back off? Why doesn’t Australia change their flag. I want to keep ours, not change it for a fake tea towel with no historical significance. Its an honor to show the Birtish union jack. As many New Zealanders know, our ways and traditions are closely linked with the United Kingdom. It is something to be proud or rather than go for Don Key banana republic. Maybe they should have put a banana on instead of the white feather. Give me a break.

  3. Its really amusing studying the psychology of this campaign. Instead of asking the simple question of “do you want to change the flag?”, instead John Key has to go through the expensive rigmarole of having the public choose a preferred option first, with uncle John even taking a swipe at the existing flag stating it looks too similar to the Australian flag, tapping into the national hatred of their bigger, happier better looking neighbors.
    Now the “preferred” flag is flying prominently in public places.
    A blatant, subversive, deceitful PR campaign designed to play on the typically apathetic attitude of your average kiwi, in hope that most will not take part in the referendum and to spark a little enthusiasm in those anti colonial anti British anti Australian Pro minority’s mind sets who are the only people in the country to muster enough energy to walk to a polling booth.
    If kiwis were marginally more intelligent they would be insulted by this obvious reverse psychology and marketing campaign… And clearly a vainglorious attempt by John Key to be remembered for something, heaven forbid he should achieve something to be proud off, such as economic equality, improvement of general health and environment… No he would just be happy with insulting the memory of tens of thousands of ANZACS who died for the existing flag and of course for sliding the TPPA under the door despite the protestation of the very small handful of engaged citizens. God I hate NZ.

    • to be fair, John Key didn’t start this. It’s been a subject of discussion by politicians and people for at least 35 years. Along with the republic debate. JK has just brought it to the table at last.
      But to put it in perspective. 26 Million would pay for 4 hours of operations for the health service, or buy a medium flat white for everyone.
      26 million is cheap to maintain democratic process, that thing all those Anazac went to war to fight for.

      FYI- NZ military do not serve under the current NZ flag, and if you look at any military grave markers they are all emblazoned with the single fern leaf.

  4. Kiwis sure love to focus on pathetic trivial little things don’t they? Everything else is a mere afterthought.

    • I don’t know if I would consider the flag change debate trivial, given that it is costing the country $22 million dollars that could be far better spend elsewhere, and that it seems to be a deliberate attention grabber.

      Based on their past record, I would almost guarantee that the flag change is being used as a way to divert attention away from other actions of the NZ government that actually matter far more (TPPA for example). It also wouldn’t surprise me if there is a sudden “surprise” in the voting, and despite all indications that this is something the NZ public doesn’t want, the change happens anyway.

      • I think the apathy has been created by citizens coming to realise that no matter what they say or want it’s just going to be another case of grab your ankles here comes the nanny state .

        • I agree with you, however, what kind of people need a nanny state in the first place? Nannies are only needed by babies, infants and children, when their mother is away. Hence the only conclusion that can be drawn when a country is a nanny state, is that the population themselves need looking after, because they have the maturity of a baby, infant or child.

          The very fact that New Zealand IS a nanny state, gives a very clear picture on what the majority of the population are indeed like, and the level of immaturity that plagues the country. Have a look at many of the issues that cause regular problems in New Zealand, and you see this immaturity in action. Areas such as not holding people accountable for their actions, not holding people responsible, not demanding work is done to a standard, are all the sorts of allowances that children are given, because they are still learning and making mistakes. But, New Zealand applies these same standards to adults, with disastrous consequences. Even the bullying and harassment that goes on, and the random attacks and violence bare a striking resemblance to what takes place in primary school playgrounds.

          I think there is a very good case that many Kiwis need to be pulled aside and told to grow up and start behaving like adults.

          • Yes they are a lot like children ,time and again they get out of control when not monitored or policed ,even the fuckers invited into your home are likely to steal something if not constantly watched .

      • The last few referendums were “non binding”, advisory only. And the numbers were staggering and almost identical. “Anti-smacking”, ETS, and one other that escapes me now, were voted on and soundly rejected by a 70-30 margin. Yet, they are policy now.
        I would not be surprised if there wasn’t a bit of ballot stuffing done on the flag.

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