Vote for new flag is flagging – kiwis voting with their feet…

no caption© RNZ no caption
Support for the country’s flag referendum could be flagging with two thirds of voters yet to send in their voting papers.

Just over three million voting packs were sent out as part of the $26 million flag referendum process.

Voting closes on Friday, but papers need to be in the post by Tuesday to be counted.

Labour leader Andrew Little said the return rate seemed pretty consistent with other referendums New Zealand had held in the past.

But he questioned how many votes would be returned invalid.

“I know that plenty of people in organisations are saying they are organising campaigns of invalid vote returns. So we would have to see how high that is compared to other referendums to see if people are genuinely interested in a change of flag.”

It was no secret that Labour had wanted to change the flag since about 1972 but he did not believe the country would have a new flag next year.

“It’s always a question about timing and people have to be ready for it and most importantly a case for change has to be made and a case for change has never been made.”

Voters have been asked to rank five new flag designs they would prefer if the current flag was to be replaced.

That includes a last minute addition of the Red Peak design after a social media campaign and petition.

Act leader David Seymour, who is in favour of Red Peak, expected the number of returned votes to climb nearer the deadline.

“Look it’s a low turnout but any teacher who has ever set an assignment knows that most people leave most things to the last minute.

“I hope that people will be able to get their votes in before the deadline but they are going to have to be pretty quick,” he said.

Wellington resident Frances Porter had sent her papers in but she was not at all surprised others had not.

“People still are ramped up, as it were, about Gallipoli and world wars and fighting under that flag and then we choose to do [the referendum] just before Christmas.”

The Electoral Commission said it was not drawing conclusions or making any predictions at this point.

It said 1,064,645 people had voted so far and the commission would release an updated figure today.

The winning design will go up against the current flag in a second referendum in March.


6 thoughts on “Vote for new flag is flagging – kiwis voting with their feet…

  1. Consider this as a possibility:
    A flag is a banner/guidon/rally point which declares your allegiance.
    Unverified fact: A flag has to be recognized by 2 other countries before it becomes valid
    Unverified fact: A flag is a heraldic item saying to whom you owe allegiance
    Unverified fact: The Union Jack in the corner indicates allegiance to the Queen/Britain and thus to Westminster style of government which is supposed to be a parliament under a benign monarchy.
    If we change the flag, we change our allegiance. Look at the choices, they are all so “same but different” Look at each flag, whom do they pledge allegiance to?
    Research the following: Heraldry, Monarchy, Republic, Democracy. I have only just begun and it seems our education is less than adequate to deal with these matters.


    1. Whoops, there is one markedly different, the red peak one, Looks like a pyramid. What does that one denote? The current flag seems fine to me, the alternatives grate on my nerves and I can not put a finger on why. It’s as if the colours are somehow wrong.


      1. The flags are meaningless, despite a couple having ferns on them. Ferns are actually global, though our silver one has meaning for us as a sporting icon, not as a flag.

        What key should have done was to employ professional designers to come up with suitable alternatives. If NZ changed to republic I would still want the southern cross on a new one, with maybe a kiwi which is distinctive as a NZ motiff.

        Liked by 1 person

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