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Flag distraction – first referendum

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, November 21st, 2015 - 135 comments
Categories: identity - Tags: , , ,

Ballot papers are appearing in letter boxes for the first part of Key’s expensive flag distraction. The instructions are to rank the flags in preference 1 – 5. A second referendum in April next year runs off the winner of this process with the current flag. It’s all a waste – even Key pretty much accepts that his project is in trouble:

John Key: I’m probably on the losing side on flag vote

Prime Minister John Key, who has championed a change in the New Zealand flag, acknowledged he was probably on the losing side at present, with more Kiwis preferring to keep the old one.

But he also says the numbers could change once an alternative is chosen from the first referendum, which starts today. “By the time you get to the final referendum, that’s where it will hot up both sides,” he told reporters last night in Manila.

So it will “hot up” when we get down to the final referendum will it? Funny, when no one turned up to the public meetings Key said it would hot up when we got down to the shortlist:

Mr Key said the low turnout wasn’t relevant because he bet his “bottom dollar” there’d be plenty of debate once the top four designs were put to a referendum.

Wrong. Apart from the rush of attention that got Red Peak into this ballot, we the people been steadfastly unenthused by the project. Poll after poll shows that a healthy majority don’t want to change, but Key is still pushing for his “legacy”. (I guess it would be a fitting legacy in its way, with the incompetence, the conflicts of interest and the mass suppression of dissenting opinions.)

Anyway, I still haven’t decided what to do with my ballot paper. Binning it in protest has a certain appeal, as does expressing my opinion in writing / defacing the ballot (many people are planning to write KOF for Keep Our Flag). But the thing is, I like Red Peak better than the current flag – so I’ll probably vote for it. If it wins I’ll probably vote for it in the second referendum too, but I can’t see myself ever voting for the other options. Your milage may vary!

When this process is over, lots of money will have been spent on something that doesn’t improve anyone’s life, and lots of ink will have been spilled on something that was always a distraction from the mess this government is making. Emmerson in The Herald…

emmerson-flag-distraction

135 comments on “Flag distraction – first referendum ”

  1. mary_a 1

    Put crosses in the provided boxes and wrote “none of these options. Keep the present flag.”

    It will be cast as an informal vote I know, but at least I’ve taken advantage of having a say and expressing my opinion on the issue. For the second round, I will vote for the present NZ flag.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    *Yawn*. I’ll take that bet

  3. Murray Simmonds 3

    Thanks mary_a. I guess I’ll try that too.

    Not as a protest vote though; I genuinely prefer the current flag. It represents a bit of our past history in a country where far too much of our history is going under the bulldozer because its “too expensive to keep”. The money could have been better spent on preserving some of that history (among 1001 other competing worthwhile causes).

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    I’ll cast an informal too. A good way to tell Key what a waste this has been – but hey some people have got some good money out of this – wonder who they were.

  5. Srylands 5

    The Government is not making a mess.

    I’ll be voting for Red Peak. It is the only genuine flag on offer. No thanks to the useless committee appointed to do the short list.

    I suggest you all park your Key Derangement Syndrome and just choose a flag. Pretend it was Helen’s idea. I bet she is voting for Red Peak.

    • Sabine 5.1

      Yep, its as real a flag as it hypnoflag.

      And in the future we can get mixed up with a Security Firm from the UK and an Engineering Firm for the US.

      National, still without any ideas.

      • miravox 5.1.1

        Hypno flag – As well as a protest, I actually think it is more flag-like and representative of NZ than any of the others. I’ll go hypnoflag.

      • Chooky 5.1.2

        +100 Red Peak the Green Party hypnoflag choice…and John Key’s final choice…and Sryland’s choice as well!

        well Red Peak must be good

    • RedBaronCV 5.2

      “Useless committee” – well they are about as interested in it as the rest of us- long day ahead of you SR as around 80% of the country think this is a bad idea and you’ll need to turn that around

    • weka 5.3

      “Pretend it was Helen’s idea.”

      If Helen had done this shit, I’d be taking the same actions (except I wouldn’t have the option of writing FJK on the ballot). Yeah we’re all more pissed off because it’s Key being an arse, but the base of it for many is that the whole process is just wrong.

      • Tracey 5.3.1

        Take a picture of your voting form… maybe the standard could host a page where everyone who protested can upload their protest votes

        • weka 5.3.1.1

          Someting niggling the back of my mind about that being illegal. The photographing the ballot bit?

    • Gabby 5.4

      Genuine, as in nicked. You have a point.

    • James 5.5

      I suggest you all park your Key Derangement Syndrome and just choose a flag.

      Get stuffed. The only legacy I want Key to be able to point to is his governments destruction of our economy and environment.

      • Gangnam Style 5.5.1

        John Key should have stayed the right fuck out of it, hes a divisive leader, hes not there for ‘all’ New Zealanders.

    • infused 5.6

      red peak is a pile of shit.

  6. Tony Veitch 6

    Spoil and foil!

    See the Daily Blog for how to do it [spoil] if you need instruction!

  7. Sabine 7

    Well, he is not wasting his money, his cronies don’t have an issue with him wasting Tax Payers Money, cause ….insert what ever fucking reason comes to mind, cause it would not matter.
    As long as that pinhead of a Prime Minister gets to change the flag.

  8. Sabine 8

    And frankly NO Spoiling.

    There is a choice of listing as per preference or your one choice only.

    Instead of foiling and spoiling, one could also just vote for HypnoFlag and then vote for Don’t change the flag in the second referendum.

    But I would make sure my vote is counted. In his fucking face.

    • weka 8.1

      Spoiling the ballot is in his face. The numbers of spoiled papers will be reported by a media who are going to be nitpicking all over this thing.

      Not sure what the point of voting hypno flag is though.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1

        More souls get eaten. Or something.

      • Sabine 8.1.2

        the vote of the hypnoflag will get counted, while I have no confidence that the spoiled/foiled votes will even be acknowledged.
        that is my point.

        • weka 8.1.2.1

          The spoiled vote is an official counted and resported along with the rest. If it’s high enough the media will cover that, even just for the ridicule factor. Social media will be all over it.

          If you vote for hypnoflag the MSM will take that to mean that that is what you want the flag to change to. Dangerous strategy that will potentially split votes and cause problems.

          • Sabine 8.1.2.1.1

            The MSM does not give a shite what i think.
            The fact that the panel thought Hypnoflag is a choice should tell us what they think about us.
            And i have no confidence in what is our current government and their enablers will do should they not like the outcome of the referendum (considering that the last referendum on the asset sales was an exercise in futility) So frankly I am voting Hypnoflag (at least you could not confuse it with any other already existing triangular shaped type flags, or is a corporate logo that was used to sell everything from plastic cutlery down to apples).

            Referendum two for me is NO. NO CHANGE.

            the only other option for me would be not voting at all, but then I am against not voting at all unless there is an a. abstain, or b. a write in option, which we don’t have.
            And with the lobbying for inclusion of the Colorful Triangles the lobbying party did not include an option of NONE OF THE ABOVE.

            Whats a girl to do…..Hypnoflag 🙂

        • mary_a 8.1.2.2

          @ Sabine (8.1.2) – all votes presented have to be accounted for, even informal votes. They still represent a voter’s preference.

  9. b waghorn 9

    F or
    A lternative
    R easons
    K eep
    O ur
    F lag

  10. CnrJoe 10

    Hypno monkey bum first round.

    Present flag final ‘vote’.

  11. I’ve narrowed it down to one of two choices:

    1. Use the voting papers to light the wood burner next winter.

    2. Use the voting papers for mulch now.

    Given that the wood burner contributes to climate change, I guess it’ll have to be No 2. Thanks, John. Your legacy is going to be happy worms.

    • Anne 11.1

      I agree with Annette king. It’s better to invalidate your vote rather than not voting at all. A low turnout can be blamed on other things – eg. too close to Xmas – but a high rate of invalidation sends a message along the lines of “b waghorn @ 9.”

      Her suggestion is to give all the designs the same number. I plan to give them all 5.

      And there may be a rather more blunt message attached…

    • Ad 11.2

      I’m voting Red Peak.
      Kindof like voting Labour for the last three times; it’s going down in flames but it’s the right thing to do. Sigh.

      As for mulching, in August this year I managed to acquire four whole boxes of Auckland Council 2015 LTP Consultation documents. Spread out, this covered about 12 metres square among the flax, with a good six inches of forest mulch on top.
      So good to feel democracy giving back to the earth! 🙂

  12. Ross 12

    I won’t be voting in the first referendum. I’d expect a low turnout might ring alarm bells.

    • left for deadshark 12.1

      In the bin for me too, very annoyed about the way they are framing it, still trying to off foot the people, calling the current flag the (old flag) like it’s a pair of shoes or something.
      Until they look at dropping the monarchy, and the older I get, the more I only see two degrees of separation, we may not have the talent, who would you have as President ?

      • Grindlebottom 12.1.1

        who would you have as President ?

        Chopper. He’s got the experience as President of Anzakistan. We need somebody who knows what they’re doing.

        • left for deadshark 12.1.1.1

          Of coarse what was I thinking, but has he any children too take that mantle when he inevitably stands down, being the benevolent dictator that he would be, maybe I should just start by calling him ( His Worship ) I think he would like that.

          Oh for a Anzac biscuit with my cuppa at this time in history.

          🙂

    • Hanswurst 12.2

      This. Spoiling the ballot serves no real purpose, and Key would simply use any significant number of spoiled ballots to spin further his narrative that “the Left” are a bunch of loonies who are all out to smear him. He also has the advantage of plenty of media commentators who would be only too happy to push the narrative that there is a sector of the population who are happy to take advantage of a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” just to spite John Key personally.

      By contrast, the only narrative likely to be spun from a pitiful turnout would be, “John Key: Chump”. Just don’t vote.

      • weka 12.2.1

        Non-vote is usually interpreted as don’t care or can’t be bothered. Most people’s response to that is fine, let the people that actually bothered voting have the say then. Not voting is not a useful protest strategy, it sinks like a stone and disappears without a trace.

        Spoiling the voting paper, if done by enough people, IS an obvious protest vote, there is no other way to interpret it. Key can’t spin that as loonie lefties because there are 25% of his constituency that don’t want the flag changed and there is no way to know who spoiled the papers. He would risk insulting many of his voters.

        “By contrast, the only narrative likely to be spun from a pitiful turnout would be, “John Key: Chump”. Just don’t vote.”

        Low turnouts are expected in referenda in NZ, I don’t think much will be made of it unless it is extremely low.

        • Grindlebottom 12.2.1.1

          I’m not voting this time round. I’m just not wasting time or energy on it. Media reports will be irrelevant. Any protest is going to be pointless, Key will just flip it off and still go ahead with referendum No.2. I’m voting in the next one to keep the current flag.

        • Anne 12.2.1.2

          Exactly weka. Much better to invalidate. See my comment @ 11.1. Didn’t see yours…

        • Hanswurst 12.2.1.3

          It’s not really worth protesting about, though. The chance to show that the whole process was a waste of time is in the second referendum. Vote for the current flag and be done with it. A high turnout for this referendum looks good for Key on paper. If it approaches the turnout for the asset sales referendum, Key will be able to say, “This is an issue that people are passionate about”. Even 25% spoiled ballots would be a footnote to that, and an excuse for Key to have a go at “the Left”. I doubt that he would be too concerned about the reported 25% of his own supporters in that regard, since I doubt that many would go to the lengths of spoiling their ballots.

  13. ankerawshark 13

    Hmm…..probably going to vote hypno flag as if many do, it will split the vote and wreck the fern options. Hypno flag is apparently the least popular, but if I had to chose my choice would be hypno flag…….If its so unpopular and it gets through because enough vote for it as a protest vote, then at the second ballot even more will vote for the current flag.

    But on the other hand I might just write FJK. In other words, I have two great choices.

  14. ianmac 14

    I think we should tick at least one option. If we spoil the paper it would leave the field wide open to the fern brigade. Even if media make a fuss about high numbers of spoiled papers, they are still sidelined in the count.
    For me I will tick one box Red Peak as a gesture of no confidence in the flag committee. Maybe a second tick if at all would go to hypno flag.

    • NZJester 14.1

      A tick in any of the boxes will be a spoiled ballot I think. You are meant to rate all the flags with a number of your preferred choice, second choice, third choice etc.

      If only one person in the whole country was to send in a valid voting paper then they would be the person to choose the flag competing as this first referendum has no minimum number of valid ballot papers needed.

      • ianmac 14.1.1

        Oops. I meant number 1 in box. (Though Mr Geddis says that if just one box was ticked and the others blank, it would be counted. More than one tick -none would be counted.)

      • b waghorn 14.1.2

        “You can rank as many or as few flag options as you wish.”
        It says in the voting pack.

        • Yeah, the question is whether ticking a single box counts as ranking it. I would hope it would be read that way as it’s an unambiguous indication of an intention to vote for only one option.

  15. Reddelusional 15

    More evidence of jk living rent free in all strandardinistas heads. Every conceivable issue in your lives and the world can be placed at jk feet. To think he even gives a flying f what you do with your ballot is delusional, to the contrary he probably thinks it’s mildly amusing. Just vote, what will be, will be, end of story, it’s not that big of a deal, really ?

    • Sabine 15.1

      If it is not a big deal why change the flag?

      • Grindlebottom 15.1.1

        it’s not that big of a deal, really

        It’s $26 million big of a deal. A fkn complete waste of $26 million on a hopelessly flawed and thus pointless exercise!

        • Sabine 15.1.1.1

          I know how much it costs.
          See earlier comments of mine.
          This was addressed to our resident bots.

  16. ianmac 16

    Have just read Graeme Edgeler’s explanation of “how to vote” over on Public address. Pretty extensive. All the angles.
    http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/voting-in-the-flag-referendum/

  17. greywarshark 17

    Where was wise, cautious Bill English talking about sorting out needs from wants, when National and yek put this piddling idea forward?

    What a lot of crap National talk. We should be in the running for the Guinness Book of Records award for being most receptive in the western world to crapology, confusing distraction and loss of acuity of mind if most even know what that means. (I just checked on google!)

    • Sabine 17.1

      Well i think in terms of achievement having a flag change is better then high unemployment, hungry kids, increasing homelessness, falling homeownership, falling dairy prices, hair pulling prime ministers, people being locked up of shore and an incompetent and ignored prime minster who can’t even assure that citizens of this nation get to see lawyers and representatives….n shit.

      And considering that Bill English can’t get a surplus even if adds his accounts very creatively, they might just have given up any pretense and now buy themselves what they want on the dime of the TaxPayer.

      National, What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine too. Since ages ago.

  18. rob 18

    I’ve put zero’s in all boxes and written no change to our flag and i know it is not counted but don’t give a flying fuk.
    but saw a picture in local paper up in dargaville by someone which i thought was brilliant. just put an image of NZ between union Jack and the stars. very simple and no way confused with Ozzie. i would have voted for that. but too simple for this pm and panel of twats

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      It will be counted.

      Under section 32 of the New Zealand Flag Referendum Act, an informal vote is recorded when for the first referendum, the voting paper does not clearly indicate the voter’s first preference and for the second flag referendum, where the voting paper does not clearly indicate the option for which the elector wished to vote. This can be because the voter leaves the paper blank, the voter takes deliberate action to spoil the paper, or an error by the voter means that their intention is not clear.

  19. kimmerkiwi 19

    Why not vote for the flag you like the most. You can vote you don’t want to change the flag next year. Why not be part of this democratic procedure. The Otago Daily News some time ago printed what the flags of the Commonwealth countries looked like before changing, and then printed the flags of the countries that did change. Of the 20 countries, only Australia, New Zeland, and I think two other countries haven’t changed their flag. I keep thinking as a Green Party member, how we want people to give our ideas and changes a fair go.

    • Leftie 19.1

      @kimmerkiwi

      It wasn’t a “democratic procedure” in the first place.

      • Gangnam Style 19.1.1

        ‘Spoiling’ the vote is still democratic, most ppl will just bin it anyway.

      • weka 19.1.2

        +1 it’s not a democractic process. It’s an attempted jack up by the most anti-democratic goverment in NZ in my lifetime.

        As for change, this is a neoliberal emperor wanting to arrange some branding for his mates and corporate masters. It’s nothing to do with the good of NZ.

    • Sabine 19.2

      a. All of the flags are butt ugly
      b. at least two of the flags were used to sell plastic cutlery, toilet paper and apples
      c. one of the flag already exists as a flag for a security company and an engeneering company.
      d. Hypnoflag.

      Consider that in any poll the vast majority of people have opted for NO FLAGCHANGE, i am not quite sure why we need it now.

      What the Green Party has got to do with anything in here, other then having lobbied the National Government to add the corporate triangles added is beyond me. Unless you are trying to say with your last phrase that these are your ideas and changes and now we have to give you a fair go?
      that has got me a bit confused. ??

    • Tracey 19.3

      And if you dont want any of them to represent the history and values of NZers?

  20. maui 20

    Having a think about red peak and in light of recent events and how it could be a french special forces insignia has me hesitant.

    Too many crafty options to vote on this referendum, JK has made this far more complicated than it needed to be. Maybe just draw a panda.

  21. alwyn 21

    A lot of, apparently, Labour supporters seem to be objecting to any change in the New Zealand flag.
    Just out of curiosity does anyone know whether the Labour Party has formally scrapped their official 2014 policy?
    https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/internal_affairs.pdf
    I really does appear as if the only reason for the expressed opposition is that John Key wants to have the idea looked at. Any rational Labour supporter should be in favour.
    It reminds me of a two year old when they are told by their mother that they can’t have something they want. All rationality goes straight out the window.

    • Gabby 21.1

      I see no reason why the flag policy should bear a charmed life. Mind you, one could be for a new flag but anti the Ponyboy lockjaw jackup.

    • ankerawshark 21.2

      umm ………..alwyn, I think we are allowed to vote how we like and that includes submitting a voting form that is a non vote. Its called democracy…………….

      • alwyn 21.2.1

        That is, of course, true, although Colonial Viper seemed to have been leaned on not too long ago for attempting to do so.
        I doubt if it applies to the Labour MPs though. Aren’t they required to support the party manifesto?
        That is why I asked if it had been modified to exclude the bit about a new flag proposal.

        • left for deadshark 21.2.1.1

          if your so concerned alwyn, go to the Labour party website or ask Labour party mp that Q.

          👿

    • Leftie 21.3

      @alwyn
      Don’t put this costly fiasco onto Labour. In 2014 Labour was talking about having a DISCUSSION around a flag change, which is quite the opposite and different to what John key has done. I have posted off my informal vote to keep the current flag.

      • alwyn 21.3.1

        You are welcome to your opinion but the manifesto, shown below really seemed to go a great deal further than that.

        “The New Zealand Flag
        Labour will:
        review the design of the New Zealand flag involving flag design experts and with full public consultation and involvement.
        We believe that the time has come for a change and it is right for the issue to be put to the public. We would however support the ability of the RSA and similar organisations to continue to fly the current flag if they so wish”

        Talking about allowing the RSA to continue to fly the current flag certainly seems to assume that there will be a new one doesn’t it? I don’t see anything about it merely being a “discussion” about the flag in this. Just what is the current government up to if it is not “putting it to the public”?

        • Gangnam Style 21.3.1.1

          “involving flag design experts” … Julie Christie a flag design expert?

          • alwyn 21.3.1.1.1

            My, my. You really are getting desperate aren’t you?

            • Grindlebottom 21.3.1.1.1.1

              No, that is a valid issue. I don’t have a big problem with a flag change. I have a problem with the crappy options that ill-chosen panel of fwits came up with. Faced with those as the only options, we may as well keep the flag we have. Most nations’ flags meet general design principles, and apart from red peak (which is basically identical to two existing company logos) these don’t.

              We’ll just have to wait for another time for the issue to be raised again. Maybe have the thing done at the same time as a general election with a decent selection drawn up as a result of a better design process.

              • Karen

                +1 Grindlebottom. I wouldn’t mind a new flag, but these are just embarrassing. Red Peak is the only one that fulfils flag design requirements, but it is still not great. My assessment would be “shows promise but needs more work.” The other 4 are just appalling designs.

                It is typical of this government that they had a panel without any designers on it. Only National Party toadies got any say.

              • ankerawshark

                Grindlebottom 1000+

            • Sabine 21.3.1.1.1.2

              Spot the Flag Design Expert

              https://www.govt.nz/browse/engaging-with-government/the-nz-flag-your-chance-to-decide/the-panel/

              Chair: Emeritus Professor John Burrows, ONZM, QC – respected law lecturer, author, former member of the Law Commission, and co-Chair of the Panel which reviewed the New Zealand Constitution in 2012 (Christchurch)

              Nicky Bell – Chief Executive Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand and board director (Auckland)

              Peter Chin, CNZM – former Mayor of Dunedin, director and trustee (Dunedin)

              Julie Christie, ONZM – Director of Julie Christie Inc and board member (Auckland)

              Rod Drury – CEO of Xero and technology entrepreneur (Havelock North)

              Beatrice Faumuina, ONZM – Olympian, Commonwealth gold medallist, ASB Head of Talent & People Strategy, board member and trustee (Waitakere)

              Kate De Goldi – Deputy Chair, writer and reviewer (Wellington)

              Rhys Jones, CNZM – former Chief of NZ Defence Force (Wellington)

              Stephen Jones – Invercargill City Youth Councillor (Invercargill)

              Sir Brian Lochore, ONZ, KNZM, OBE – former All Black, coach and administrator (Masterton)

              Malcolm Mulholland – Academic and flag historian (Palmerston North)

              Hana O’Regan – Academic, Māori studies and te reo Māori (Christchurch)

              ———————————————————————————————————–
              I don’t understand what is ‘desperate’ of pointing out that Julie Christie might be an expert at being Julie Christie, but clearly she is not an Expert on Flag Design. If she would be, surely it would have been listed under her credentials.

        • Leftie 21.3.1.2

          @alwyn

          You can assume as much as you like, it is irrelevant. You know it’s John key ramming this down our throats don’t you? People made it clear they do not want it, and Labour have said it’s not the right time, Kiwis don’t have the stomach for it, but John Key’s big fat ego won’t listen, and those wasted millions are not coming out of his pocket is it?

          • alwyn 21.3.1.2.1

            Yes Leftie, I’m sure you won’t take any interest.
            However it was you that claimed, and these are your exact words that in “2014 Labour was talking about having a DISCUSSION around a flag change, which is quite the opposite and different to what John key has done”.
            I have merely pointed out that their policy was much more than that and, considering their comment about the RSA, they certainly were planning to have a new flag.
            You are of course entitled to say that you don’t like any of the options. You are not entitled, if you have any intellectual honesty, to claim that Labour weren’t going to do what John Key has done.
            Intellectual honesty is not, I fear, something that is in very great supply when Lefties in general discuss John Key and his actions.

            • Leftie 21.3.1.2.1.1

              @Alwyn

              That idea of “Labour will do it too” is a cop out. Like I said you can assume what you like, it doesn’t matter, the fact remains that Labour is not the one wasting millions of taxpayers dollars on a flag change that the majority of NZers have said they didn’t want.
              Somehow intellectual honesty doesn’t fit in the same sentence with John Key and his supporters. Someone with intellectual honesty would put more credence in a actual fact than an assumption. Assumptions are often proved false.

              • alwyn

                Isn’t it lucky that Labour didn’t get into power at the last election. It removed their opportunity to spend money on their wish to change the flag. I can assure you that the public’s “wishes” have never stopped any Government, of any persuasion, from doing what they want to.

                An “assumption” that Labour was planning to change the flag is it? They were pretty clear in their manifesto weren’t they? But I must never “assume” that they are going to do what they say they are going too do.

                Can I take it that I should never believe anything in a Labour Party manifesto? I must never “assume” that they are going to do anything they very clearly propose in the manifesto. Your statement seems to be a belief that the Labour Party can never be trusted. Probably accurate but I am surprised that you seem to think it.

                • Leftie

                  Cant you get your head around the fact that this is not Labour’s doing it’s John key’s. Stop trying to blame Labour for what National are doing. Last year, Labour wanted to have a discussion about a flag change, and unlike John key’s National government, Labour wouldn’t have gone ahead with it when they knew that a majority of NZers didn’t want it, and Labour have already said as much.

                  Are you saying that manifestos are etched in stone and should have no room for change?

                  Believe what you want, I trust Labour far more than habitual liar, dishonest John key and his corrupt National government, which it appears that’s what you put your faith in.

        • Tracey 21.3.1.3

          I would like a process that included flag design experts, unlike the current process

          • One Two 21.3.1.3.1

            Flag design expert

            There is not another human being alive I would trust calling themselves an expert at national representation

            That would be a self anointed title, or anointed by others who are in no way ‘qualified’ to bestow such status

            The panel which used were about as appropriate an example of ‘expert’, imaginable

            Funny critters

            • Pascals bookie 21.3.1.3.1.1

              lolwut?

              So when the panel was drawn up, and it was given a brief that included the phrase ‘flag design principles’, what do you think that was all about?

              Do you think these principles do not exist? In which case why did the govt put them in the brief?

              If they do exist, (HINT: They do), how do you think they were derived? Who do you think derived them?

              I get that you think maybe knowledge falls from the sky like snow and lands into people’s brains so no one has to learn anything, but maybe you are wrong.

              Maybe there are people who for whatever reason are interested in flags, and have noticed that some flags are generally considered to be good, and others are generally considered to be bad. They might have a good hard look at what things go into good flags, and these things might be able to be set as a group of principles that if you follow you will be more likely to produce a flag that isn’t shit, that lasts the test of time.

              Or maybe not eh. maybe it’s just random that the flags widely considered to be good share certain design elements and avoid others.

              maybe it’s a fluke that the South African flag is good, and just happened to be designed by a flag expert after the initial attempts to design a flag all threw up things that would not really stand the test of time.

              Probably not though. It’s probably not a fluke. It’s probably the case that humans who spend a lot of time analysing things, learn stuff about those things, and have knowledge that people who have spent their time learning about other things could benefit from listening to.

              that’s how it usually works eh.

    • Tracey 21.4

      I dont want the existing flag but I want it to be replaced by one that is symbolic of our history and how we want to be seen in the world…

  22. Dorothy Bulling 22

    I intend to put the envelope and its contents in a plain envelope, address it to the Prime Ministet at Parliament, and post it to him. Remember you don’t neef a stamp to post a letter to a Minister at Parliament. I will also write the number 0 in each box. If enough of us did this it would surely send home a message to Key.

    • weka 22.1

      He won’t give a shit Dorothy. He won’t even get to see it, his PA will just bin them.

    • Sabine 22.2

      Thinking of it.
      That could be fun. We might put in some advertising for holiday batches in Hawai? Or pictures of Ponytails? Or bikies, often they come with ponytails, or just pictures of Judith collins?
      Endless fun.

  23. vto 23

    Interest is not concentrating in one single flag in this first referendum which means whichever flag crosses the line first will be competing with a majority who don’t like it at the second referendum ……

    don’t seem like a recipe for success to me

  24. Rosie 24

    Oh. it was going to be easy. I was going to put the referendum in the recycling bag and just be annoyed about not voting for the first time in my life.

    Then I read this thread.

    Now I’m in a quandary. as weka rightly pointed out referenda turn out is historically low. Lower than general elections. Not participating just leaves the process in its normal vacuum. I’m warming to the idea of putting crosses in each voting box and posting it. I might add FJK too, as some of you are. Nice touch. This way we are participating and sending a message.

    But will enough people do that to cause a stir?

    It can’t be just a handful of people doing it. It needs to be campaigned upon, and it’s too late for that. It would need 10’s of 1000’s of people doing it for maximum effect. Unless you social media types can stir up a massive buzz over the next few days?

    • Sabine 24.1

      Winston Peters has been campaigning on it for some time now.
      It might mean nothing but his KOF Campaign, the last post on FB has over a 1000 likes and over 800 shares. 🙂 That would be reaching a few people here and there.

      Some people that I know will be like my voting Hypnoflag as the only option (and it is an option to only rate one ‘design’).
      Others will be doing their thing.

      .
      But yes I agree with Weka that people should participate and ‘vote’. Not voting is not an option anymore. Alas we don’t have abstain or non of the above as an option.

  25. mary_a 25

    And in the unfortunate event of a flag change, then it will mean more expense personally and collectively as a nation, as driving licences will need to be updated, as will the flags in the military, police and various other government departments etc.

    The expense won’t stop at the referendum!

    • Sabine 25.1

      I am sure all contracts will be awarded to private businesses and you and I will pay for it.

      Whats not to like about it, National?

  26. b waghorn 26

    Had to laugh when I noticed in the “How New Zealanders Engaged”
    Segment they put 9.500+kms travelled to 25 public meetings and hui.
    I’d guess that sounds better than 25 meetings attended by bugger all.

  27. Once was Tim 27

    I’ve jiss received ma paypiz in the mail, and I wuz thinking (going forwid) that there iza bituva prollim.

    Re the phlearg refrendim, the queshun posed is:

    “IF THE NEW ZEALAND FLAG CHANGES, WHICH FLAG WOULD YOU PREFER?”

    Surely it should say:

    “IF THE NEW ZEALAND FLAG CHANGES, WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING FLAGS WOULD YOU PREFER?”

    I can’t honestly answer the question as it stands.

    Someone above may already have picked up on this of course, but it shows just what a croc of shit the whole process has been.
    Ranking the available options is rendered a pointless exercise in view of the question posed. I prefer NONE of the options in equal amount.

    • Karen 27.1

      Heh. That then provides me with the perfect opportunity to make a flag design myself that I can then choose. Also, “if the flag changes” seems to suggest the flag could do it all by itself.

  28. Grindlebottom 28

    There are stacks of good national flag designs amongst the 10,000+ submitted that would meet good Country Flag design principles. It’s not like we lacked good choices. When you look at the 40 finally chosen in the first cut from these it just stands out so much that we had a completely useless selection panel.

    https://www.govt.nz/browse/engaging-with-government/the-nz-flag-your-chance-to-decide/gallery/?start=0&sort=random&scroll=true

    • Leftie 28.1

      “useless selection panel” because it was completely controlled and guided by John key’s vanity.

  29. Ergo Robertina 29

    Wasn’t going to vote, but low turn-out will be used as another stick to beat the nobody-uses-post drum, and prompt a renewed push towards e-voting.
    I’m sending in a blank ballot. I’d say turn-out will be about 50%.

  30. Pascals bookie 30

    On the don’t vote/spoil vote discussion; do what you want obviously, but my thoughts are as follows:

    The discussion seems to be about the political effects, so:

    The spoiled vote will probably not be high. Most people who don’t give a shit, don’t give a shit, so just won’t vote.

    The turnout will be reported. A low turnout will be reported as bad for Key because it will show no one gives a shit. It will also call into doubt the legitimacy of any result. Not legally though. the way they wrote the legislation was such that turnout didn’t matter. This was an appalling decision imo, but on the politics that will again look bad for Key.

    NZF has been actively saying ‘spoil your vote/cast invalid. So guess how that spoiled vote will be reported?

    So to my mind, if you don’t mind NZF getting the credit, cast an invalid vote. Otherwise just don’t vote.

    that said, if there is any flag you would prefer to the current one in this crop, then I’d say vote.

    In the second referendum, vote. the lack of a turnout threshold means we could well end up with a teatowel for a flag, and we will want to fix it in twenty years time.

  31. infused 31

    The minority speaks.

    • Gangnam Style 31.1

      Sooo what do you think the turn out will be? Over 50% (ie: a mojority?), or less than 50% (ie: a minority). I guess we shall soon see if a majority or a minority wants change.

      • infused 31.1.1

        I mean the minority that fucks up the ballot.

        I reckon it will be ~50% or less if the passed elections are to go by.

  32. vaughanm 32

    I filled in the Ballot paper with 5 big stinky ‘X’ marks in each box, and made the following comment: “What an obscene WASTE of Taxpayer money! A vanity / distraction project for John Key our traitor PM. . .”

  33. DS 33

    I’m voting for hypnoflag. I’ll also put another bit of paper into the envelope reading “Screw John Key and this stupid ****ing referendum.”

    (There’s nothing stopping you putting in a note in addition to the voting paper, is there? I don’t want to go pure spoiled ballot, since I want to crush Key’s sodding fern fetish).

  34. reason 34

    National are a minority infused ………. Does simple math get in the way of you being a wanker troll ?

    Most can agree John Keys flags on offer are shit ……………

    I hope he gets all petulant over the drubbing his vanity project is taking….. he’s been showing a bit more of his nasty true colours of late …….

    One day we will lose the union jack and get a more representative flag …… But it wont be foisted upon us by a vain greedy unpleasant man like Key and his crony flag committee sycophants.

    Keys legacy will be more like a corrupt version of Margret Thatcher ……….. She was also a war monger for political ends…. and we now know she protected child abusers in her government as did her spy agencies and police.

    Infused probably admires her ……………. a lot of right wingers do

  35. opium 35

    The hypnoflag is slowly growing on me.It is the only one ,that is not the ABs logo,in the colours that a NZ flag should be.Black & white.Also it is likely to be the least popular choice to win against the old flag so win/win.If we have to have a new flag it is the best of a bad bunch,Still can not believe we are having a flag debate without a republic debate at the same time. What a wank.

  36. red-blooded 36

    To be honest, I see a spoiled paper or a non-vote as irrational. We complain about lack of consultation and all sorts of anti-democratic processes from this government (think Canterbury Regional Council, or the lack of one), then spit the dummy when we are offered an input.

    I agree that the flag design should really be part of a greater move (roll on the Republic of NZ – or Aoteroa), and that the flag panel showed awful lack of creativity and judgement. They were poorly-picked and clearly wanted to please the PM and give him his silver fern. However, the fact is that our current flag is a symbol of colonialism and I think we should be embarrassed by it. It’s not visually awful, but the concept behind it is clearly “Britain in the Pacific” and that idea has had its day. It’s time to move on.

    I’m going to vote for Red Peak, and if it wins I’ll vote for it a second time. If it doesn’t, I’ll probably vote to keep the current one, in the knowledge that we’ll surely review it again sometime soon and in the hope that, if a left-led government was the one putting forward the idea, we wouldn’t have all the rightwing voices calling for despoiling of papers and non-votes. It’s probably a vain hope (I bet we would), but I’d like to think that people on the left of the spectrum have a more forward-looking approach and deal with issues rather than getting sidetracked by personalities. (Comments on this site often don’t support this hope, but I cling to it anyway.)

  37. Venezia 37

    Pardon me, I have taken such little notice of this flag distraction – Which one is “Hypnoflag”?

  38. Graeme 38

    Just been looking at my voting paper and comparing it to partner’s and something struck me.

    On “normal” voting papers, the candidates are listed in random order to ameliorate order voting. This is especially important in a preferential vote like this.

    Both voting papers I’ve seen have the candidates in the same order, and the same order as what appears to be the offical photo. It’s been on most news sites last few days and is in here too http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/11/20/why-im-not-voting-in-this-flag-blinded-vanity-project-and-how-to-spoil-your-vote/

    What order are they in on your voting papers?

    If all the papers are the same it would give quite an advantage to either the black Lockwood, or maybe Red Peak with a bit of reverse phycology…

    Could be an interesting OIA process getting to the bottom of the decision to not have them random, and the final order, if that ‘s the case

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