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Meet the new flag…

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 pm, March 24th, 2016 - 238 comments
Categories: identity, john key, national - Tags: ,

… same as the old flag.

I’m a couple of hours early with this – the results aren’t out yet. But if the Nats’ pet pollster (who you can bet is well informed) has called it for the current flag (and disappeared like Key for the night), then I guess I can call it too.

Farrar’s reasons for the failure of the flag change project will not surprise you – it’s all Labour’s fault! Yes according to Farrar Labour are simultaneously weak and incompetent (his usual position), and also clever and influential enough to derail the project of a (supposedly) popular PM. Poor Mr Farrar obviously suffers from LDS.

I have an alternative hypothesis. We didn’t want to change. Before the politicking started, from the earliest polls to the last the story was consistent, at no stage did Key take the country with him. Key might have succeeded, but he derailed his own project with a partisan process and a woeful shortlist that led to a mediocre alternative design. And while there probably were some politically motivated voters in the end, Key only needs to take a look back at his behavior over the last 7 years to understand how that might have happened. He’s a divider, not a uniter.

No doubt we’ll all indulge in a bit of post-mortem. But as I wrote earlier today, in the end this has all been a distraction from the real issues: poverty and inequality in NZ, our environment and climate change, our wobbly economy and the dairy crisis, the future of health and education, fair employment conditions and equity, how to reduce child and domestic abuse, the need for ethical and competent government, planning for the future, and so on…

238 comments on “Meet the new flag… ”

  1. Chooky 1

    That old New Zealand flag looks damned good !

    How the MPs voted on the flag ( and we will vote on the MPs)…interesting about Judith Collins

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/299841/mps-split-down-party-lines-on-flag-vote

    • BM 1.1

      Doesn’t that just sum up Labour,

      Jesus, aren’t they pathetic.

      • Ross 1.1.1

        Pathetic is basing your decision on what your 5 year old kid thinks looks cool. Now what moronic MP did that?

      • fender 1.1.2

        Did you vote? If you did, does that make you pathetic too?

        • BM 1.1.2.1

          It’s fairly obvious Little has instructed the Labour MPs on how to vote. which is old flag

          That is apart from Shearer who actually has a pair and votes for what he want, not on what he’s instructed to do.

          Only genuine leader Labours had since Clark left.

          • fender 1.1.2.1.1

            Oh REALLY?

            So you are pissed ‘cos Key can’t get his gang to follow suit. Good.

            Shearers no leader anymore than Fozzie Bear is one.

            • BM 1.1.2.1.1.1

              This isn’t supposed to be a party lines vote.
              But with the way Labour has politicised the whole process I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am a bit disappointed.

              I did expect better and thought they might be able to overcome their KDS, but I was wrong.

              • weka

                🙄 It seems the only thing the RWNJs have left is lying.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  +1

                  Actually, that’s all they’ve ever had.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I don’t think so – there was a time when respectability was everything in business – you get something of the feeling from The Great Gatsby.

                    We have a very inferior crop of RWNJ – they need a bit of judicious pruning.

                    • weka

                      The difference between RWNJs and conservatives.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      This group is an exemplar of tolerance and good faith.

                      Anyone who disagrees with the left, even if the tone of the comment is courteous, is either a RWNJ or a troll. Whatever happened to good-natured debate?

                      Can I just quote from Labour’s 2014 ‘Vote Positive’ policy list:

                      ——————————————————————————————
                      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. New Zealand changed its national anthem from ‘God Save the Queen’ on a gradual, optional basis and that process worked.

                      ——————————————————————————————-

                      Note that line: “We believe that the time has come for a change.”

                      I guess that policy was probably written by a RWNJ.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Further comment from Andrew Little in answer to the questions

                      Should NZ change its flag?

                      What’s your personal opinion?

                      Should there be a referendum?

                      If you want the flag changed, what’s your favourite design?

                      “Yes, my personal opinion is we should have something more relevant to an independent, small Asia/Pacific nation. I think a referendum is a suitable way to deal with an issue that can be very polarising. I don’t like the idea of the silver fern on a black background. The elements I would like to see in a flag are the Southern Cross, blue for the sea, green for the land and mountains, and a reference to our Maori heritage.”

              • fender

                Any MP concerned about proper process couldn’t possibly vote for the flag John chose.

              • ScottGN

                National has pushed the party line as much as Labour BM. It’s just hat they’ve hit a brick wall. As far a politicising the process, John Key has campaigned more than any other politician except for, maybe Winston.

              • dave

                cut the crap BM (troll) its your john key and his gang that needed this flag crap to hide the truth this government has done zero zero and its falling apart sky rocketing debt , dairy crash , housing bubble, poverty inequality so the prick called key wasted 29 dollars in hide incompetence and corruption and now part 2 the stadium.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Good grief Dave do you need the government to do everything for you? We surely don’t need Nanny interfering in our lives 24/7. But I do agree with you the National Socialist administration should be cutting spending in areas where it shouldn’t be involved – e.g. conference centres and sports stadiums

          • North 1.1.2.1.2

            You’re really hurting you fuck old troll BM aren’t you ?Well your cardboard souled being deserves all it’s getting right now. Selfish greedy judgmental nasty person you. Good job I say !

            • Richard McGrath 1.1.2.1.2.1

              Typical abusive comment with personal insults – par for the course

          • Lloyd 1.1.2.1.3

            So the majority of the population that voted against the flag are Labour MPs? You mean we now have got rid of the Gnat government? Yah!
            Oh damn, BM, you aren’t connected to reality. Darn.

      • whateva next? 1.1.3

        spoilsport, sums up RWNJ’s

      • D'Esterre 1.1.4

        BM: a member of this household summed it up thusly: ” Queen John’s beach towel sent back to the laundry.”

        Says it all, really. No need to assert politicking: we’re all adults and can make up our own minds. We know a mangy, flea-ridden dog of a design – without even the saving grace of the union jack – when we see one.

    • Chris 1.2

      It was frustrating at the beginning of the debate seeing Labour MPs throwing themselves into key’s narcissistic project with all the talk of the need to include the red bloody peaks or whatever it’s called into the mix but was nice though in the end to see only one Labour MP (shit-for-brains-shearer so no surprise there) voting for key’s favourite. Two Green MPs were sucked in and a small handful of Labour MPs wouldn’t say but overall was refreshing to see the final break down.

      Don’t worry, though, it’ll be back to business in no time. Let’s just watch Labour reject any possibility of a UBI because “it’s too expensive and the public don’t really want it.” Phew!! Now there’s the Labour we know and love. Thank God for that.

  2. BM 2

    Don’t count out the silent majority.

    After having a chat with some one today, I have the feeling it could be quite close.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      The Silent Majority are neither silent nor a majority. You can hear their voice expressed in human rights abuse, crime statistics and corruption, and try as it may, the National Party cannot persuade more people to join up.

    • ScottGN 2.2

      I had a chat with someone today too BM. And we both agreed the whole thing has been a bloody disaster.

    • Hanswurst 2.3

      It seems that most people decided to discount your “silent majority”, actually.

  3. NZJester 3

    I love how in every soundbite he has had about the flag lately that he has been sounding off on how this poll was a great success due to the numbers voting. Then just to cover his bases he then goes on about how the referendum by Winston Peters was just as costly.
    That is like a loosing football team claiming they are winners due to a big crowd turnout to see them, when most of the big crowd are supporters of their opposition!
    There is also a lot of talk about the fact a lot of those voting for the original flag actually want a change but detest the dishcloth offering from Nationals flawed flag picking process. It was a way to rushed of a process with little real public consultation that surprise surprise picked the PM favored flag to go into the running. Those chosen to sit on the flag committee had no actual knowledge of flag history. You would have thought having someone actual knowledgeable about flag design and history should have been on the panel. They chose poorly from the actual offering and because NZ Rugby has the copyright on the better looking fern a lot of other designs with a more realistic fern on them had to be withdrawn from consideration or resubmitted with the more feather like looking fern.

  4. Anne 4

    I heard John Campbell on the car radio earlier this evening. One of the reporters had positioned himself outside a restaurant where the pro-change activists were gathering to celebrate. Last I heard the count was six people.

    Remember the nation-wide meetings? The average attendance was around six people per meeting. Something tells me those meetings were a portent for the future of this ignominious flag campaign.

    • weka 4.1

      And the govt held the climate change target meetings at the same time, didn’t advertise them, and they got big crowds. I was proud of NZ for that.

      • Richard McGrath 4.1.1

        I hope all the AGW warmists turned up on their bikes to those meetings.

        • Sacha 4.1.1.1

          Wow, there are actually still climate change deniers?
          Museums will want your number, dude.

          • Richard McGrath 4.1.1.1.1

            No-one denies that the climate is changing.

            But not everyone worships at the Church of AGW.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Probably the same 6 people from Rent-A-Crowd (subsidiary of National Ltd) that National bused to the meetings.

      • Thom Pietersen 4.2.1

        Nat Corporation – International sales division….

        I MUST BE MAD…. everything must GO… shouty shouty loud loud… ad nauseum

        Climb on Mum and Dad – this is the the chingaling roller coaster to prosperity.

        Fuck the land, fuck your kids, fuck your dumb neighbours… you know what fuck NZ…

        IT’S ALL about the MONEEEEEEEEEEY!

        Quote: “[We’re on the cusp of something great]” J Key BSa (bullshit artist), Hawaiian Yanktard. Bankster, dutch rudder finance champion, Europe, US, Asia, top cunt NZ 2008 – (adhuc viveret) , honorary knight fucktard of the British Empire (KFB).

        Other notable acts: TPPA secret agent, and hair molesterer (ladies preferred – as long as they feel like mummy).

    • Jenny Kirk 4.3

      Yep – and how right that portent has turned out to be, Anne (@ 4)

  5. mikesh 5

    Perhaps the way will now be clear for someone to come up with a design worth voting for. Someone with a keener aesthetic sense.

    • Hanswurst 5.1

      The Tino Rangatiratanga flag has a design well worth voting for. Shame it’s considered divisive.

      • Muttonbird 5.1.1

        What an amazing and unique flag that would be. There’s nothing like it in the 200+ other national flags of the world.

        Hopefully, with proper discussion under a progressive and non-racist government Tino Rangatiratanga might be viewed more favourably.

        It kicks ass on the design and meaning front.

        • Lara 5.1.1.1

          IKR!

          I have learned that this must be very naive of me, but I seriously thought when the idea of a flag change was first mooted that the Tino Rangatirtanga flag would actually be a serious contender.

          I guess white NZ is just too racist to consider it.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            It would have been interesting if it had been promoted in the way the peaks thing was. Would have got my vote and that of most people I know. It’s striking and it means something.

            • weka 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I still reckon we change the flag when we stop having a Crown. Likewise, the Tino Rangatiratanga flag is connected with the Treaty, and we need to sort that out first. Taking on the flag would be a token gesture if it was done by simply a referendum.

              • Lara

                I dunno.

                If a majority of NZers voted to take on the Tino Rangatira flag it would be a big symbolic vote to be inclusive towards Maori. IMO.

                I live in Northland and being white I hear some amazingly racist things come out of the mouths of other white people. Even when I tell them a big part of my family is Maori and they’re talking about my family, they still say racist things. Ugh.

                So no. I don’t think NZ would vote for the Tino Rangatira flag. White NZ is deeply racist.

                But if it did happen I think it would go some way towards healing the divide between Maori and Pakeha.

                Or I guess it could be looked on by Maori as co-opting or taking without respect. Which it may be.

                • weka

                  I tend to think the latter. We could do some things like choose the Tino Rangatiratanga flag because it makes us feel good about ourselves without doing the actual mahi of creating a true partnership between Māori and non-Māori. Which also raises the issue of the Crown, which wouldn’t exist in a republic and we’re not anywhere close as a country to understanding the implications of that. And National have just demonstrated that we can’t have that debate while they are in govt.

                  I agree with you though that if we ever got to a place of choosing the Tino Rangatiratanga flag it would mean we had had a significant shift in racism. Not sure what it would mean if we had 56% in favour and 44% against.

      • Jones 5.1.2

        I would’ve voted for that flag in a heartbeat

      • dave 5.1.3

        no no what was divisive was the real reason for the flag referendum for a corrupt incompetent government to hide behind just like muldoon with the spring box tour

  6. Bearded Git 6

    57-43 to keep old flag just released

    I said 58-42 this morning-do I get the coconut?

    • Chooky 6.1

      yes you can have a coconut

      …and I bet they tried rigging the vote too….so add 10 both ways

      real vote = 67-33 for the New Zealand flag as opposed to jonkey’s crap flag

    • Tautuhi 6.2

      57-43 will be the result at the next Election Labour/Greens/NZF = 57 vs National/ACT/Maori Party/UF = 43 you heard it first on The Standard?

      • Chooky 6.2.1

        +100…an omen

        … for a Left coalition win next Election

        …and for throwing Key out ( he never was a NZer)

        …to be replaced by Judith Collins as leader of the Nacts

  7. Wainwright 7

    Well called, Anthony – 57% for keeping the flag.

    • Anne 8.1

      Their politicking even hit the ballot paper:

      Option A – the Lockwood design better known as the tea towel.

      Option B – the current flag.

      Even tried to hoodwink people into thinking the current flag was only a b-grade flag.

  8. Muttonbird 9

    Sanity has prevailed. For that we can be thankful.

    • Gangnam Style 9.1

      Yes! & I think next time we have a flag change referendum, it should not fronted by an unpopular politician & obviously be well chosen & well designed. That was a lot of political capital burnt by Key no matter how his fans here choose to spin it, hard core righties like Hooton etc will be pissed off he didn’t burn it for something of more value to them than a wannabe vainglorious gesture (that backfired!). Was close though, maybe another month…

  9. Ben 11

    Well I voted for the flag that I wanted to carry us in to the future, and I pity the people that voted along political lines – both the Right and Left. I can’t help but wonder what the outcome would have been if JK kept his preference to himself. Good turnout shows that the public were certainly engaged.

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      Well that was John Key’s mistake wasn’t it? His advisers must have not been able to get a word in edge-ways. What a surprise!

    • weka 11.2

      I voted to keep the existing flag and would have done that irrespective of the politics, because the whole process was bogus from the start. Please don’t make out that this was about political lines. Many people hated how the whole thing was done, and hated the Lockwood design.

    • Lara 11.3

      The Lockwood design was just a dumb flag.

      Face it. Your favourite just sucked. That’s why it lost.

      If the design had been better then people would have liked it across party lines and we would have voted for it.

    • Voted along political lines? Are you thinking conservatives voted for the current flag and liberals for the alternative, or something?

    • Jenny Kirk 11.5

      C’mon Ben (@ 11). Please get real. The new flag was to be Key’s legacy to NZ so he couldn’t keep his preference to himself. He HAD to front up to it …… and what a knock-out he’s taken on it.
      He ( a longtime expatriate), and Crosby Textor (based in OZ so I understand) do not yet totally understand the NZ psyche – thank goodness.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.6

      Think about this simple fact for a bit:

      …despite two national referendums, we won’t actually have a single statistic that tells us how many Kiwis support a change of flag.

    • Francis G 11.7

      If the vote was purely along political lines, then I look forward to a 56.6% majority for a left-wing government next election.

  10. Ovid 12

    Very interesting that the Maori seats were the most in favour of retaining the flag, with support ranging from 67.8% in Te Tai Tonga to 78.5% in Te Tai Tokerau. Highest support in the general seats was Mangere with 70.8%.

    The electorates where the Lockwood design won were Bay of Plenty, Clutha-Southland, East Coast Bays, Ilam, Selwyn and Tamaki with support ranging from 50.4% to 51.9%.

    I’m sure all these numbers mean something and I’m pleased my own electorate of Dunedin North gave a very healthy 64.1% vote to retain the flag.

  11. Ross 13

    More people voted to keep the current flag than voted for National at the last election. It seems even some Tories couldn’t stomach the alternative.

  12. weka 14

    More people voted to keep the flag than voted for National in the last election.

  13. Muttonbird 15

    Oh, and I forgot to say…

    John Key = Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooser!

  14. maui 16

    A bit scary really, National almost convinced the country to rebrand to the logo of their choosing. Amazing what you can convince people of with the media in your back pocket.

    • weka 16.1

      +1. It doesn’t bear imagining.

    • Greco 16.2

      YIP! And this is what the right wing are really, really good at. Marketing is a big part of what they do. But marketing is really just a con job of one sort or another. Age old story…..”The Emperor’s new cloths”

  15. Atiawa 17

    The really sad thing is that a simple yes/no answer in the first instance would not have cost us $27 odd million for the result we now have.

    • DoublePlusGood 17.1

      I don’t know that that referendum would necessarily have been a clear victory for No to changing the flag. A lot of people voted for the current flag because they don’t like the proposed one.

    • Whispering Kate 17.2

      How many cochlear ear implants for young children so they have hearing, how many cataracts removed so people can see, how many more operations could have been done or knees replaced etc. It was a waste of precious taxpayer funds – its a pity we can’t choose where our dollars wish to be spent. That’s the great pity of it, the PM says we cannot afford another 1 paltry million or so to feeding kids in schools – what a farce it has been and a tragedy really. But what a powerful feeling, the media and all his spin to arm himself with and the voice of the people have been heard.

      • Richard McGrath 17.2.1

        “How many cochlear ear implants for young children so they have hearing, how many cataracts removed so people can see, how many more operations could have been done or knees replaced etc.”

        … how many more handouts to ferals on sickness benefits…

        • Draco T Bastard 17.2.1.1

          Actually, the problem is the handouts to corporations:

          1. Rio Tinto
          2. SkyCity
          3. SCF

          etc, etc.

          The people on benefits aren’t ferals – that would be the rich pricks who steal from everybody.

          • Richard McGrath 17.2.1.1.1

            Agree with the first part – corporate welfare should go, and the fact that Key won’t do that, and positively promotes it, is a reason I’ll never vote National.

            Also, I’m not saying all people on SBs are ferals, but some are – I know, I used to do medical reviews of long term sickness beneficiaries for WINZ. One of them admitted the SB was a “lifestyle choice” so he could surf every day.

            • weka 17.2.1.1.1.1

              how many did you come across like that? Ratio of total SBs that you dealt with?

              If you want your points to be taken seriously you could try presenting them in a less inflammatory way.

              • Richard McGrath

                I recommended eligibility for SB should be reviewed for 5-10% of recipients. If that was extrapolated over the whole country, it would have involved about 10,000 beneficiaries.

                n > 1

                • weka

                  over what time period?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Is that all? Quite minuscule amounts amounts really. And even then you’re probably over exaggerating the numbers – not on purpose but through simple human error (we have a tendency to think things are bigger/more significant than they are). Quite simply, nothing to be worried about. Get a better return closing the loopholes that allow the rich to avoid paying taxes of ~$5 billion.

            • Draco T Bastard 17.2.1.1.1.2

              One of them admitted the SB was a “lifestyle choice” so he could surf every day.

              Yep. And I knew a person who said that living on the UB was retirement. He even built himself a $20, 000 (~$35,000 in today’s terms) yacht in the early 1990s while on the UB. He’s been continuously employed since.

              As I’ve said, being unemployed or any other is really fucken boring and no one does it for choice. They maybe looking for what they want to do in life and it may even take them awhile but they won’t stay unemployed.

              We actually need to support these people more because the more support we give them the more likely they are to find what they want to do.

              But even then, all we have between us is anecdote. What we really need is research. Get some concrete figures on it. Like the fact that beneficiary fraud is only $24 million and is mostly carried out by WINZ staff. Chances are that the policies that this government have put in place to combat it have actually cost more both in terms of needing more staff and the damage done to the people who have been abused because of the new rules.

        • weka 17.2.1.2

          “How many cochlear ear implants for young children so they have hearing, how many cataracts removed so people can see, how many more operations could have been done or knees replaced etc.”

          … how many more handouts to ferals on sickness benefits…

          How about you put up some evidence of the numbers of handouts to ferals on sickness benefits, and we will compare that to the numbers of kids needing healthcare? Because I’m pretty sure that while NZ has a govt department that has records of health needs, the department of ferals doesn’t exist. You are making shit up.

          • Richard McGrath 17.2.1.2.1

            Any time you’re confronted with unwelcome news you tend to trot out the “making shit up” line.

        • pat 17.2.1.3

          “… how many more handouts to ferals on sickness benefits…”

          http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/24/white-working-class-issues-free-trade-american-south

          spot the similarity

  16. Whispering Kate 19

    We can celebrate the win because the best design won, but we should also hold our horses until the final vote comes in. I think they said overseas votes are yet to be counted. Remember when Paula Benefit lost in Titirangi two elections back with only 8 votes in it – on the recount she got in. So certainly celebrate but with caution as its not a massive margin, but yes the old soldiers will be relieved that’s for sure.

    • Ross 19.1

      The current flag got almost 300,000 more votes than the also-ran. I don’t think overseas votes can save it.

  17. Rodel 20

    Quick quick Can we have a snap election? Now!
    C’mon John. Show some grit.

  18. the pigman 21

    They imposed a $26 million dollar referendum on us, asking a question on which no-one requested a referendum on, using our money.
    They deployed their pollsters, PR machine, big $$ and a series of high profile sports stars to manipulate public opinion.
    We voted to retain our existing flag.
    Now, according to the geniuses favouring the tea towel, we are “petty” and “spiteful” for “wasting this golden opportunity”.

    Excuse me while I vomit…

  19. Thinkerr 22

    Well, one thing good’s come out of this.

    In a month’s time we will celebrate ANZAC Day, and I bet a lot of people will be paying our NZ flag a lot more attention. Sometimes, you have to almost lose something to learn how much it means to you.

  20. Thom Pietersen 23

    Ah hahahaha!

  21. Ad 24

    Another 50 years to revisit this one again.
    Up the Republic.

    Sigh. Respecting the people’s democratic decision.

    • weka 24.1

      I bet it gets revisited in our life times.

      • Grey Area 24.1.1

        I hope so. Once Key is gone maybe we can have a genuine discussion about what makes us New Zealanders and where we stand in the world. Then maybe we can choose a piece of cloth that in some way expresses that.

        • DoublePlusGood 24.1.1.1

          Ultimately, people can choose whatever symbols they want to represent them. If there is a flag that enough New Zealanders identify with as a flag and symbol of our country, then it will become our flag, referendum or not.

      • Hanswurst 24.1.2

        Indeed. Thinking about it, the spin is entirely arse-backwards. The “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to get a proper flag would have been wasted if the country had voted for Mr. Lockwood’s little piece of kitsch, since the chances of revisiting the issue within decades of having changed the flag would be approaching zero.

        • AB 24.1.2.1

          Yes exactly – it’s not something we will get to do that often. So don’t corrupt and cock it up.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.2

      Another 50 years? Nope. 10 to 20 in association with becoming a republic and the continued global collapse of the present failed system.

  22. Thom Pietersen 25

    Ah hahahaha!

  23. Bearded Git 26

  24. hoom 27

    Since I was a kid I’ve wanted a new flag.

    The old one is an anachronism & not good looking.
    But I voted to keep it over that PoS that was the alternative.

    There are a whole bunch of alternatives that I’d have voted for but not that.

  25. Adrian 28

    Terrific, but for a surprisingly comforting reason. Just had a meal with 8 early twentyers having a bit of a reunion, 3 back visiting from their OE, all voted for retention, and why I asked, because none thought the process was valid and tradition stands for something.
    I,m bloody glad this cohort are still politically aware and thinking, even the ones currently domiciled far from here took the time to be informed. Insert warm fuzzies here.
    My pet complaint is why the original flag of NewZealand which predates being a colony of Britian, colloquially known as the United Tribes flag was not part of the educational process ( Key unilaterally ruled it out in a very high-handed manner ). United Tribes is a bit of a misnomer, it was designed because the first NZ built trading ship was seized in New South Wales in 1833, as even then it was against accepted maritime law to sail without an ensign of nationality. Three flags were designed and put before 18 or so Northern Chiefs and the ” UTF ” was chosen by 10 to 6 etc.
    This is our true flag and I would have voted for it.
    Key hates an informed and knowledgable public and if this is a bloody nose for him it is about time and well deserved.

    • Chooky 28.1

      +100….to all the early twentyers voting for the existing flag! …”tradition stands for something”.

      …but given “Three flags were designed and put before 18 or so Northern Chiefs and the ” UTF ” was chosen by 10 to 6 etc.”…this does not really make for a NZ flag consensus….eg. what about the South Island and the Southern Chiefs?

      ….also the Treaty was signed by a hell of a lot more chiefs than 18…more like 540 gave agreement.

      “More than 40 chiefs signed the Māori copy of the Treaty at Waitangi on 6 February 1840. Copies were then taken all around the country, and chiefs from many places signed. There were about 50 signing meetings between February and September 1840 and about 540 chiefs gave their agreement.”

      http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/treaty/treaty-faqs

      “The Union Jack. Following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840, the Union Jack replaced the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand as the official flag of New Zealand.”

      http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/classroom/new-zealands-first-flag-social-studies-activities/new-zealands-first-flag-social-studies-activities

      “It is notable that the Treaty of Waitangi was made between the British Crown and “the chiefs of the United Tribes of New Zealand” in recognition of their independent sovereignty which continued after 1840 to the extent that the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand was flown at the Pukawa hui when the Maori King was appointed in 1857.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_the_Independence_of_New_Zealand

      • Adrian 28.1.1

        The So called UnitedTribes flag predates the Treaty by 6 years Chooky.
        Only the northern chiefs were given voting options because of the tyranny of time and distance in NZ in 1834 and a flag needed to be agreed upon quite quickly.

        • Chooky 28.1.1.1

          yes you have a point….however so much history has passed since, with the Union Jack as our NZ flag, that we have to keep it out of respect for its history as the NZ flag

          …and out of respect for all those Maori and Pakeha who have fought under it for New Zealand

    • Thom Pietersen 28.2

      The younger generation voted down the Australian republic too – we know what, down under we have an inherent distaste for a presidential system at all levels – one it is based on the old dictatorships of roman era senates – but that’s not how they see it – it’s simply knobby old dicks up top.

      A lot to be said for governance with a remote powerless figurehead rather than a sad old singer, or poet like Ireland – I see el presidente Richie McCaw looming through from the future.

      We want to be proud of our country not embarrassed

    • James N 28.3

      The United Tribes is a brilliant flag and had it been offered would have had my vote. It’s striking, distinctive and has historical resonance.

  26. Draco T Bastard 29

    After reading/listening to what Key said after he lost his personal project I’m reminded of this:

    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    • Jenny Kirk 29.1

      Absolutely Draco TB – now we’ll have the shonkey guy wearing the proper NZ flag on his lapel – just to show how patriotic this former expatriate is !!

  27. Phineas 30

    The Nat’s seem to be recouping the flag referendum costs by doing their own crowd control.

  28. RedLogix 31

    In my view the entire thing was poorly conceived and worse executed. While I’ve always been keen on Hundertwasser’s Koru flag, I’d never imagine by itself it might motivate a majority of New Zealanders to vote for it and reject the current design they’ve known all their lives. Most people are pretty change-resistant unless there is something in it for them they can identify with.

    And that’s the point. There really wasn’t ever a good reason for making a change now. If NZ became a republic, or joined the Australian Federation, or made a major change to it’s Constitution that would be a good moment to signify the change with a new flag.

    And then of course the execution was crap. The alternative flag had no meaning, no coherent symbolism. It had no story to sell. And the design itself was a limp mess at best.

    Worse still Key made a fatal error to personally attach himself to it. Ultimately this just gave a whole swathe of people just another reason NOT to vote for change, while only weakly motivating relatively few to vote FOR it. While there may well be a lot of people willing to let Key act out a role as Placeholder Prime Minister … this does not necessarily imply the same people respect his social or moral leadership so very much.

    • Thom Pietersen 31.1

      John Key is Prime Minister because of the house of cards in housing prices, dairy land etc. – vote him out… and it could be a personal tumble – mix this with social policies of the the Nats that are Labour lite.

      Remember he’s good with the numbers… simple.

      Most people are fooking stoopid usually – but the truth came out in this flag referendum of NZ’ers social social compass independent of personal gain.

      I would have voted for a competent alternative btw,

  29. Incognito 32

    Look, at the end of the day, John Key won’t remember which flag he supported or which way he voted, just as he couldn’t remember where he stood on the Springbok Tour.

  30. Dale 33

    So the flag remains the same. And so dose the PM.
    And after the next election the flag will be the same and so will the PM.

  31. Sanctuary 34

    OK Key just got a swift kick in the nuts and he wont like it. As we speak, the framing of defeat is going on from Farrar and Hooton. The thing is, voting for change was the reactionary option. If you are white, male, wealthy, and middle aged your Key Bromance Syndrome (KBS), severe sense of entitlement and have a sneering delegitimization of any world view except your own (Sean Plunkett, Mike Hoskings, Paul Henry, David Farrar – it is a long and balding list) then you LOVED the new flag. And the thing is, that group just got kicked in the nuts just like th PM. For eight years we’ve had to put up with their aggression and bullying from positions of power. For eight years we’ve had “winners win, and winners love John Key” sideline ugly dads telling us all how to play the game of life. For eight long years we’ve had “We are successful, just be like us or be losers” mantra from National and it’s mono-cultural reactionary middle class cheerleaders, you know – grasping white people of Remuera and Takapuna.

    Their loudly, constantly repeted claim been they are winners who have won the right to rule just took a fucking great big torpedo into the side and now we’ll get to see the flip side of the coin to all their bullshit imposed public school values – naked whinging, sneering and an attempt to marginalise their loss. But ALWAYS and I emphasise ALWAYS remind them they just just lost their most ambitious attempt yet to manufacture consent. Don’t let them wriggle off the hook by indulging their blame game. Yes, Mike Hoskings, John Key, Sean Plunkett, Paul Henry you lost. You are losers. Yes Paula Bennett, you are a LOSER, just like those snivelling beneficiaries you look down your nose at, you came last! Yes Maggie Barry, you are the rose that shrivelled and died.

    Because by knocking them off their perch, we’ve demonstrated the hollowness of their power if they can’t control the media narrative aand we’ve demonstrated they can be beaten. Quite easily, actually.

    So just repeat at every attempt at deflection – you lost. Suck it up, stop making excuses, Look in the mirror, You clearly didn’t want it enough. It’s all your own fault.

    • woodpecker 34.1

      Thank You Sanctuary

    • Thom Pietersen 34.2

      Oh I agree with all you say – but this was a long term identity vote where people felt free to be reactionary without hurting themselves – these fuckers have economically cornered folk to vote for them lest you pull that tumbling jenga piece.

    • the pigman 34.3

      That is a great post, Sanctuary, but (National cheerleader though he may be) Paul “dickshit is an appropriate name because she’s Indian” Henry did actively state his preference for the status quo (going so far as to wear an NZ flag suit on television, I understand).

    • mickysavage 35.1

      Yep the best possible framing of the issue as far as National is concerned and it appeared about 20 minutes after the result cam out.

      • Olwyn 35.1.1

        Yes, I suspect she had two paeans written, on the ready for either result.

      • ScottGN 35.1.2

        And yet not a peep out of her all week about the pm’s defamation suit and taxpayers forking out the settlement?

    • Paul 35.2

      A courtesan, not a journalist, is Audrey.

    • illuminatedtiger 35.3

      Right on cue *yawn*

      • Gangnam Style 35.3.1

        Holy hell that is a bizarre article, she’s rather shameless isn’t she. The comments (when they get published) should be interesting.

    • Thom Pietersen 35.4

      All I see is: Ra ra ra rabble gobble gobble… fuck off you irrelevant suck arse…

      Anyway – onward with the advertisers

    • Expat 35.5

      She’s obviously going for the pay rise on this one, I suppose, at least it says that’s it’s only an opinion, and her opinion has no value.

    • Trey 35.6

      “Tired old fuck”, sums her up perfectly

  32. DS 36

    The most interesting thing about these results? This wasn’t Right vs Left as such – this was simple class war. Maori, Pacific Islanders, and poor white people voted to stay, rich white people voted for change.

    The seats where 60% or more voted to keep the flag:
    Dunedin North, Dunedin South, Invercargill, Kelston, Mangere, Manukau East, Manurewa, Mt Albert, New Lynn, Northland, Rongotai, Te Atatu, plus the seven Maori seats.

    The seats where 50% or more voted to change the flag:
    Bay of Plenty, Clutha-Southland, East Coast Bays, Ilam, Selwyn, and Tamaki.

    Note that both Invercargill and Northland – neither of which are Labour strongholds, voted heavily for the status quo.

  33. swordfish 37

    The two Maori Party MPs – Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox – voted to the change the flag.

    And yet, polls showed Maori were always among the most overwhelmingly opposed to change (83% supporting the current flag in one poll, 85% in another).

    And, clearly, the Maori seats have just expressed greater support for the Current flag than other electorates (more than 73% in 6 out of 7 seats)

    • millsy 37.1

      The 2 MP MP’s (sorry, had to type that), have their heads so far up arses of the National-aligned tribal aristocracy they can taste the kereru they had for dinner.

    • Draco T Bastard 37.2

      IMO, the MP has never represented Māori but that of the Māori elite – those that side with the neo-colonisation of NZ.

    • Tautuhi 37.3

      Shows how out of touch Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox are with Maoridom?

  34. millsy 38

    I see the Gang of Four (Quin, Leggett, Te Pou and Pagani) are going apeshit on twitter.

    Today is a good day. A day that a kiwi icon doesnt fall victim to ‘progress’.

    • Sanctuary 38.1

      AKA very serious people clutching their pearls.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Very_Serious_People

    • swordfish 38.2

      Yep, the extra-Parliamentary wing of the old Blairite core of the ABC faction. Their boy, Shearer, seems to be the sole Labour MP to have voted for the Lockwood alternative (although, Robertson and one or two others are playing their cards close to their chest).

      Leggett argued in the media a few weeks ago that it would be a devilishly brilliant strategy for Labour to get in behind Key and support the flag change (with the Listener editor recently suggesting this was proof of his strategic genius).

      Remarkable.

      • Sanctuary 38.2.1

        I think it would be clever for Labour to wait a few weeks and announce a policy of passing legislation for a full referendum to move to a republic, complete with a new flag and possibly anthem, if it wins government. The trigger to the legislation coming into effect will be the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

        Since old Queenie might well linger on for another two decades, it nicely kicks things down the road while re-establishing Labour as the leader of progressive and inclusive change.

      • Incognito 38.2.2

        Machiavellian?

      • Tautuhi 38.2.3

        Little difference between National and Labour these days, Labour are just a light weight version of National all chasing the same voters?

  35. Dale 39

    Sanctuary,what the hell are you on about?
    It was not a political vote.
    It was up to the people of NZ.
    Just cause John Key wanted change and it didn’t happen doesn’t mean a win for Labour or the left.
    It will mean nothing at the next election.
    Sensible ideas that relate to the working classes will win. It’s pretty simple really.

    • Sanctuary 39.1

      It was not a political vote? Dude, what planet do you live on? A flag is a political symbol of a political idea (the nation sate of New Zealand), and political idea has various interpretations of it’s meaning – which are expresssed via a flag.

      I can’t imagine a MORE political vote.

      • Hanswurst 39.1.1

        I think Dale is labouring under the (unfortunately) popular misconception that the word “political” refers to a crude game of one-upmanship between parliamentary parties.

      • Thom Pietersen 39.1.2

        Identity does not have to be political it can be personal, tribal and absolute – political is the decision process of the affairs of state…

        Therefore we answer the failure for change here.

        • Draco T Bastard 39.1.2.1

          What failure are you on about?

          • Thom Pietersen 39.1.2.1.1

            Identity – remote of political interference

            • Draco T Bastard 39.1.2.1.1.1

              Nope, you’re still not making any sense.

              • Thom Pietersen

                To you – fine, think of it as the badge on my travel bag – nothing to do with who runs the country (more; my club, where I come from; what I am).

                Not everyone is that political

  36. Nick 40

    Classic All Blacks win….. Understated but straight up the guts, shedding the Bullshit, just enough intrigue, with the vast majority of NZ supporting them.

    • mac1 40.1

      “Game of two halves……. came out right in the end…. stuck in there and got the ball over the line….. thanks to the fans who came out and supported us….. now for the National Cup in November next year…..”

    • lprent 40.2

      I am sure that Nick will miss the lovely irony

  37. pat 41

    “New Zealand has voted to keep its traditional flag in a snub to the prime minister, John Key.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/24/new-zealand-votes-to-keep-its-flag-in-referendum

  38. ORAVIDA 42

    Love the Gower/Young/Watkins commentary on this. Classic flag wins the referendum with 56%, it’s a close call. National wins the 2014 election with 47% and it’s A STONKING VICTORY! Pathetic.

    Also fun to see the army of faceless, utterly chilling Twitter sycophants with Lockwood user profile images melting down. Who are these people and who’s paying them?

    New flag was ugly as fuck. Key’s a tasteless prick who fled NZ as soon as he could and only bothered to cone back when being PM took his fancy. Good outcome today.

  39. ORAVIDA 43

    And a hearty fuck off to McCaw, Carter, Plunket and Shipley.

    • Thom Pietersen 43.1

      Look don’t worry – they are just part of the John Gobbly McGobster Key gang.

      Hankies all ’round. Wipe those mouths.

    • North 43.2

      The Man-Child PM will be taking Lord Richie McKey with him when he goes I’d say. Neither could bear missing out on the mutual arse sucking.

    • Richard McGrath 43.3

      I suppose they’re all RWNJs and trolls

  40. Thom Pietersen 44

    Solicited polls – 25% for change. Close to the final result actually on balance of those who could be bothered on the whole – most kiwi’s actually do not give a shit.

    But yes a success, and movement… what the fuck ever…

    To me this is a better thing to think about when Queeny shuffles off this mortal coil and we go to a republic in free association with the people’s republic of china… al la the keyster

  41. Thom Pietersen 45

    Next round?

    Mines a large…

  42. Thom Pietersen 46

    Er yup…

    I’m about to pile into the Absinthe… want one?

  43. Herb 47

    we should celebrate that we have the rightful NZ Union jack flag for the next generation.
    After all Britain is where we come from and their culture is ours so lets celebrate that.
    well done team

    • Colonial Viper 47.1

      damn ungrateful colonials

    • Chooky 47.2

      +100 Herb…interesting that young New Zealanders are very keen on our New Zealand history and our NZ flag…

      • Thom Pietersen 47.2.1

        I myself was very open for a change – but it needed to be unique maaori/pasifika/euro immigration, none of this mix match hangover to old, and blimmin rugby flags… clean break only.

        That said, I’ve always been proud of ‘our’ flag and its links to out system of law, and what it represents as the start of the nation troubles and all – I am a fan of the tino rangatiratanga flag also – it looks bloody good, pity about the baggage.

        Along with the united tribes flag, who say we can’t fly all 3 – fuck the rules, make em.

  44. vto 48

    anti-Keyites will be getting their tail feathers up…

    yeeehaaaaa …….

    Key should stick to Omaha and Hawaii where he belongs

  45. Chrys Berryman 49

    Key can run up his tea towel on his Hawaii batch’s flagpole ….underneath the stars and stripes,the flag he really wants us to kowtow to.

    • Chris 49.1

      I don’t think we’ve seen the last of those flags. They’re all over the place especially the one key likes. That one in particular and maybe red bloody peaks or whatever it’s called will be back in the running when someone decides it’s time for another crack. Hopefully the five we’ve just seen have been so tainted by key’s narcissism that they won’t get a look in.

  46. Chooky 50

    so jonkey can now do New Zealanders a white feather dance…bye bye

  47. mac1 51

    At least I won’t have to imagine the road to the future as an upland farm track lined with side-lit poplars………………..

  48. International Rescue 52

    “We didn’t want to change. Before the politicking started, from the earliest polls to the last the story was consistent, at no stage did Key take the country with him. Key might have succeeded, but he derailed his own project with a partisan process and a woeful shortlist that led to a mediocre alternative design. ”

    Nailed it! Key won’t take any kind of a hit over this though, he’ll simply shake it off. Labour, on the other hand, have shown they are hypocrites.

    • fender 52.1

      ” Labour, on the other hand, have shown they are hypocrites.”

      Yeah because their flag change policy specifically stated the PM would corrupt the process /sarc

      • International Rescue 52.1.1

        No, because they have had a policy to change the flag for decades.

        • fender 52.1.1.1

          Having a policy to change the flag doesn’t mean Labour has to automatically support any flawed process that aims to do the same that comes along.

          • International Rescue 52.1.1.1.1

            The process wasn’t flawed. I doubt Labour would have done anything differently. Their stance is pure sour grapes.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 52.2

      There’s nothing hypocritical about denying political oxygen to a lying spiv. The Prime Minister even managed to damage Riche McCaw’s brand.

      There wasn’t anything for New Zealand to gain by Labour supporting trash.

      • International Rescue 52.2.1

        So you see this as JK’s flag? Oh boy, you do have it bad.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 52.2.1.1

          Always happy to draw attention to your flailing assertions about Labour. There’s no need to get personal, unless you’ve got absolutely nothing substantive to say.

          Oh, right.

          • International Rescue 52.2.1.1.1

            That’s laughable coming from someone who is obsessed with making ad-hominem attacks on the PM.

  49. Dot 53

    + 100 Sanctuary
    now get on with making our country a better place
    for all to live in.

  50. Big dog 54

    If Key started shitting publicly in the street,that old boot licker Audry Young would try to pass it off as water conservation !

  51. rod 55

    Poor John Key. He lost big time. It appears, by the result, that he is not as popular as he and his arse licking media mates think he is. He will forever be remembered as the Prime Minister who wasted $26 of taxpayers money on a personal Legacy and Vanity promotion. This is a great, Good Friday. Do have a nice day, all you flag changers! Bye

  52. Phineas 56

    Saw this video regarding the flag referendum on Aljazeera some of its pretty funny,

    The RSA chairman comes across really well the change supporters have problems with making sense

  53. Herb 57

    Rod
    Well done for voting to keep the Union Jack which represents British Royalty and the Church of England.
    Your obvious concern over spending $27million dollars on the referendum must have you apoplectic at Littles proposals to spend an EXTRA 18 THOUSAND MILLION on universal welfare.

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