Standfornz – when social media goes bad

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 11th, 2015 - 118 comments
Categories: activism, identity - Tags: ,

The site www.standfor.co.nz is supposed to get us all excited about the flag distraction:

“Before our country decides which flag we’ll stand for, we want to know what you stand for”

It’s not turning out the way the Nats intended. Random screenshot from last night, click the image for large version (see also Twitter #standfornz):

stand-for

118 comments on “Standfornz – when social media goes bad”

  1. adam 1

    That is awesome. Some really great one lines in that lot – well worth having a wee look.

    • weka 1.1

      +1, this is fantastic. I bet the people that had to make the site knew this would happen too 😈

      “It’s like twitter has a new toy… $26,000,000 well spent”

      :-))

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    …we love you John…
    –Dick Pounder

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Just had a peek at the more recent comments: it isn’t getting any better. The contempt is palpable.

  4. maui 4

    Their facebook page is in as much trouble heh. Most of the support seems to only be coming from people who are peddling their own flag design.

  5. Sable 5

    I added my five cents worth. Whether it will be published is another question. What usually happens in these situations is comments start being censored.

    Good to see some people can see past the hype and appreciate this is a pretty sad smokescreen to mask the TPPA negotiations or should I say sell out.

  6. miravox 6

    These comments remind me of the good things about NZers (I’ve been having quite a downer on what NZ stands for lately).

    Become a republic, honour the treaty, then ask about changing the flag, imo.

    • weka 6.1

      +1

      Or honour the treaty, become a republic then think about the flag

    • That would be the right order to do it in IMO. I think changing the flag now is worth paying juuuuuust a bit of attention to, but not being distracted by.

      That said, if people want to change the flag eventually, and we get a good design out of the referendum, we might as well vote for it while we’re spending the money anyway. We all know long-term the current one is a goner.

      • miravox 6.2.1

        “we might as well vote for it while we’re spending the money anyway.”

        I don’t agree. A branding exercise now will produce a different result to a flag designed to mark a change in nationhood.

        I hadn’t thought too much about the order I wrote things, but yeah – I can’t see the ToW being honoured under the current system.

  7. Sabine 7

    we truly are a banana republic.

  8. Sabine 8

    we truly are a banana republic.

  9. Karen 9

    It seems Gwynne Compton, the new Jason Ede in Key’s office, is not happy and is threatening to track down the authors of some of the anti-Nat tweets.

    https://twitter.com/gtiso/with_replies

    • ianmac 9.1

      Perhaps poor old Gwynne Compton has been stung by criticism of our Dear Leader.

    • joe90 9.2

      heh

      John Key Must Go
      ‏@JohnKeyMustGo

      “… NZ Flag is an independent, non-political, design-neutral society”
      Run by JK’s media advisor & Nat. MP candiate. http://www.changetheflag.nz/change_the_nz_flag_launches_campaign

      https://twitter.com/JohnKeyMustGo/status/596970174621700096

    • ianmac 9.3

      On the “non political Change the Flag” site, is this the same Gwynn Compton who is “non political”?
      Gwynn Compton commented 6 days ago
      Hi Shelley,

      It’s not often a country gets the opportunity to have a say on its flag, New Zealand certainly didn’t when the current one was adopted back in 1902, and even Canadians only got to submit ideas – with the final vote being made by their MPs, so we’re encouraging people to take advantage of this unique and rare opportunity to reflect on how New Zealand should be represented on our flag, and to get involved. In might be decades before we get another chance!

      It’s interesting when you look at polling around the flag. When it’s a simple yes/no question, there’s currently reluctance to change the flag. However, when presented with alternatives, support for the current flag reduces considerably, to the point where alternate flags often are preferred over the current one. This is why Change the NZ Flag supports the two-stage referendum process.

      As for the cost, there’s two ways to look at it – this is a one off cost that will deliver years of benefits through an enhanced international branding for our country, ……….delivering returns through better promotion of our export and tourism industries. “
      4th comment down:
      http://www.changetheflag.nz/change_the_nz_flag_launches_campaign

      • Tracey 9.3.1

        “benefits through an enhanced international branding for our country,”

        Is there a vomitting icon?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1.1

          We had a perfectly good brand until the National Party took a great big dump in it.

          • Tracey 9.3.1.1.1

            well it was a country then… now we are just minority shareholders in a company

    • David H 9.4

      Yeah right and then what? Can I have him charged for stalking and breaking who knows how many privacy laws? And if he thinks he can tell me what to think and say, then he’d better bring an army.

    • retro 9.5

      She should suck it up. That’s what happens when you have idiots running the government.
      They are meant to work for the people of their country, not do as they Jolly well please.

  10. Melanie Scott 10

    I support changing the flag, but only if there is a banana on it.

    • ianmac 10.1

      I might support a flag change if it has no sign of a Key in it or on it.

      • b waghorn 10.1.1

        That’s my dilemma I want the union jack gone (and the bludging royals can go with them) but it would pain me deeply to do anything that gives key a lasting legacy.

    • Hanswurst 10.2

      So seeing as there is currently no banana on the flag, you don’t support changing it?

  11. David H 11

    And to put in your 10c worth.

  12. Chooky 12

    those on the Jonkey’s change the NZ flag committee should stand down…if only for their own good reputations!

    …no one wants the NZ flag changed by Jonkey…he has compromised NZ enough already ( the millions should be spent on Hone Harawira and Metiria Turei’s school lunches for poor kids….and propping up Otago Health so it can continue to provide quality meals on wheels for the elderly)

    ….and if a new flag is foisted upon NZers there will probably be a resistance to change ie our existing NZ flag will be used and the foisted one not hoisted…if not worse ( stomping , ceremonial bum wiping?)

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.1

      Just what she said….

      “I stand for Proper democracy..like checking first if new zealanders want to change the flag, before spending our hard earned money on flag options because the prime minister wants a new flag to be his legacy. I would prefer to remember him for more meaningful contributions to making nz great place to live, like maybe paying support staff in schools, rest home caregivers, and disabilities support workers, a wage that better reflects the significant difference they make in the lives of our young and our elderly, and disabled kiwis and their families. Thats what i stand for.

      sheila beckers”

      Do you think perhaps they thought this would bring a torrent of affirmation for Our Leader and his Merry People?

      Do you think His staff are passing on these messages, that He asked for, in full?

      Or are His staff filtering out the negative lest Our Leader’s ego takes a hit or two?

      I made my own post, in a similar vein, but ensuring I got in mention of the TPPA…as did a number of others.

      I didn’t see my comment up on screen. .

      Others have commented elsewhere that their comments have not shown up.

    • David H 12.2

      Damn Straight. It’s just another colossal, tho’ no where near the biggest amount they’ve gifted to their hanger on Toadies. I shudder to think the amount they have given away to their Toadies over the last 7 years

  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    And from the website….http://www.standfor.co.nz/

    “I stand for Resistance against the totalitarian capitalism that has taken over our nation and replaced fairness with greed, egalitarianism with corporate welfare. I stand against a new flag that is a branding of NZ Inc.foist upon us by a money speculator.

    Lesley”

    Most of the comments are in a similar vein….and a surprising number appearing to comment using their full name.

  14. Chooky 14

    I suggest a new Jonkey ‘toilet paper flag’

    ….as a money raiser for poor NZ kids lunches in schools ….and meals on wheels for the elderly …ie propping up the Otago Health Board….it would be a huge hit!….and a big pooh spinner….a great constipation reliever

  15. ianmac 15

    I guess that the Key for new flag is a distraction but those vigorously opposing it serve the same distraction. Damnit!

    • Indeed. If you think it’s a waste of time you shouldn’t waste time on it.

      If you’re angry at John Key there are much better things to protest than changing the flag. How about fighting poverty? Addressing climate change? Protesting his embarrassing record as Prime Minister?

      You don’t need to fight to keep a relic to embarrass the PM.

  16. Robert Guyton 16

    Keep the flag, change the Prime Minister.

  17. Tigger 17

    Just realised the silver fern on the flag Mr Key favours looks remarkably like a ponytail… No wonder he is determined to install it as our new national symbol.

  18. Jones 18

    This is brilliant! If a new flag is chosen I can see people continuing to fly the old flag in protest and it becoming a symbol of resistance to this Government and its corporate take over of NZ.

  19. Charles 19

    They didn’t post my contribution over the weekend. I thought it was innocuous: “I stand for sitting down” and I added a nice picture of a chair so they knew where I was coming from.

    NZ has no time for time-wasters like me. This is serious business – argue, or be damned! Without certainty over the flag, we’ll never be able to puff out our cheeks on the global stage again! Arabs will cry, sheep will die, Key will fly… or flee, something like that.

    My pick from the weekend was “I stand for… nap rooms.”

  20. McFlock 20

    I’d be wary of using my TS handle on any of these sites.

    Me no trust nactoids 😉

  21. NZSage 21

    It’s not that easy to find the comments on the standfor website so here’s the link: http://www.standfor.co.nz/#entries

    Comments still 60-70% in favour of no change.

    I’ll give the website 48 hours to live, can’t have free speech when free speech pillories Key’s supposed legacy project.

    ..or are we all being distracted?

  22. I support changing the flag in the long term. However using changing it as a smoke screen for something as stinky as the Trans Pacific Partnership is just wrong on so many levels.

    Thus it can wait until such a time as that where it becomes an issue through natural discourse.

  23. JanMeyer 23

    Why oh why can’t progressive voices get in behind changing the flag? Please put aside the tribal hatred of John Key and embrace this! How can having a god damned union jack on our flag (which in any event is otherwise indistinguishable from the Australian version) be a good thing? Sure there are “other priorities” for government spending, but there always will be folks.

    • nzsage 23.1

      I’m all for a flag change for the right reasons e.g. when we become a republic. Changing it for an ego trip, a distraction or a re-branding exercise is plain stupid.

      • Lanthanide 23.1.1

        Cananda is not a republic and they changed their flag. It is now one of the most recognised flags in the world.

    • Sabine 23.2

      I can not in good conscience allow for 26.000.000 $ NZ to be spend on a new Flag, when we are not reaching budget surplus, when we have the elderly sleeping in their cars in hospital carparks and young ones squatting in quake houses, when we have kids go to school hungry, and so on and so on and so on.

      I would like to know how the National Party, the party of fiscal responsibility is so cheerful wasting our hard earned tax money.
      This money was tithed out of hard working Mum and Pop New Zealander and should be used sensibly and only to benefit New Zealand and its Citizens.
      The Flag Change only serves to give a gloss of achievement to the residency of the John Key as Prime Minister of New Zealand, and I for once would loathe to waste money on that.
      Truly that would be frivolous spending, would you not agree 🙂 .

      • rawshark-yeshe 23.2.1

        +100 sabine

      • JanMeyer 23.2.2

        The money will be spent and there will be two referendums (don’t like the word referenda). Given that fact, there will be a chance to choose between two flags. Will “progressives” prefer to choose the existing colonial, same-as-Aussie, flag as some sort of political point in the second referendum??

        • Maui 23.2.2.1

          As others have said people will vote for a change when the time and conditions are right. At the moment this whole process is backfiring badly. I also think having the panel shortlisting flag options is silly. If we’re going to do it properly, 4 million people should be voting on the flag design they prefer.

        • sabine 23.2.2.2

          Yes dear.
          That is what this progressive conservative lefty hippy pinko commie chick will be doing.

          if it means preventing the government from wasting 26.000.000 $ while foistering Austerity on our most vulnerable citizens, while not upgrading our public infrastructure, while not building social housing for our elderly, our low income families than why yes, i will not participate in the first referendum re the design of the flag, because thank you very much we already have a flag, and I will vote NO on the second referendum again because thank you very much we already have a flag.

          Explain to me JanMayer, how a conservative and a fiscally responsible person that would want the government to exist within their means, can support such a waste of Taxpayers funds? Really. Oh because colonial, same as Aussie (but not really ey..:) ) really, that is all.

          So how about we get out of the commonwealth and no more rah rah re the royals, get the Treaty of Waitangi sorted/implemend and then maybe when all the hungry kids had a feed, when all the homeless have a home, maybe then it would be the time of the Flag change.

          As of now, it is just simply Mr. Key trying to finish what Mrs. Shipley did not get done before run out of parliament

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Shipley

          ” ……. Shipley unexpectedly backed Cultural Affairs Minister Marie Hasler’s call for a change in the New Zealand flag. Shipley, along with the New Zealand Tourism Board, backed the quasi-national emblem of the silver fern on a black background as a possible alternative flag, along the lines of the Canadian flag, but she took pains to publicly disassociate herself from Bolger’s support for republicanism. As the debate continued in 1999, the Princess Royal visited New Zealand, and Shipley stated, “I am an unashamed royal supporter, along with many New Zealanders.” However, the debate was muted by the controversy surrounding Tourism Board contracts going to the public-relations firm Saatchi and Saatchi, whose World CEO Kevin Roberts, also an advocate of the silver fern flag, was a good friend of Shipley.

          a nice little article from the herald ….http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=2874

          so you see Jan, again the Prime Minister could not even find something that someone else did not try before. I feel sad for the Prime Minister, he so badly wants a legacy, but really, New Zealand can’t afford these kinds of shenanigans, at the moment.

        • sabine 23.2.2.3

          reading this, we should not even have this ridiculous notion of spending any money on frivoulus ideas such as flag changing.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/68437965/government-will-not-deliver-long-promised-surplus-treasury

          …….Little over a week out from the Budget, the monthly accounts confirm that the Crown accounts are poised to record another deficit this year.

          On Monday the financial statements for the Government for the nine months to March 31 showed the operating balance before gains and losses (Obegal) – the figure used to measure whether the Crown is in surplus – was a deficit of $358 million.

          After briefly showing a surplus in early 2015, at the end of February the Obegal showed a deficit of $269m.

          The current running deficit was better than the $1.2 billion the Crown was forecasting back in December, with tax revenue $844m higher than expected. Corporate and individual tax were ahead of expectations but GST was $201m below forecast. Crown expenses were also slightly better than forecast.

          On May 21 Finance Minister Bill English will deliver his seventh Budget, expected to show a seventh straight deficit, although the final figure will not be known until the full year accounts are published in October.

          Although the deficit is likely to be only a few hundred millions dollars – a fraction of 1 per cent of New Zealand’s gross domestic product – National has promised dozens of times since 2011 that the books would be back in surplus this year.

          • Matthew Whitehead 23.2.2.3.1

            We would eventually have a referendum on this subject anyway, and to be honest, this two-question format is the best and fairest way to do it.

            That said, the least they could do would be to coincide one of the referenda with the election to save on postal costs.

        • lprent 23.2.2.4

          The money will be spent and there will be two referendums…

          The cost of the referendums will be dwarfed by the cost of changing everything that has a flag design on it. No point in throwing good money after a stupidly bad decision….

          Besides, rewarding stupid politicians for pushing for stupid referendums in mid-term is just encouraging the arseholes to do more of them.

          If you want to do a referendums, then the appropriate time to do them is at election time. You start with a question if people want to change at all.

          Will “progressives” prefer to choose the existing colonial, same-as-Aussie, flag…

          Who cares. A flag is a meaningless cloth to me both as a citizen and an ex-soldier. I’m usually pretty proud to be a New Zealander. I don’t need some manky cloth to remind me of that.

          Tell me what the point of having a flag at all is again?

          • Mike S 23.2.2.4.1

            “Who cares. A flag is a meaningless cloth to me both as a citizen and an ex-soldier. I’m usually pretty proud to be a New Zealander. I don’t need some manky cloth to remind me of that.

            Tell me what the point of having a flag at all is again?”

            Yay! Finally someone whose thoughts I agree with. It’s a flag for goodness sake, who gives a rats arse, it means sweet f a.. I don’t identify with a flag, i identify with a country.

        • Hateatea 23.2.2.5

          I can’t take seriously any comment from someone who thinks we should say referendums because he prefers it to the linguistically correct referenda. Of course, the word has only existed for a couple of thousand years.

          Meanwhile, you sit back and let the ‘gummint’ waste $26,000,000 on referenda that we (for the most part) neither want nor need. Because a new flag is totally going to abolish child hunger and adult homelessness in Aotearoa, won’t it? No? If we as a nation have $26,000,00 lying around unused it should go where there is demonstrable need, not on this monument to the PM’s ego.

          • te reo putake 23.2.2.5.1

            Aren’t they both correct? Certainly, common usage is referendums and has been for a long time. Referenda can also have a wider meaning (covering the process itself, not just individual referendums). I’ve just about given up on linguistic accuracy in the modern world anyway. Especially now that literally appears to have the same meaning as figuratively and nothing is real. Bah!

    • lprent 23.3

      I can’t see any point nor reason to change it. Certainly the idiots promoting it have yet to make a single argument for having either a flag at all (see my post on that) or a change in the design.

      But lets say that we don’t take my preferred option of dumping having a state flag…

      There appear to be no verifiable upsides to changing the flag. Everything I have seen so far says that it a stupid feel-good for people who haven’t bothered to think about costs. As a “rebranding” exercise it sucks because noone can say what in the hell it is meant to achieve.

      If the sports teams want to traipse in with their own branding, then by all means let them use whatever they feel like. I don’t give a damn. The only thing that we can be sure of is that they won’t use the flag brand much.

      What I can see is a colossal cost in having two referendums in the MIDDLE of the electoral period. The only logical reason I have heard for this colossal waste of effort is that it is easier to get a lower turnout in a postal vote.

      There is an additional major cost for the people who like flying the rags in the air in changing their supply of flags.

      We aren’t changing constitution. So what are we doing this for?

      As far as I can see, only because John Key has such a pitiful track record that he wants to charge everyone for a face saving exit.

    • D'Esterre 23.4

      @ JanMeyer: “Why oh why can’t progressive voices get in behind changing the flag? Please put aside the tribal hatred of John Key and embrace this!”

      My opposition to a flag change really doesn’t have anything to do with the PM: he’s the one inserting himself into the process. I don’t give a tinker’s toss who’s proposing it: I don’t want a change. That flag represents my heritage and our shared history; that history is the narrative of what made this country, made us what we are today. Like it or not, and for good and bad, colonialism is an integral part of that history: erasing its symbols won’t make it go away. This entire proposal stinks of an attempt to write a revisionist account of our shared past, and to portray our flag as a symbol of our “brand”. Away with such cock-eyed notions: it just won’t do!

      “How can having a god damned union jack on our flag (which in any event is otherwise indistinguishable from the Australian version) be a good thing?”

      The Australians copied our flag, not the other way about. Let them change theirs. In any event, the presence of the Union Jack on both flags is a marker of that aspect of history that our two countries share. Much of that history was violent and bloody; but nevertheless it’s our history, symbolised in part by the Union Jack. Since it reflects part of my heritage, I say we should retain it. Along with the flag we now have.

  24. Sans Cle 24

    Half of New Zealand stand for taking the piss.

  25. greywarshark 25

    Why should our temporarily?? elected PM or MPS be the people who decide what our new flag should look like? We should have everyone who wants to design one put forward their design and then vote for three we prefer. That goes to a panel of graphic artists with some public and others who cut out the ones not suitable leaving at least 20
    for us all to vote for perhaps with choice of three again. Let’s take time to think about it. It will be a reminder that we are a country, a society, and not just a lot of anomic individuals. And it will be the last flag we will have before the country is invaded like Hawaii was.

    What a damn cheek yek and his mates have thinking to decide everything so limiting our options. Though this is ‘normal’ practice by gummint now.

  26. feijoa 26

    quote from the site
    ” I stand for a flag that tells me the wind direction and strength”

    LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. repateet 27

    What does this mean? That an above board democratic process has been subverted even more than we thought it had? Even more reason to vote against a flag change.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68460565/john-keys-social-media-advisor-faces-twitter-threat-claims

  28. Ant 28

    I’d like to see a new flag as a uniting symbol celebrating a contemporary achievement on the global stage, one that we could stand proud of in the eyes of the world, one that expresses continuity of past innovation such as voting rights for women, the Waitangi Treaty, anti nuclear stance etc. Fronts that come to mind include integrated social justice, 100 %renewable energy, tripling our quota of Mediterranean refugees, elimination of child poverty. With nothing new to show for it a new flag is little more than a frothy distraction at best or a waste of money and time.

  29. Ecosse_Maidy 29

    Dear Mr keys,,,,,your idea is pants for a flag for a memorial for yourself,,,how about you have this unused slab of limestone with some pledges on,,,,only one user and yours for a paltry £20,000 discount price.

  30. Matthew Hooton 30

    After RWC11 I wrote an NBR column calling for a change to the black flag with a silver fern. It really felt like the right thing back then. But four years on I’ll be voting for the status quo. Not entirely sure why. I think I’m just uncomfortable with the process. And ISIS has created bad associations with black flags while other options – especially green-based ones – feel too PC to me.

    • vto 30.1

      funny I also pick up on a similar status quo feeling on the flag

      bit like the popularity of conservative parties everywhere today – in this time of uncertainty and terrorists just stick to the known

      it is a time for conservatives
      no doubt

    • felix 30.2

      ” It really felt like the right thing back then.”

      I’m sure it did for a lot of people who’s connection to this country of ours runs as deep as knowing who kicked the ball this week.

      • Matthew Hooton 30.2.1

        The fern is much more than a sports logo though. If you ever can, visit the kiwi war graves at El Alamein or Monte Cassino. Not a Union Jack or Southern Cross to be seen (according to my memory anyway). It’s the Silver Fern on all the grave stones, and it is very moving seeing it in the middle of nowhere in Egypt or Italy. I think I would still have voted for the black flag with the fern were it not for Isis, and being uncomfortable with the process (including the astroturfing job we learned about yesterday).

        • Pascals bookie 30.2.1.1

          While this is true, symbolism matters eh?

          And the symbolism of putting a military emblem on the national flag isn;t really much better than using a sporting emblem. Less silly, definitely, but not less good.

          • Matthew Hooton 30.2.1.1.1

            I get your point but I don’t see it as a military or a sports emblem. I think the military and sports teams use it because it is a symbol of NZ. Can’t remember if it is used on WW1 graves at Gallipoli and elsewhere.

            • felix 30.2.1.1.1.1

              Can you think of any other examples that aren’t sports or military related though? I think I might have seen it on a packet of butter, but I don’t think that’s a great place to find identity either.

              I never understood the ISIS flag connection. Doesn’t remind me of the silver fern on black at all, or vise versa. But everyone else seems to see it so there’s no point arguing that I’m right and everyone’s wrong, eh?

              However I do kinda think if your generations-old symbol of national pride can be so easily shamed out of the running just by someone else using the same colours, then it might not have been such a powerful symbol after all.

    • DoublePlusGood 30.3

      I suspect the ‘feel to PC to me’ is because you just can’t like green on account of your views of the Green party. You probably can’t even go for a walk in a forest…

    • After RWC11 I wrote an NBR column calling for a change to the black flag with a silver fern. It really felt like the right thing back then.

      Those of us who don’t give a shit about professional sports in general or rugby in particular didn’t experience, recognise, respect or value that feeling. If by some chance we did become foolish enough to base flag changes on the brief euphoria of sports victories, it would at least highlight how ridiculous this flag bollocks is, but it would also be a very expensive way of proving that point.

  31. ropata 31

    Some of the best ones (I *wish* TS embedded tweets in comments!)

    #standfornz c/o @formercrsc Best. One. Yet. pic.twitter.com/wOQmC1EvAG— Kaiser Chillhelm (@AceMcWicked) May 11, 2015

    Look closely you are getting sleepy… you will be distracted by a new flag… #standfornz pic.twitter.com/SyAiOU4cZs— ArrestJK (@ArrestJK) May 11, 2015

    Repeat after me: "We need to discuss the flag. We need to discuss the flag." #standfornz pic via @ExposeTPP pic.twitter.com/Nf6lhRgXCg— leopard4notshitmedia (@leopardthinks) May 11, 2015

    And my own humble effort…

    I stand for a brave new world under our glorious eternal leader #standfornz pic.twitter.com/Q7wqcl4jkx— ɥɔsǝdɐd qoɹ (@ropata) May 11, 2015

  32. Wayne 32

    Of course people can vote as they wish. But a fair number of Standardnista’s apparently are going to vote for the status quo, not because they want to keep the existing flag but because they hate John Key so much. Not what I would call rational.

    As I have said before, that is a choice you can make, but if the status quo is the choice there won’t be a flag change for anything up to 50 years.

    And for those who want a republic, well, that ain’t happening in your lifetimes, (unless you are about 6).

    But if we are to keep the existing flag, it would look a lot better if the stars were bigger.

    • felix 32.1

      “But a fair number of Standardnista’s apparently are going to vote for the status quo, not because they want to keep the existing flag but because they hate John Key so much. Not what I would call rational”

      Oh fuck off Wayne. I could just as easily say you only want to change it because you’re so far inside Key’s pants.

      Not rational, and embarrassingly fawning.

    • lprent 32.2

      I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the flag one way or the other. As far as I am concerned it is merely a bit of largely irrelevant obsolete military tech.

      Its only use as far as I can see is as a wrapper for people who don’t actually do much for their communities to wave it when they want to look like they are doing something. In other words lazy arseholes more concerned with appearance than being useful.

      So far in this “debate” I haven’t seen anything to show me that considered opinion that generally the main people supporting it are people like sports admins, marketing geniuses, political operatives, and other lazy parasites with too much time on their hands and an lack of skills to go and work on something more useful.

      But I really object to wasting $26 million in mid-term referendums. Apparently this came about because National likes meaningless distractions and more specifically that John Key has a bit of an ego problem. I suspect that many people here and elsewhere are of a similar mind.

      Why didn’t our ponytail puller just put this in with the normal elections? And simply ask if there was enough interest in changing the flag? That would have been a whole lot cheaper and wouldn’t have pissed me off so much. What are we going to have next? Suggestions from ignorant politicians that pi should be made to equal 3.0?

      But I don’t expect you to understand that. It must be so much easier casting other peoples ideas and opinions into nice little smears eh?

      In case you hadn’t realised. Sanctimonious dickhead comments like the one you just made without bothering to engage your brain or observing what people were actually saying just annoy me.

      • felix 32.2.1

        But without a flag, what will we drape over the coffins that come back from Iraq and Syria?

        A picture of Key’s shit-eating grin, perhaps?

    • RedBaronCV 32.3

      Actualy we object to the useless waste of time , money & effort and that is spread far wider than TS.
      If it just happens to be an accurate description of your boss as well- thanks for confiming that Wayne – you are just going to have to live with it and please stop trying to blame the other kids in the class. You should be over that by now.

    • Clemgeopin 32.4

      @Wayne: “But if we are to keep the existing flag, it would look a lot better if the stars were bigger”

      Why? To represent Key and English’s BS ‘Rock STAR’ economy with low wages for the ‘underclass’, expanding income gaps, increase in food banks and homeless, and a rapidly growing, ninety odd billion dollars of huge government debt?

      • DoublePlusGood 32.4.1

        Make those red stars too big and it’ll look like we’ve gone communist. Wayne will be beside himself…

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 32.5

      Wayne, you need to get out more and mix with real people. There are so many NZers struggling day to day to pay bills: having to prioritise which bill to pay and which one can be left another week, not being able to pay the car rego when it is due, ditto for a WOF, risking getting caught in a checkpoint, not ever going to the dentist.
      Can you, just for a moment, picture what people in the precarious situation described above would think about the government wasting money on an unessential bit of “rebranding?” If they didn’t think that John Key was a dick before the flag issue, they sure as hell would now. If you read the what do you stand for comments, the overriding issue is the WASTE of money.
      Too many of the well-off in NZ have had little contact with people who are less well off and therefore have never developed any understanding, compassion or empathy in this regard. The poor are often regarded as having made poor choices. We, the people are now telling the National Party that it has made a POOR CHOICE furthering the flag issue at this time of deprivation, deficits and broken promises.

      Also: Just a gentle reminder of who the 2009 tax cuts helped, less we forget.
      (National priority is to give more money to those who already have enough. ie their campaign donors.)

      “First, taxpayers with children will need to be earning at least $41,025 annually before they see any increase in their after-tax earnings. This is because the reductions in the statutory tax rates only affect persons earning over $40,000. At incomes between $40,000 and $41,025, the extra ACC payments will exceed the tax cut. This is controversial because it both discriminates against most taxpayers with children – who are now classed as ‘dependent’ because they receive Family Tax Credits – and because it ignores lower income recipients.”

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0904/S00005.htm

      And Bill English is still mumbling tax cuts….

  33. whateva next? 33

    I will be voting for status quo, simply because I HAVE FAR MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO THINK ABOUT RIGHT NOW THANKS

  34. Is there an option to vote not to have a flag?

    I realise that – global realities being what they are – we probably need to have a nation state but do we need to sentimentalise it into some kind of deep aspect of our personal and social identity?

    Surely human identity should depend on realities far more direct, local and experienced than some socially constructed abstract notion (‘New Zealand’). Place, land, people, history and community are vital – but cheapening those realities with emotive signs and symbols like flags is a dangerous business – they become leverage points for political manipulation.

    Yes, we all need to feel that we belong and are part of something bigger but we shouldn’t let that human need be co-opted for base purposes.

    The emotional warmth felt for pride in ‘one’s country’ is no recompense – or moral trade-off – for the encouragement of nationalism.

    Nationalism, in its raw, flag-waving form is no different from some sectarian religious commitment. It’s a secular mythology – in the worst sense of the word.

    Are we not beyond that yet?

    Do we still need to grow up?

  35. Rosemary McDonald 35

    With nothing better to do, I had a play with the word search function on the

    http://www.standfor.co.nz/

    Always interested in what others think.

    1085 used the word “keeping”
    725…………………………”wasting”
    363………………………….”waste”
    321………………………….”spending”
    220…………………………..”child”
    116………………………….”poverty”
    60……………………………”stupid”
    60……………………………”TPPA”
    206…………………………..”Key”
    51…………………………….”ego”

    and combinations…4649 posts with ‘ego-trip-flag-change’

    I neeed to get a hobby.

  36. Clemgeopin 36

    I don’t know how to do this nor can I draw well:

    Could someone that can, please submit a flag design with a blue back ground, a simple but nice golden pony tail, and a dirty hand grabbing it?

    The blue will symbolise our ocean, the hair will symbolise the waves that Key is making with the leaders of the five eyes countries, the gold in the pony tail represents our so called ‘rock star’ economy and the dirty hand symbolises the demeaning of women that still exists in our ‘enlightened’ culture.

    That flag might even get the most votes! [And possibly even go viral!]

    Looking forward to your responses/comments. Cheers!

  37. swordfish 38

    More public feedback….

    ….Recent Polls on the issue:

    Herald DigiPoll April 2015
    Time for a New Flag ?
    Yes 25%
    No 70%

    Research New Zealand October 2014
    Adopt a New National Flag ?
    Yes 19%
    Neutral 37%
    No 43%

    Herald DigiPoll March 2014
    Support New Flag 41%
    Keep Current Flag 53%

    Research New Zealand March 2014
    Adopt a New National flag ?
    Yes 18%
    Neutral 43%
    No 37%

    Research New Zealand February 2014
    Adopt a New National Flag ?
    Yes 22%
    Neutral 39%
    No 37%

    One News Colmar Brunton February 2014
    Design a New Flag 28%
    Keep the Current One 72%

    Research New Zealand August 2011
    Adopt a New National Flag ?
    Yes 19%
    Neutral 30%
    No 52%

  38. CnrJoe 39

    Gisborne Herald had a street poll. 100% want no flag distraction.

  39. Hateatea 40

    Sometime over the weekend a person delivering supermarket flyers also delivered a large freepost card for the ‘flag consideration project’. Apparently, we are constructing a national flagpole with our responses. Now, I may just be an elderly lady and confused in my mind but how do you build a flagpole out of postcards? Do these people REALLY want to know what I stand for?

  40. Rosemary McDonald 41

    “participatory democracy

    Word Origin

    noun
    1.
    individual participation by citizens in political decisions and policies that affect their lives, especially directly rather than through elected representatives. ”

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/participatory+democracy

    The people have spoken.

  41. ankerawshark 42

    We got a card sent to our house “what do you stand for”.

    My husband wrote, “the arrest, trial and imprisonment of the Key cabinet”. Think I will encourage him to post it on the site itself.

    My alternate what do I stand for would be “A country where people who need emergency dental work, are assured of getting it easily”

  42. Ecosse_Maidy 43

    Dear Flag committee, could we either have the cost of the whole flag competition and referendum printed on the flag…..failing that would it be possible to hoist Mr keys from the flag pole, on a trial basis

  43. Ecosse_Maidy 44

    Dear Flag committee, on the basis that your fooking serious about this flag business and not having a laugh at all our expense, literally, i take it in good faith and would be honoured if you would forward my suggestion of fluttering a black bin liner as a cheap yet feasible way of showing you how serious i am taking this competition and referendum

  44. Ecosse_Maidy 45

    Dear Flag committee,,,,,don’t bother us with this nonsense, if you want some really cakky ideas for yr non scheme of distractions, please go to George of Pete’s web beige site, where he has various non tasteful flags already on display…Thank you ,,
    Yours Mr I Rate

  45. Ecosse_Maidy 46

    Dear Flag/Referendum committee, i am really pissed off as a tax payer of this country at having to pay for this, I was told on the quiet, that we were going to build a mausoleum and tomb for the leader in due course…this flag nonsense just takes away valuable cash from this project

  46. Ecosse_Maidy 47

    Dear flag committee, will the flag be made of flammable or in flammable material?,,,i need to know, thank you
    Yrs Mr A R Sonist

  47. Ecosse_Maidy 48

    Dear Flag committee once you have done your sterling work on the flag project, will you be moving on to re design Paula Bennets face as she needs help,,,the cheap cosmetic surgery hasn’t worked……..and she need a good fooking make over…thank you…

    Mr I Vor Million

  48. Ecosse_Maidy 49

    Dear Flag Committee, I stand for……old ladies and pregnant ladies on buses…..What does this have to do with a flag?…
    Yrs Mr C O N Fused

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