The flag change campaign’s last throw of the dice

Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, February 23rd, 2016 - 133 comments
Categories: interweb, john key, national, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , ,

flag-ferns1

National must really want that flag referendum to succeed.  Not only does John Key have a new flag badge attached permanently to his lapel and groups of National MPs are having secret meetings to try and get the project over the line, but groups of New Zealanders with sporting but not taste prowess have spontaneously appeared to urge us to support change.

There is this rather slick Facebook page with high quality videos of a number of people who are celebrities in their own lunchtime urging us to support change.  Richie McCaw and Dan Carter have jumped in along with other sporting personalities.

New Zealand’s bravery in becoming nuclear free in 1986 is referred to and the page has a link to David Lange’s Oxford Union speech.  He would be turning in his grave thinking that video of his speech was being used to help a National Prime Minister get his vanity project over the line.

The organisation has a website which states that “Change the NZ Flag is an incorporated society campaigning to encourage New Zealanders to support a change to the New Zealand flag in the upcoming second flag referendum.”  The name of the society is not mentioned but I presume they are referring to an entity called New Flag New Zealand Incorporated.  Members include Lewis Holden who was a National List candidate last year and the Party’s pollster David Farrar.

And the usual cheerleaders have been brought into play.  Mike Hosking ignored all thoughts of balance and gave the flag change campaign a big push last night.

The theme of the campaign, that it is time to change, appeals to me as well as many other progressives.  Having the Union Jack is as anachronistic as calling New Zealand born Pakehas “europeans”.

But the change they want us to support is too insipid and awful to contemplate.  Better that we wait until we get a design that truly reflects New Zealand and that we can truly be proud of.

Twitter has summed it up well.

133 comments on “The flag change campaign’s last throw of the dice”

  1. Ovid 1

    The organisation has a website which states that “Change the NZ Flag is an incorporated society campaigning to encourage New Zealanders to support a change to the New Zealand flag in the upcoming second flag referendum.”

    The site’s registration details on a whois search reveal it is Gwynn Compton behind it – but that’s old news and was reported in the Herald in May.

    New Flag New Zealand lists the following members in its application to form an incorporated society:

    Gwynn Compton
    Renee Compton
    Beth Holden
    Murray Holden
    Angelica Cassidy
    Lewis Holden
    John Ansell
    David Farrar

    The referendum will be over before the end of the financial year, so we can’t see any public record of the income and expenses of the society before the referendum.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Thanks Ovid.

      I thought it odd the website did not have the name of the incorporated society so I went for a bit of a dig to see what I could find out. The constitution signing started on March 19, 2015 which was a week after the original bill was introduced into Parliament (http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/legislation/bills/00DBHOH_BILL62371_1/new-zealand-flag-referendums-bill). They must have been confident!

      I wonder why the name was not made public?

      • Ovid 1.1.1

        I wonder why the name was not made public?

        Well, Ansell is a figure not averse to controversy, who as you know is responsible for the Iwi/Kiwi campaign in 2005 and the Treatygate campaign in 2012. As an ad-man, he’d have the resources for the current advertising blitz.

        • instauration 1.1.1.1

          Like is that Ansell guy really an ad-man ?
          Someone who understands Brand ?
          The first order to mind when I hear “Ansell” in a local context is Colin and Nazis and Condoms. The formers are a “Black irregular icosagon Flag” in the Nationalism debate.
          Sure – John denies a genealogical link with Colin – but the Brand impression persists.
          Maybe John should consult a deed-poll lawyer ?

  2. Macro 2

    Hosking, Key, Maggie Barrie, His Awesomeness, Danny boi, and co. can all get stuffed! I like the current flag – always have – and always will. Even the Aussies like it – they like it so much they changed their flag to look like ours.

  3. Sabine 3

    luckily i don’t watch the stupid box, don’t read the herald, and don’t buy fanboy / girl magazines that tell me what to think.

    So i guess i am not voting for the penis/ white surrender feather dish rag.

    • North 3.1

      It looks bloody ridiculous on the fly. Impossible to say it’s not a tea towel hangin’ from Richie McKey’s line.

      What the fuck has happened to NZ ? Richie McKey, Mucous Hosking, Rachel Glutinous, Trev’ of the Herald, Shriekz Henry, the Keys, Ghost-Boy (snoozing on “Air Force One” FFS), and daddy Gauche-Man. We’re defined by these people, this tatty wannabe ‘New Camelot’ a la Jackie Kennedy’s 60s Washington ?

      Hang head and weep !

  4. Bill 4

    Something that’s stuck in my mind – and no, I’m not going to be able to provide a link or whatever.

    A month or so back on RNZ, John Key was talking about the flag thing and said (not swearing by the wording beyond the itallic) …. “when the flag is changed, people will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about”

    The reason it’s stuck in my mind, is that seemed quite extraordinary that he wasn’t using the word if.

    And now that I see the “rent a flag waver mob”…anyway, why the fuck is he placing such importance on the whole thing? I honestly can’t get my head around it.

    Yes – it has served as a distraction and all of the rest of it, and as such, has been a valuable space filler etc. But there seems to be a desperate need in there somewhere. Just fucking odd to my mind.

    • Anne 4.1

      It’s purely political Bill. The rent a flag waver mob now regard it as a battle between the Nats and the Opposition parties. In other words its part of the 2017 election campaign.

      Somebody with the contacts and expertise needs to conduct an investigation into what’s going on behind the scenes and… where the money is coming from. They need to do it promptly.

      • weka 4.1.1

        “In other words its part of the 2017 election campaign.”

        +1

        And it will be a big humiliation for both Key and National when they lose the referendum.

      • yabby 4.1.2

        Anne, I see the politicising as being entirely driven by the left. The anti flag changers are predominantly left wing activists who correctly identified this as a way to attack everything they hate about Key and his National Government. I am pro change myself and mainly that’s about ridding ourselves of the Union Jack and being grown up enough as a nation to venture down the well-aoverdue republic path. The referendum chosen flag is not my first choice ( preferred Lockwood’s all blue background), but it was a consultative, transparent and democratic process and I accept that.

        • lprent 4.1.2.1

          If it’d been consultative, then the first question would have been to ask if we needed to change the flag.

          Personally I can’t see why we need a flag anyway, but we already have one. I can’t see ANY compelling reason for changing it.

          But I sure don’t like wasting a pile of money on inarticulate idiots like you trying to preempt that decision by designing a flag that we don’t need. Who gives a pigs arse about a union jack being on it or not?

          Similarly, when we actually change to being away from being a monarchy would be a good time to look at the flag. Having lazy fools like you grasp at scraps of cloth rather than doing the hard work of doing the actual task of changing the constitution seems pointless and frigging expensive.

          As far as I can see, the whole ‘flag’ debate was a simple rort designed to fleece taxpayers of their money and to divert from doing the work of changing the country.

        • Ad 4.1.2.2

          Yabby, telling us not to not “politicize” changing the national flag is one of the stupidest things I have seen anyone say on this site, ever.

          I am also pro-changing the flag, BTW.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.3

          Anne, I see the politicising as being entirely driven by the left.

          Changing the flag is political. It’s probably one of the purest forms of political action around.

          I am pro change myself and mainly that’s about ridding ourselves of the Union Jack and being grown up enough as a nation to venture down the well-aoverdue republic path.

          So am I but I see no reason to change until we’ve become a republic. Changing now is meaningless and John Key and National understand that.

          The referendum chosen flag is not my first choice ( preferred Lockwood’s all blue background), but it was a consultative, transparent and democratic process and I accept that.

          It was a rush job. It should have taken years of consultation and elimination – not months.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      I still think it has to do with the Nats and their donors not wanting people to change the constitution which, IMO, is looking more and more likely as time goes on and people wake up to the fact that our present system is a protected injustice. They want to make it look like things have changed when they haven’t.

      • Anne 4.2.1

        Agree… that’s probably part of it. I imagine our own constitution would make their M.O. much harder to sustain.

    • Mosa 4.3

      He is like a spoilt child
      Everything he wants he gets
      His arrogance is sickening
      He has hijacked the whole process
      If he is so confident that the flag will change why bother asking for a vote!!!
      If this had been a Labour PM idea the media would be protesting that because the numbers against change are so many why flog a dead horse and how arrogant it is pushing a change no one wants
      MSM and RUGBY players and others are all part of this governments unofficial campaign team

      • Grindlebottom 4.3.1

        …why the fuck is he placing such importance on the whole thing? I honestly can’t get my head around it.

        He wanted to be a millionaire & he did that. He wanted to be PM and he did that. I’ve come to the conclusion it really is just a vanity thing. He wants, when he jacks it in, to be the PM who changed the flag. I don’t think he gives a shit for what the flag looks like, he just wants the fame of being the PM who changed the flag because it’s a significant & lasting legacy.

  5. Anne 5

    So where is the campaign to support the current flag?

    I would join because – like Macro – I like it. It has meaning for both Maori and Pakeha and until someone comes up with something that is even more meaningful the pro flag changers can GO GET STUFFED!

    • Where is the campaign to support the current flag? On every farm (and RSA) in the land, Anne. This is going to be Key’s fatal own goal. Have a look at the surge in support for NZF in the Colmar Brunton poll. That’s the campaign for the current flag (AKA National voters) signalling their displeasure.

      • Sabine 5.1.1

        you might be on to something.
        I am seeing a few NZ flags displayed in my hood, and have yet to see the dishrag flowing in the wind, or clipped on to a car window.

        • David 5.1.1.1

          Unfortunately I have seen several of those clip on flags flapping off of the roofs of cars round where I live. If the flag changes, I for one will not stand for a corporate logo, any more than I revere the Kiwi Rail flag.

  6. Keith 6

    National see rejection as losing, so let’s see how they corrupt this process just one more time to “win” because they are “Winners!

    And Hosking supports it? I always thought the lickspittle did anyway because his fantasy Playboy bunny Key did!

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Saw this tweet the other day:

    Quick try at simplifying and balancing fern flag. Still sucks but maybe shows how gaudy and clumsy the real one is.

    Just the pic here.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Hmm, if that were red / blue I’d probably vote for it.

      Also need to keep the stars red/white, not just white like that one.

    • Phil 7.2

      I think that flag is pretty great.

    • Grindlebottom 7.3

      I really like that. Maybe I’d replace the black with red: the black & blue combo doesn’t look right to me. I’d leave the stars white. Keeping it simple is best for a national flag.

      That designer has aced it. That’s how you depict a fern in a country flag. You symbolise it with a colour and a simple geometric shape (e.g triangle, bar, stripe, circle), You don’t draw a fkn picture of a white leaf that looks nothing like a silver fern.

      If that design had been a finalist (even with the black) I’d have voted for it.

  8. Olwyn 8

    As I have said before on FB, I am waiting for Key’s mate Turnbull to suggest that Australia is thinking about changing the flag so that they can pretend it is a race, and that if NZ changes the flag first we will be the winners.

  9. cogito 9

    “Having the Union Jack is as anachronistic”

    Having the Union Jack fills me with pride every time I look at it flying high…. and I have it flying high right on my property, just like loads of other loyal Kiwis are doing.

    KOF.

    • Phil 9.1

      Having the Union Jack fills me with pride

      Good for you. What about the millions of New Zealanders that don’t identify with ‘the mother country’?

      I have it [The union jack? The current flag?] flying high right on my property, just like loads of other loyal Kiwis are doing

      I think you mean “… just like loads of other white people, who slavishly cling to an out of date notion empire, are doing.”

      • sabine 9.1.1

        @ Phil ” just like loads of other white people, who slavishly cling to an out of date notion empire, are doing.”

        Is that why we have hosted the Prince and Princess of Wales and their son? Is that why we have hosted the most royal of all redhats Prince Henry? Is that why we have hosted Prince Charles and Camilla?

        Is that why we have Dames and Knights?

        is that why we despite a ‘new flag’ ” Quote Wikipedia” New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy,[58] although its constitution is not codified.[59] Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and the head of state.[60] The Queen is represented by the Governor-General, whom she appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister.[61][62] The Governor-General can exercise the Crown’s prerogative powers, such as reviewing cases of injustice and making appointments of ministers, ambassadors and other key public officials,[63] and in rare situations, the reserve powers (e.g. the power to dissolve Parliament or refuse the Royal Assent of a bill into law).[64] The powers of the Queen and the Governor-General are limited by constitutional constraints and they cannot normally be exercised without the advice of Cabinet.[64][65] ” Quote Wikipedia End”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand

        I think your phrase is quite apt indeed ” just like loads of other white people, who slavishly cling to an out of date notion empire, are doing.”

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Is that why we have hosted the Prince and Princess of Wales and their son? Is that why we have hosted the most royal of all redhats Prince Henry? Is that why we have hosted Prince Charles and Camilla?

          Is that why we have Dames and Knights?

          Yes. The minority of people who support such things all vote National. Unfortunately, we don’t actually get to have a referendum on them. If we did, IMO, we wouldn’t support those things at all.

          Quote Wikipedia” New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy,[58] although its constitution is not codified.[59] Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and the head of state.

          True until we become a republic at which point we should change the flag. Doing so before hand is a futile gesture.

      • cogito 9.1.2

        @Phil

        Prejudiced much?

        The Union Jack has meaning and generations of history. What meaning does Key’s tea towel have?

        And if you want to go on about “white people”, what ethnicity is the guy who designed the tea towel, and what ethnicity is the idiot promoting it?

        Personally, I would not have been opposed to either the Tino Rangatiratanga or the United Tribes flags as both of those have meaning too…..

        But the tea towel is an embarrassment.

        • BM 9.1.2.1

          Are you a UK immigrant?

          • McFlock 9.1.2.1.1

            I’m NZ born and bred.

            Key’s teatowel is a bland, try-hard contrivance that lacks relevance, history, and creativity.

            • BM 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Do you love the union jack though?

              • McFlock

                “Love” is a bit much from my perspective, but it certainly does have relevance both to our history and current system of government. I can see why people might have a particular attachment – especially if they’re the sort of person who feels the need to fly a flag at their home.

                The teatowel? Nah.

                • BM

                  So you’d choose the current flag over any other that was offered up?

                  • McFlock

                    Well, “laser kiwi” has a certain charm.

                    But as a symbol, the current flag is pretty solidly connected to who and what we are, and it’s quickly spotted among a pile of other flags. It’s distinctive from a distance, not too fiddly, not garish.

                    The only reason to change is to go for something that’s a better flag. Certainly none of the finalists were particularly better than the current one.

                    When we become a republic, sure: ditch the union jack, because it’s no longer particularly relevant. And we can have a real think about what elements we keep, what new elements we include, and what things we want to represent through the flag.

                    Not a panel of sycophants, no fucking brand managers, erstwhile all blacks, architects or corporate robots. Actual flag experts, historians, heraldic folks, and artists, that sort of thing.

                    • cogito

                      @McFlock

                      ….. and no constantly commenting, manipulating and interfering PM. The process would need to be squeaky clean, and possibly also undertaken cooperatively with Australia so the two flags would look good together, as indeed the two current ones do.

                • cogito

                  I never flew the NZ flag at home (or anywhere else) until Key decided he wanted to change it. Then it became an issue of preserving our heritage. Plenty of others are also flying The NZ flag from their homes and businesses around here. Great to see. No tea towels anywhere.

                  KOF

    • BM 9.2

      Pommie immigrant?

      • sabine 9.2.1

        nah,
        sauer kraut. 🙂

      • cogito 9.2.2

        @BM

        racist?

      • aerobubble 9.2.3

        As a immigrant i find the debate to be much like the aussie republic conference that was stacked by monarchists. The fern may have resonance for many i just dont see it but more than that three of five previously four had the fern. So it was someone elses choice not only to select the fern but pretty much dictate it.
        As i have a vote and i find the whole process a deliberate wasteful distraction i will be voting against the change. Find a flag worthy of NZ and you’ll get my vote. Clean clear cut future looking, not WWI fern with the Ureka? southern cross. I bet many NZ of British decent had relative die in the WWs under the British flag and find the whole Gallipollo discord to be quite offensive, more French died at Gallipollo. There were strategic reasin for the attack not, yes i.e not to breakout and so create a long trench line but have navy power pummel the enemy. And high mortality was the theme of the first world war fighting method. It sucks that they died, but the Ottoman empire was regime changed which was the purpose of war. Losing some battles to win the war is how wars get won by winners.

        So nah, cant wait for the flag debate to be over and the whole sad revisionist history of Gallipoli be buried again. Could be why so many turned off by WWI propaganda also have no relish for changing the flag.

    • Graeme 9.3

      + 1 cognito

      The Union Jack reminds me of the constitutional safeguards we have through the Monarchy. Safeguards that keep us from nutters of all stripes.

      Removing that make me think of bananas, as in republics.

      • instauration 9.3.1

        Yep Eco just died
        Symbolism is just Fiat.
        A strong nation does not need a Flag aka Symbol.
        Who the hell should assess us by our Symbol ?
        Absence of Symbol is strength
        Acceptance of Symbol is just weak shit – like “know who we are – cos we are better than you – and look at my flag – this is who we are” – puke !

      • Hami Shearlie 9.3.2

        Now why didn’t Kyle think of that – put a great big fat yellow banana where the Union Jack is now – problem solved!! LOL

    • “Having the Union Jack fills me with pride every time I look at it flying high…. and I have it flying high right on my property, just like loads of other loyal Kiwis are doing.”

      Well said.

      The thrust to change NZ’s traditional flag comes from the National Party, or to be more accurate, a clique within the National Party that I would describe as the same old bunch of Progressives, and whose social views make them a better fit for Labour than the party of Sid Holland. This group includes John Key, David Farrar, Maggie Barry, Lewis Holden etc, and a large contingency of the ignorant of history progressives who call themselves the Young Nationals.

      Lewis Holden attempted to change the flag by referendum some 10 or so years ago, but could only muster around 100K signatures on a petition that needed something like 270K to initiate the process. Then JK took the lead, and provided $26 million of taxpayer money and all of govt’s resources to revitalize Lewis Holden’s original failed project.

      I support keeping our traditional flag for the simple reason I have not seen one good reason to change. John Key says “its time” and we need to “celebrate the new multicultural country that NZ has become”. Both of those so called reasons annoy me considerably. “Its time” is a meaningless cliche that of course appeals to the mindless uneducated ignorant of history sector of the population it is meant to.

      As for celebrating multiculturalism, I’m never going to do that, because I value our traditional culture and have never understood why it has become necessary to dilute and degrade that culture by forcibly introducing foreign and obviously under-developed and inferior sub-cultures. Even among the general public, the jury is still out on whether we should celebrate multiculturalism. There is perhaps a case for multi-racism, but multiculturalism, no way.

      I support our traditional flag because it bears the Union Jack, which to me symbolises our cultural roots and in particular the joint origins of Australia, NZ and other British colonies. Its a heritage that brought freedom, egalitarian legal systems, sophisticated effective governance and relative economic prosperity to every country where it settled. Far superior to most other colonial systems.

      I saw an ignorant of history little prog millennial in the Young Nats describe the Union Jack as a derelict colonial relic the other day. I think this is how John Key, only a first generational NZer whose father was an English Communist and mother an Austrian Jew, and other Nat Party progressives also regard the flag. They call themselves multiculturalists, but what they really are is anti White-European termites going down the same old road of pulling down all of our traditional institutions and replacing them with the new improved progressive model.

      If the flag changes, it will be a win for multiculturalists, progressives and Cultural Marxists, in other words a massive loss for traditional NZ and the heritage so many of us value.

      • vto 9.4.1

        I agree with one aspect of your writing there redbaiter, and that is the demonisation of traditions in our lands that have arisen from the colonials. They are too often discounted and maligned, when the reality is that they developed and served a large swathe of the human population (the uk) over centuries and centuries. The traditions that have arrived from that place are by and large comparable with “world best practice”. It is merely fashion to malign them.

        ….. not that I like the poms at all ….. bastards ….. nor the crown, fuck them fullas too…. been screwing our lot since a very long time …. (don’t know how that fits within the above)

      • Anno1701 9.4.2

        ” They call themselves multiculturalists, but what they really are is anti White-European termites”

        you are at the wrong website

        https://www.stormfront.org/forum/

        there ya go, youll fit right in !

        • Redbaiter 9.4.2.1

          Anno1701-

          OK, maybe you could be a little more helpful.

          If you think British descendants who are proud of their heritage and culture should visit the Stormfront site, what site would you recommend for the following-

          – Chinese and other Asians who are proud of their culture and heritage?

          – Africans who are proud of their culture and heritage?

          – Maoris and or Polynesians who are proud of their culture and heritage?

          – Middle Eastern races who are proud of their culture and heritage?

          Hope you can help out, otherwise you might look a bit like an anti-white racist bigot.

          • Anno1701 9.4.2.1.1

            Little more helpful you say ?

            maybe when you stop trying to hide racism behind pseudo-intellectualism (the MOST pernicious and dangerous type of racism )

            “Hope you can help out, otherwise you might look a bit like an anti-white racist bigot.”

            this just made me laugh TBH , ive heard this line from “identity Christians” and other “hidden” racists many many times before

            since you didnt like stormfront , maybe this is more your style

            http://rwrnz.blogspot.co.nz/

            enjoy !

          • Anno1701 9.4.2.1.2

            “Cultural Marxists”

            be honest at least mate and say “the jews did it” like you really mean…

    • instauration 9.5

      I don’t understand “Pride” as you evidently claim.
      Like WTF do you have “to do” or contribute to the outcomes of the Nation ?
      I only have Pride in outcomes where I have a direct thread of influence and control.
      Else I might be deluded !
      Like most of those who revel in the glory of AB success.
      Nothing to do with them !

  10. swordfish 10

    “Having the Union Jack is as anachronistic … But the change they want us to support is too insipid and awful to contemplate”

    Yep. Pretty much sums it up for me.

    It’s a Dog’s Dinner. Two flags roughly sewn together. A ludicrous half-way house.

    According to the latest Reid Research Poll (Feb 2016), about 16% of us would prefer to move to a new flag, but not if it’s the Lockwood eyesore currently on offer. Despite a few daft journos arguing to the contrary, there really is no point in change just for change’s sake. If we’re going to adopt a new flag then it needs to be appreciably better than the current one.

    At least the present flag has a certain dignity, nobility and gravitas. Which is more than you can say for the Dog’s Dinner.

    I’ve set out recent poll results on the Flag debate here … (for those who haven’t already looked) …
    http://sub-z-p.blogspot.co.nz/

    • Gangnam Style 10.1

      Wow, that’s fairly consistent, both sides havn’t budged.

    • instauration 10.2

      Hey Swordfish – why do the people that live within the coastal boundaries of New Zealand need a symbol like a flag ?
      There is not a legal compulsion for a nation to present a flag – Maritime ensigns have advantages.

      • Stuart Munro 10.2.1

        You are aware of the Aussie arrest of an unflagged NZ vessel that started some of this?

        “The need for a flag to represent New Zealand was first raised in 1830, when the Hokianga-built trading ship Sir George Murray was seized in Sydney by Customs officials. Australia, New Zealand’s major trading market, was subject to British navigation laws under which every ship was required to carry an official certificate detailing its construction, ownership and nationality. As New Zealand was not a British colony, ships built there could not sail under a British flag or register. Without a flag, trading ships and their cargoes were liable to seizure.”

        http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/flags-of-new-zealand/united-tribes-flag

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 11

    Look on the bright side: when the lying corrupt Prime Minister loses, that’s a win for New Zealand, and in the event that he corrupts the process sufficiently to scrape in, that will be an opportunity for a pro-New Zealand government to shit on his legacy.

    • BM 11.1

      You need to get your male menopause anger under control.

      It’s knocking years off your life, old fella.

    • Enough is Enough 11.2

      Is your opposition to a change of flag motivated by Key’s support for it?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1

        What do you mean “support”? The panel were incompetent, the initial shortlist barely qualify as flags (can any of them be easily sewn together from other pieces of material, for example), the referendum process failed to bring the public along, and the Prime Minister is utterly incapable of managing his conflict of interest.

        If that’s “support”, I can see why right wing policy fails and fails and fails.

        • Enough is Enough 11.2.1.1

          I have no idea what you are rabbiting on about.

          Key “supports” a change in the flag. I don’t really think that is contentious.

          I was questioning whether that was your reason for opposing it?

        • Phil 11.2.1.2

          the initial shortlist barely qualify as flags (can any of them be easily sewn together from other pieces of material, for example),

          That’s six-ways-to-Sunday levels of bullshit, right there, OAB.

          I’d love to see you try to sew together ‘from other pieces of fabric’ the Brazilian flag, or the flag of Cypress, or Grenada, or Lebanon, or Portugal, or San Marino, or Sri Lanka, or Wales, or…

      • AB 11.2.2

        Is your approval for a change of flag motivated by Key’s support for it?

      • AB 11.2.3

        Actually it is more complex than that:
        1.) The proposed design is vulgar and shallow.
        2.) Key is vulgar and shallow
        3.) No.1 seems somehow to be a natural result of No.2, which makes no.1 doubly irritating.
        4.) If the proposed design was both beautiful and historically aware, it would be possible to support it despite no.2
        5.) But the fact that no.2 is true makes no.4 so unlikely that the whole thing is depressing.

  12. JNZ 12

    Some of my friends were accusing the anti-flag-change camp as just being anti-JK (like that’s a problem 🙂 but my reasons are many and varied:

    1. John Key – yes, I won’t have anything to do with him going down in history succeeding in changing the flag as well as everything else he’s done here. Yes, JK and National WOULD rub everyone’s noses in a success for the foreseeable future

    2. It’s badly designed and badly drawn (due to a bad planning process – see item 1, thanks JK) – I would be embarrassed to fly it because of its looks.

    3. The silver fern has strong ties to sports, which makes it inappropriate to merge into the national identity, which is so much more than that.

    4. The country is not ready to change. I come from the US and can argue ad nauseum why the current NZ flag is logically past its use-by date. But there are still plenty of New Zealanders (who are not dead yet) who really care about NZ’s ties to Britain. There are still young people who idolise the royals. When the majority (and not just a noisy young progressive minority) really feel that the British ties are irrelevant, it will become unstoppable. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

    • Redbaiter 12.1

      Yes, the other big problem with the silver fern is it really only looks impressive on a black background.

      Unless you want a black flag to go with it, the silver fern cannot be used.

      • cogito 12.1.1

        A country can have more than one symbol.

        England uses the rose, the cross of St George, and the Union Jack depending on the occasion.

        Scotland does the same with the thistle, the Saltire, and the Union Jack.

        NZ can do exactly the same, as indeed it has done, with the kiwi, the silver fern and the NZ flag.

        There is no need for any change.

        KOF

  13. Incognito 13

    The ‘challenger’ flag is like Walt Disney meeting Pop Culture.

    • Chooky 13.1

      +100…in other words the ‘challenger’ flag is a mess

      ….New Zealand youth ( as well as the older NZers)want to keep our existing flag …they have the most sense and ethics…they want a sense of New Zealand’s history and their place in the world kept intact

      …not cast upon a sea of greedy corporate takeover of their lives and country by the likes of jonkey and Goldman Sachs

      • cogito 13.1.1

        I have four kids, all born and bred kiwis. None of them have any time at all for the key tea towel.

        When it comes to the issue of confusion with the Aussie flag, they rightly point out that there are loads of other flags around the world that can be easily confused, eg Italy and Ireland, Holland and Russia, Belgium and Romania….. Those countries don’t change their flags because someone might get them mixed up!

        They think that Key is just trying to find any pretext he can to try and push his own agenda. That’s it…. and they are not going to do anything to support him.

  14. Steve Withers 14

    I’m looking at the two flags…. and I prefer the new one.

    It just has to be better than the present flag… and replacing the Union Jack with a silver fern gets it across the line for me.

    • cogito 14.1

      “It just has to be better than the present flag…”

      Yes, it will match the wrapper on those cheap plastic plates!

      • Steve Withers 14.1.1

        I don’t care. It’s better. 🙂

        I don’t buy the beach towel thing either…as I have had a beach towel with the existing flag on it. I prefer the new beach towel.

    • AB 14.2

      Will your desire to remove the Union Jack mean that you be contacting John Key to tell him you disapprove of him restoring British honours?

  15. ropata 15

    By screwing with the democratic process and fronting the change campaign FJK has made the ballot a proxy vote for his personal vanity vs. the dignity of a nation.

    I’m happy to lose the union jack — the UK has shat on us from a long distance ever since Gallipoli (go see the exhibition at Te Papa and you’ll be sick of the Poms too)

    But the John Key vanity flag is also losing because it looks like crap. DTB’s effort is a marked improvement, but still too much depressing dominance of black.

    IMO the following 2 flags better represent NZ and they resonate with our culture and history
    http://www.nzflag.com/images/unitedtribes.gif
    http://www.nzflag.com/images/Hundertwasser.jpg

    • Steve Withers 15.1

      Agreed. The alternative flag isn’t my first choice, either.

      But – whatever the process and however much I dislike National’s poor ethics and crony capitalism and arrogant disregard for pretty much anything that really matters in the long run…………is the new flag better than the old flag?

      IMHO….yes.

      That’s all I need right there. I can dislike everything else at my leisure.

  16. peterlepaysan 16

    Excuse me.

    Who wanted to change our flag?

    Why?

    Wall Street whatevers (nz libel laws are rough), Hollywood schmoozers and Hawaiian leaders ought not tell resident kiwis they need a new flag.

    I am sure Crosby /Textor National Party/ Michelle Boag know best for what is good for us. Us might object. Us need to be consulted.

    Good well debated reasons need to be advanced for flag change long before any designs are decided upon.

    If Key gets his flag NZ is yet another USA state.

    Keyland with its own state flag. Gee whiz, waddayouno?

    • Steve Withers 16.1

      I’ve wanted to change the flag since forever (that’s a personal perspective ‘forever’).

      It’s begging to be changed. The present flag is a colonial remnant that says little about THIS country.

      Swapping out the UJ for the fern is big step forward. I’ll take it.

    • Brutus Iscariot 16.2

      If you think Wall St/Hollywood/the US government give a flying *** about what our flag is, you’re hopelessly deluded. Most of them couldn’t even find us on a map.

  17. Observer (Tokoroa) 18

    The white fern – is like the white flags that signal the words “we surrender”.

    Waving a white flag is for loosers not proud winners.

    • Phil 18.1

      Your selective colour blindness must be a real pain in the arse if you’re watching the Black Caps in their Black and Blue ODI kit.

      • Observer (Tokoroa) 18.1.1

        Yes Phil

        Black and Blue is the colour scheme of bruises. And some hemorrhages. Fitting for Kamate Kamate (kill kill). But not fitting for New Zealand.

        • Phil 18.1.1.1

          Irrelevant.

          Red is the colour of blood, and yellow is for cowardice, and purple is just for teh gayz.

          None of that matters in the slightest for whether the colours are fitting for a flag.

  18. Pasupial 19

    One thing about the flag change process is that; it started when it looked like there was a good chance that Scotland would have voted for independence from the UK. This would have meant the Saltire being removed from the Union Flag, which would have lead to a need for either a redesign of our own flag to incorporate the new design:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/03/will-this-be-the-uks-new-flag/284234/

    I personally liked the the one that incorporated the green lower half of the Flag of Wales (assuming that Wales didn’t chose a successful Scotland exit from the Union as the opportunity to hold their own referendum). But if the Scottish flag was removed from the Union Flag, then likely all the blue would be removed from the Ensign, leaving our flag looking very different. It is not impossible that Scotland will eventually achieve independence, so it is good that there has been this consideration of a new flag:

    Speaking on the opening day of the SNP conference in Aberdeen, the first minister said: “I believe with all my heart that Scotland should be an independent country… Sturgeon cited four areas – a UK exit from the EU, deeper spending cuts, renewing Trident and failing to implement in full the referendum “vow” of more powers to Holyrood – that would lead to a rise in support for independence. She made clear that a UK exit from the EU was the most significant area.

    “If you try to take Scotland out of the EU against our democratic wishes you will be breaching the terms of last year’s vote,” Sturgeon said in a direct message to Cameron. “In those circumstances you may well find that demand for a second independence referendum is unstoppable.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/15/second-scottish-independence-referendum-hands-people-nicola-sturgeon-snp

  19. pat 20

    the observation that the pro change group are entitled to push their position is entirely valid, and in an open democracy(?) no one should expect any less….the fact the pro group have the full resources and reach of the sitting government at their disposal will only make the loss that much harder to bear for them.

    That and the fact they obviously have no taste.

  20. One Two 21

    How stringent will the audit process of the ‘vote count’ be ?

  21. mac1 22

    What I don’t get is why people would want to vote for a depiction of a road climbing a slope and lined with Lombardy poplars casting shadows.

    A good one for Italy or France, maybe.

  22. cogito 23

    This was my preferred alternative to the current flag – simple and timeless…. I would have been happy to support it.
    https://www.govt.nz/browse/engaging-with-government/the-nz-flag-your-chance-to-decide/gallery/design/14125

  23. Ad 24

    I want the flag to change and still support the government’s initiative to do so.

    But the Prime Minister continues to send stupidly contradictory policies.

    On the one hand, change the flag.
    On the other, keep knighthoods and dames.

    On the one hand, support our ANZAC tradition with a substantive partnership including unique pathways to citizenship. On the other hand, make a complete pig’s ear of NZ-citizen internments in Australian immigration prison camps.

    On the one hand, sustain the ANZAC military celebrations and alliance actions.
    On the other, keep international military obligations to an absolute minimum.

    On the one hand, set up a constitutional debate. On the other, don’t turn up to Waitangi on Waitangi Day to explain yourself.

    This government has had a lot of luck and many huge successes, but they have absolutely no constitutional clue. This flag debate is yet one more illustration of their constitutional stupidity.

  24. Mrs Brillo 25

    Get rid of the colonial codswallop first – the remnants of our governance from the UK, the medieval dames-and-knights nonsense, the royal freeloaders – before considering something as relatively unimportant as flag change.

    By the way, does Key’s incoherent verbiage remind anyone else of Ronald Reagan’s utterances before his dementia diagnosis?

    Not that there’s any connection, of course.

    • Phil 25.1

      Classy.

      Proud of that, are you?

      • reason 25.1.1

        Yes Phil we should not mock JK’s Keyzheimers disease ………. It’s like Alzheimers but in a small mercy allows the sufferer ( JK ) to choose what he forgets ………….

        It’s not his fault that this disease has left him looking like a liar most of the time and destroyed his honesty ratings.

        JK is obviously the victim here and we should change the flag just to make him feel better.

        I’m voting for the peacock one.

        • Phil 25.1.1.1

          I couldn’t give a shit which way you or Brillo vote on the flag, and whether or not the result of the vote makes Key happy or sad.

          I was calling out the distasteful implication of mental illness.

          Then again, perhaps you or Brillo work for Phil “Take your pills, Nick” Goff, and it’s OK?

  25. Ani O'Neill 26

    PLEASE CHECK IMPORTANT!! > > Only those who are enrolled by Wednesday 2 March will be able to vote in the second referendum!!

    Even if you have voted successfully in the past, it is worth taking the time to check that your details are all up to date. Click here to enrol, check or update now.

    Voting papers will be sent from New Zealand from Thursday 3 March. They will be sent either to the address where you’re enrolled to vote or to the postal address you have registered on the electoral roll as at 4 February
    .
    The second binding referendum will be held from 3 March to 24 March 2016. You’ll be asked to choose between the most preferred flag design selected in the first referendum – Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) – and the current flag. The flag that receives the most votes in the second referendum will be the official flag of New Zealand.

    This will be a postal referendum, which means your voting papers will be sent to you in the mail, so it’s important to make sure you are correctly enrolled and ready to take part

    http://www.elections.org.nz/voters/enrol-check-or-update-now

  26. While I support changing the flag in principle and think the design proposed is just good enough to still vote yes, I can’t really argue with people who think this particular design is a lemon and the process is bad. This shouldn’t have largely turned into a partisan issue, and probably wouldn’t have if:

    a) The panel process were better managed.
    b) The Labour Party had stuck to their principles and actually consulted on the issue rather than trying to sabotage the whole thing.

    The blame isn’t entirely on National for politicising the process. Labour arguably started that.

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 27.1

      I am opposed to the flag referendum on deeper principles than just that the Lockwood tea towel sucks.

      Flag change – binding referendum

      TPPA – negotiated in secrecy and ratified by cabinet.

      The first – of little or no consequence, the second has deep ramifications for all NZers.

      Stuff John Key and his flag change!

    • cogito 27.2

      The whole issue should have been put into the hands of a totally independent constitutional panel, not handled by a bunch of Key’s little puppets who had been told right from the start what Key’s preferred outcome was…. and then pushed along the whole time by Key himself.

      The whole process has been utterly shameful.

    • lprent 27.3

      From what I remember the NZLP position was that there should have been a referendum at election time to see if there should be a flag change.

      I think that was their policy to do that years ago from what I remember from long ago remits at conferences.

      Perhaps you should explain what you think that consultation should mean as far as you are concerned?

      That seems and still seems to me to have been the

  27. Maz 29

    According to a poll on the TV1 show this morning, 45% – 55% (33,000 polled) in favour of retaining the current flag. Another appearance by a pro change advocate. This morning it was Lewis Holden. By next week, who knows, their polls will reflect a large swing to the Lockwood flag. A predictable and contrived foreplay to massage their mindless minnions into accepting that change is on the way…

  28. Maz 30

    Christie said they would air the views of those opposed to change…then why don’t they? This relentless bombardment of yay sayers espousing their views on every media forum may well have a negative affect on their campaign. Lets hope so Cogito.

  29. gary the newbie 31

    Yet another report just released on Family violence. We have 9000 kiwis in prison
    over 300k kids in poverty and we are still killing our kids and bashing our women.

    And we are considering changing to a Black and Blue Flag ??????????????

    That’s !!!!!! NOT !!!! a silver fern but a white feather and we all know what that means.

  30. SPC 32

    When will the government act on the naming of New Zealand Aotearoa, and having Maori as an official language?

    I would have thought it a requirement that the current flag and any proposed replacement acknowledge this by incorporating a (long flat white) racing stripe. It would certainly distinguish our flag from the Oz one.

  31. gary the newbie 33

    Come on people, its time to stand up and be proud. If you don’t want the flag to change
    we need to show it.

    Start by putting the flag on the cars. and for goodness sake VOTE, Don’t leave it for someone else to do.
    I don’t want to see the current flag just sneek in.

    My car flag is starting to get torn and faded. She”s in a fight, just like the ones my father
    and grandfather took away to war to protect our way of life and sovereignty.
    .
    I want to see this waste of time and money buried in a sea of “stick where the sun don’t shine”votes.

    Lets send a message to these bunch of carpetbaggers.
    DON”T MESS WITH OUR HISTORY.

    Apologizes for becoming so emotional but our flag meant/means a lot to us.

    • Grindlebottom 33.1

      Too right, let’s vote against this abomination of a triangular snip from an All Black jersey whacked over one corner of the current flag where the Union Jack currently is. But don’t get too carried away here. If you think you’ve fought and died for the current flag you need to re-examine your thinking processes. People fight for their country or their cause, not for their flag, that’s just a symbol and it can be changed without changing what a country stands for. And conscripts usually fight because they’re forced to. The current flag is too easily confused with Australia’s. We can do better. The Canadians got it right. Key’s stuffed it up. I don’t much care for our current flag, but I like the alternative much less. Just a brand Logo. Still, let’s fly the current one now.

      PS: re
      That’s !!!!!! NOT !!!! a silver fern but a white feather and we all know what that means.
      I agree it looks nothing like a silver fern. But it doesn’t look like a feather either. It’s some white vague kind of pinnate leaf. It’s probably the worst failed attempt at a stylised silver fern I’ve ever seen.

      • cogito 33.1.1

        “The current flag is too easily confused with Australia’s.”

        There are plenty of national flags around the world which are similar to one another and can be easily confused…. just flick through any flag book. That is not a valid reason for change… In fact, one could even argue that it makes perfect sense for us to have a similar flag to Australia’s as we are supposed to be “family” and we share history, heritage etc.

        KOF.

    • cogito 33.2

      Beautifully put.

      KOF.

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