Voting for New Zealand’s new flag design begins

Flag 1

New Zealanders are choosing between five designs for a prospective new flag in a postal referendum that runs between 20 November and 11 December.

The initial four candidates – three silver ferns and a koru – were selected by a panel from a longlist of the 40 best designs of the 10,300 sent in by the public when the government asked them to submit their ideas. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English announced their selection in September.

The first four finalists were Silver Fern (black and white) by Alofi Kanter from Auckland, Silver Fern (red, white and blue) and Silver Fern (black, white and blue) by Kyle Lockwood from Wellington, and Koru by Andrew Fyfe, also from Wellington.

Professor John Burrows, chair of the selection panel, said the panel’s choices were based on the recommendations of thousands of people of what they believed New Zealand stands for, along with the panel’s own criteria.

Response to the choices, however, was largely negative, with many New Zealanders left feeling they weren’t getting much of a say. Consequently a fifth candidate, Aaron Dustin’s Red Peak design, was championed by many members of the public – and was later officially added to the competition.

“In the end, I’m not wanting to be the one that stands in the way of people having some choice,” said Prime Minister John Key.

After one design is chosen from the five in the initial referendum, a second referendum will be held in March 2016, pitting the new design against the current flag.

If voters choose the new flag, it will be adopted six months later.


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