New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel [+ Paris]

nz-flag2 []Flags 1447374793430 [via]

It was outside the panel’s remit to consider criticism of the process or support for the current flag……..

### ODT Online Fri, 13 Nov 2015
Readers support Mallard in flag debate
Source: NZME
Readers have weighed in to support claims by Trevor Mallard the flag referendum process is “total spin”, following analysis showing feedback from thousands of people critical of the process had been ignored by the flag consideration panel. Analysis published today on new data platform ‘Herald Insights’ shows official reports published by the flag panel had ignored thousands of public submissions – nearly a third of total feedback – that were critical of the process or supportive of retaining the current flag.
Read more

█ Herald Insights:

Related Posts and Comments:
25.9.15 New Zealand Flag —symbolism
28.2.15 Campbell Live | TXT POLL: Does NZ need a new flag?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: – NZ Flag; – Flags


Filed under Business, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, People, Politics, Sport

202 responses to “New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel [+ Paris]

  1. photonz

    This is a story? That the flag commission, who were tasked with helping choose alternative flags, disregarded submissions that weren’t about choosing alternative flags?

    Time to dump the colonial flag that was imposed on us, and for the very first time ever in New Zealand’s history, actually get to choose our own flag.

  2. Calvin Oaten

    “Time to dump the colonial flag that was imposed on us.” Time to dump the stupid government and Prime Minister that dumped this whole nonsense of a diversion on us for the princely sum of $26million. Me, I will simply not bother to vote on either ballots, it only encourages the “sods”.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Agree, Calvin, it was an expensive diversion. But what exactly NZers are supposed to be diverted from, I don’t know. John Key’s hypocrisy?

      • Calvin Oaten

        Diane, I don’t think it is a case of John Key’s hypocrisy. I think it is much deeper than that. After over seven years at the helm of the government I believe we’ve seen enough evidence that there is an underlying need for approval here. Sigmund Freud would probably had him sussed. A boy from an underprivileged background, bright and quick on the uptake. He fought through and obviously has a ruthless streak. No-one can start from scratch and reputedly make $50million by the age of forty without shafting a lot of trusting people. Then you turn to politics and being equally crafty here rise quickly to the top. All the time showing signs of insecurity. We only have to look at the way he ‘fawns’ around those he feels give him ‘gravitas’, the spectacle of trying to shake Richie McCaw’s hand on the dias at the 2011 RWC. The golfing with President Obama. The presence at the Pike River mine disaster until it had been fully milked, then discarded. Then you see the bullying performance in parliament last week. The flag thing is an attempt to be seen as the ‘father of the nation’ by going into the record book as providing the country its truly own flag. Artful politician he may be, but statesman? Never. He couldn’t hold a candle to Keith Holyoake as a statesman who also came from humble beginnings but always knew the importance of holding ones counsel and respecting the conventions. He became a Governor General. Perish the thought of John Key ever being that.

        • Diane Yeldon

          Calvin: there are many theories about the psychology of political leaders and many, if not most of them, involve the idea that striving for political power is based in a pathology, often an over-compensation for feelings of inadequacy, inferiority or powerlessness. One sign in John Key which rings warning bells for me is how much he thoroughly enjoys hobnobbing with the prominent, socially important and politically powerful. He looks like a kid who has finally been invited to the parties he was formerly excluded from. But he seemed so happy about this that he is willing to play the fool. I cringe and feel embarrassed as a New Zealander when he does this – because it seems to me that the top level players like Obama who Key pays court to like a grinning idiot hardly know he’s alive or care. Putin would treat him like something stuck to the bottom of his shoe. But Key would grin away, hamming it up for media, and not even notice the contempt in which he was being held. Compare ‘The Lady’ of Myramar. (Spelling of her name and country beyond me without checking.) Now there’s a leader of dignity and discernment, who’s doing it for the right reasons.

        • Diane Yeldon

          Actually, Calvin, your use of the expression ‘fawning behaviour’ is spot on.

    • photonz

      $6 per New Zealander is a bargain. Even more so when you consider the Govt spends $18,000 per person per year.

      That’s barely the cost of one coffee, not a day, not a week, not a year – but over our whole lifetime.

      Definitely a bargain.

      • Elizabeth

        Except for the horrid design options. Really bad deal.

        • photonz

          With 10,000 designs, 9,999 designers are going to be disappointed.

          It’s the same thing with the public. It’s like asking New Zealand to vote for their favorite dish, or favorite song to represent the nation. Everyone will have a different opinion, and the vast majority won’t get what they want.

          None of my favourite designs are in the final five, but there’s at least four I prefer over the current flag.

          So with the flag, it’s a totally inevitable that with thousands of designs, 99.9% of people are not going to get their top choice as an alternative.

          And at least one of the final five (of what you call horrid design options) has been winning design in numerous alternative flag competitions and polls over the past decade.

        • Elizabeth

          As a fifth generation New Zealander I’m really comfortable with and favour the current flag. It isn’t a shop brand or a swing tag and best of all it has absolutely nothing to do, aesthetically, with the whims of God awful John Key PM or the pump of professional sport particularly rugby.

        • photonz

          Our current flag is appalling. No one outside NZ (and many inside) can tell it apart for the Aussie flag. And it’s most prominent feature isn’t even about New Zealand – it’s the flag of another country.

          Every Kiwi soldier buried in Europe has a silver fern over their grave – not a NZ flag.

          And as far as I’m aware, John key doesn’t have anything to do with the design, nor the choice of the final five, and has no more choice in the final vote than you do.

          Do you not find it absolutely pitiful that people let what they think of John Key, affect what they decide about our country’s flag?

        • Elizabeth

          The new designs are abhorrent. Can’t identify with them at all. Unfortunately, but fortunately! my bloodlines are British and we’re not a Republic yet. I know, shoot me. Love the Southern Cross (happy NZ stargazer) not being cluttered. The Union Jack is a powerful identity and dare I say is given enough referential space before the Southern Cross asserts in the blue of sky or sea. It’s simple, relaxed and reasonably humble – arrives at its own majesty with a unification. Happy!

        • photonz

          The problem with the current flag is that it’s symbolises UK MORE than it does New Zealand.

          And when the rest of the world can’t tell the difference between it and Australia’s flag, then it’s not even fulfilling its basic purpose in distinguishing NZ from other countries.

          We can get rid of the Union Jack, whose original purpose was to show that a place wasn’t a country in its own right, but a British colony.

          As for the Southern Cross – I like it, but it’s not unique to New Zealand – it can be seen in the skies of over half the planet.

          So there’s not a thing on the current flag that’s uniquely symbolic of NZ.

          Time for NZ to chose our own flag for the very first time. And for the first time we all get a vote on an alternative, and if we want to change.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        One coffee – and a significant proportion of the population can’t afford to go out for coffee. And then there are the ones who are in too much pain to walk to the cafe…..
        Every expenditure can be broken down so it’s insignificant, or built up so it looks like major extravagance, according to agenda.

        Fact is that if the first referendum had asked, what would you rather spend that money on – health, education, more tax breaks for those in the highest tax bracket, adjusting the taxation “bands” so the mid-range rate doesn’t kick in at such a low income, travel perks extended to retired 2-term politicians plus senior bureaucrats who been in their job 12 years before retirement, or changing the flag … well, that would be a hard one to call. Possibly, despite it being such a “small” amount it’s hardly worth bothering about, the last 2 options wouldn’t get much support.

        • photonz

          Yeah right – run every little decision by referendum.

          You just destroyed your own argument that spending $6 ea on a referendum is a big waste of money.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          “You just destroyed your own argument that spending $6 ea on a referendum is a big waste of money.”
          As I pointed out, by breaking expenditure down to $X.xx per year, month, week, day, minute, any expenditure can be painted huge or minuscule depending on the agenda being peddled. We’ve seen it so often. photonz, it’s just not new. Nor is the “legitimacy” of referenda and petitions. They’re a vitally important tool of democracy, or they’re not because the government having been chosen in the last General Election has a mandate to do what they want so no matter how many people raise their voices, sign their names, organise the expression of strongly held opinion by doing our own organising with our voluntarily-given work and donations – no notice will be taken. However when it’s a bee in a prime ministerial bonnet that his colleagues support him on (well it conveniently takes attention off all mis-steps and wonky judgement) suddenly an issue for which there had been little concern in the community becomes a matter worth money that, were it spent on something they begrudged, would be [in shocked tones] costing each and every taxpayer $X.xx per [time period].

          Yes, I know – I’m wasting X.xx minutes of my life addressing issues raised by a True Believer :-/
          How about a discussion of homeopathy, next time?

        • photonz

          If you think there was no interest in changing the flag until Key brought it up, you’d have to ignore (or be ignorant of) the petition signed by 100,000 New Zealanders to change the flag (one of the largest in our country’s history).

          Not to mention popular alternative flag competitions at least as far back as the 1980s.

          Both of which were years before John Key was ever PM.

          And if there is no interest in the community, you wouldn’t get over 10,000 design entries.

  3. Diane Yeldon

    And no choice – it’s obviously cooked up so NZers ‘choose’ a silver fern.

    • photonz

      You mean like the silver fern that’s our national symbol – the same national symbol that on our national sports teams and all our war graves in Europe?

      What conniving devils – trying to get our national symbol, onto a national symbol.

      • On the flag it’s not silver, it’s just a fern. Or feather. Ferns are common, they could represent anywhere.
        Ferns are the pattern on sportsmen’s clothing and for some reason are on the graves of war dead, but NZers are known as Kiwis, so how come the far from uniquely NZ fern is chosen instead of the iconic Kiwi, if we must have a logo style of flag?
        The white feather is not an image to present proudly to the world.

        • photonz

          It’s obvious why a silver fern is the dominant choice –
          – the silver fern is already very widely used as a symbol of NZ, and has been for over a century.
          – the Kiwi has not
          – it’s by far the most popular symbol
          – No other symbol came close to the popularity of the silver fern in submissions to the flag commission
          – the silver fern is unique to NZ.

          And why would do you think it will suddenly be confused for a feather, when that hasn’t been a problem for the silver fern for the last 100 years?

          And if you’re worried about unique, what about the Southern Cross (can be seen from more than half the planet), and the Union Jack (a flag belonging to another country).

      • Diane Yeldon

        But if there’s such obvious consensus why spend $26 million dollars?

        • photonz

          Pretty simple really – because there’s still a choice of three different silver fern designs, and then of course the obvious – whether we want our final choice over the old flag with the Union Jack.

    • Calvin Oaten

      An Enormous Yawn!

      • photonz

        If you actually visited the mass cemeteries when our New Zealand soldiers are buried, it might provoke a bit more deeper thought than a yawn.

        • Calvin Oaten

          The mass cemeteries hold our soldier boys who fought the most futile and deadly wars in history, (both of them) and for what? The flag? Get real, they were conned and bamboozled by the governments of the day who saw them as no more than cannon fodder. How many politicians actually got killed in action? Waving a flag was the biggest bamboozle of all. If I really thought that a change of flag of any design or colours would make a change worth $26million then I would have to believe in fairies, hobgoblins and honest politicians actually existing. It ain’t so.

        • photonz

          The cost per person is just $6 – you’ve probably spend more than $6 of your time arguing the point – just today alone…

          You might think the world wars were fought for nothing, but then if they weren’t fought, right now you’d probably be whinging about having to speak Japanese – if you actually even existed – which would be a lot less likely if NZ had been invaded.

        • Calvin Oaten

          photonz, I did not for a moment say the world wars were fought for nothing. Then for you to say that if they were not fought I would probably be whinging about having to speak Japanese is spurious.
          My contention, and it applies to all sides, is that flag waving and jingoism is the bamboozling and hubris that gets the innocent citizens of these countries lying in rows in foreign cemeteries. Flags are all part of the ‘pomp and circumstance’ that nations’ leaders relish, and New Zealand is no different to any others. Knighthoods and gold chains around tin pot Mayors’ necks are all part of the nonsense. Ask anyone over the age of seventy including Japanese if they think war is a good endeavour for their country and I doubt you would hear many assenting. No doubt flags are never going to go away, but why it is important to change one after so many years is just making a mockery of the whole thing. But then that’s only one ‘old codger’s’ opinion.

        • photonz

          So now you’re saying, quote – “flag waving and jingoism is the bamboozling and hubris that gets the innocent citizens of these countries lying in rows in foreign cemeteries.”

          If that is true then perhaps we could stop wars just by banning flag waving.

          Of all the flag waving I’ve seen in my lifetime, it’s pretty much all to do with celebrating winning gold medals.

          But over decades, I’ve never seen someone waving a NZ flag, that started a war.

          It seems a rather ludicrous argument in the flag debate.

        • Simon

          Obviously photonz you have not been to a military funeral and observed what is draped over the coffin.

        • photonz

          Simon – a flag goes over the coffin for an hour, but then the silver fern goes over the grave forever.

      • Diane Yeldon

        Calvin: when you’ve seen one fern you’ve seen them all.

  4. Diane Yeldon

    Mind you, someone did point one virtue of changing our flag – distinguish our flag from Australia’s – because they do look alike. But how could that cost $26 million dollars. They could have just written the words ‘NEW ZEALAND’ on ours.

    • photonz

      I used to take overseas tours that were usually 1/3 Kiwi. 1/3 Aussie, and 1/3 British and others.

      Typically 75% of Aussies and Kiwis couldn’t tell you what the difference was between Australian and NZ flags. And even when showing the other nationalities the two flags, usually 100% didn’t know which was which.

      Which makes the current flag totally useless at its purpose of distinguishing New Zealand from other countries.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        In other words it “makes their current flag totally useless at its purpose of distinguishing Australia from other countries.”

        So who made it our problem, to be solved on our dollar? John Key, who has energetically pushed this triviality up the public ladder when it should have remained in the basement until the important stuff has been sorted. If that time ever comes and there’s spare money for personal legacy creation by a politician whose reputation is unlikely to fill many pages of future history books, then that will be time enough for this sideshow.
        Taking attention away from important issues isn’t a good enough value for taxPAYERS’ money, though it’s probably just peachy for taxSPENDERS.

        • photonz

          That’s a silly argument because if you ignored all the small and medium issues until the big ones were sorted, you’d never ever sort any small or medium issues.

          The govt is spending just $6 per person on this – it’s peanuts compared to the $18,000 per person they spend every year.

          What’s ridiculous is some people spend hours of their time complaining that their $6 is being wasted cause they don’t want a flag change.

          It’s called democracy, and for the first time in our history, we actually get to chose our flag for ourselves.

          Some people don’t want to change the government – could even be the majority – but we still have a vote on it ever three years anyway.

      • Calvin Oaten

        photonz, you say that “you have never over decades (how many?) seen someone waving a NZ flag, that started a war. Of all the flag waving I’ve seen in my lifetime, its pretty much all to do with celebrating winning gold medals.”
        Ask yourself which nation is the most devoted flag waving population? The USA by far and away and is the most nationalistic (other than perhaps North Korea). No coincidence that it has been the most involved in nearly all wars since WW2.
        Refer to the history of the Nazi regime of Germany and see the emphasis of symbolism and nationalistic jingoism generated by flags, swastikas, eagle staffs and huge public demonstrations. And what did that all lead up to? The embossed fern on the headstones of those fallen soldiers in foreign lands is entirely appropriate. Waving flags, not so.

  5. Pb

    Revisionism is cowardice. Changing the flag won’t change the past. Face your demons and stare them down. A new footy flag won’t change the fact that the English brought their ships, their culture, their good and their bad and brought modernity to New Zealand. Won’t change a thing.

    • Diane Yeldon

      photonz: $6 is $6.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Not when someone desperately wants to spend it on a cause they’re passionately committed to, Diane.
        Then it’s “ONLY $6”.

        • Diane Yeldon

          So true, Hype O’Thermia, how much was it again each for the Stadium? ONLY $10 a week (whatever). And don’t you just hate it when you see it in your DCC rates bill and then there’s another one on your ORC rates bill.

      • photonz

        And $18,000 is $18,000 – the average govt will spend per person this year

        • Diane Yeldon

          photonz: You are such fun to have around! If what you say is true and central government do, in fact, shell out around $18,000 per person per year, then they must be TAKING a hell of a lot more than that OFF them per person per year to be able to do it and also pay their own costs, including essential items, like Gerry Brownlee’s hotel bills, at about $1,000 per night and rising from memory.

        • photonz

          Actually spending per person is $18,652.

          Which means on average every man, woman, child and pensioner, also needs to contribute $18,652.

          If you are interested on where it all goes, here is a link to some great information that you might find interesting –

  6. White Rose

    The changing of our flag is an Irish conspiracy. They hate the Union Jack. Jim Bolger wanted it changed way back.

  7. Elizabeth

    Both black white flag options have just been glaringly sunk by Isis at Paris.

  8. Diane Yeldon

    Re what happened in Paris. – I find it extraordinary to the point of being unbelievable that any fighting group would carry out an operation which seems to have absolutely no military objective whatsoever except to make their enemy hate them and all the more determined to fight them. And also bring many sympathetic allies to the aid of their enemy. I am not up with the play. Has Isis actually claimed responsibility? Is there any actual evidence about who might be responsible?

    • Elizabeth

      International news media via Twitter last night.


      129 people killed and 352 wounded, of whom 99 remain in a critical condition.

      Infiltration of militants into flow of refugees to carry out attacks in Europe could have far-reaching political consequences.

      ### ODT Online Sun, 15 Nov 2015
      Paris attacks an ‘act of war’
      Source: Reuters
      French prosecutors say three coordinated teams of gunmen and suicide bombers carried out a wave of attacks across Paris that killed more than 100 people in what President Francois Hollande called an “act of war” by Islamic State. Hollande declared a state of emergency, ordering police and troops into the streets, and set three days of official mourning as a stunned nation sought to comprehend the simultaneous assault on restaurants, a concert hall and the national soccer stadium on a busy Friday evening.
      Read more

      Investigation will look to identify the attackers, their accomplices, masterminds and financiers.

      Stuff: Paris attacks: three arrested in Belgium

    • Elizabeth

      More at NZ Herald:
      Paris attacks: Guard stopped bomber getting into stadium


      █ House style at What if? : Isis [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria]

      Islamic State Shortcuts
      ### Sunday 21 September 2014 18.00 BST
      The Islamic State: is it Isis, Isil – or possibly Daesh?
      By Ian Black
      What should you call the terrifying organisation that beheads hostages and massacres its opponents? Here we explain a political and lingusitic minefield.
      The Islamic State – aka Isis (in current Guardian house style) – is a scary and much-discussed phenomenon, erasing borders, conquering vast areas of Iraq and Syria, massacring its enemies and beheading hostages in slick snuff and propaganda videos. Barack Obama calls it Isil. David Cameron loyally follows suit. Others refer to Isis or IS. Now Francois Hollande has renamed it Daesh. Confused as to how to negotiate this linguistic and political minefield? You might well be. This terminological conflict has deep historic and cultural roots.
      Read more

  9. Lyndon Weggery

    Diane – Isis have now claimed responsibility. We need to face the fact as a nation that radical Islam hate everything about the West including Christianity. That’s what drives their terror attacks.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Lyndon, I re-thought this. It would make sense to me if Isis wanted to make the ordinary people of France so angry that they unreasonably and unjustly vented their anger on random, innocent, peaceful Muslims living in France. So that those Muslims would become radicalized and give Isis more support – even look towards a future Islamic state under sharia law to give them greater protection. Which makes it very important than any revenge-seeking hatred should not be directed at Muslims in general. Otherwise Isis adherents and supporters would be increased in numbers.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Alternatively, peaceful Muslims will blame ISIL for hostility shown to them and align themselves with the rest of the population. They are in a better position than most to spot extremist cells festering within their youths and pass on alerts to the authorities long before those teens and twenties have reached flashpoint.
        Anonymous dob in a crim could be promoted to peaceful Muslim leaders of community groups, engaging them in seeking solutions. And community leaders from politicians to local mayors and media personalities would do well to run a campaign of “togetherness” in their public utterances, being careful never to say “Muslim” when they mean ISIL terrorist, and whenever possible appearing with articulate Muslims, both “sides” taking the opportunity to tell Muslims and everyone else that when it comes to terrorists they’re all on the same side – the peaceful live and let live side, whose differences in clothing and worship don’t require anything but mutual tolerance.

  10. Elizabeth

    Cartoons by Garrick Tremain

    Farewell 10.11.15

    Leadership 15.11.15

  11. Elizabeth

    Paris – reality worse than fiction

    SamSmithWorldVEVO Published on Oct 4, 2015
    Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall (from Spectre)
    ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ by Sam Smith, the official theme song from Spectre

    via Wikipedia: Spectre (2015 film)

    Spectre is the twenty-fourth James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as James Bond, and Christoph Waltz as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, with the film marking the character’s re-introduction into the series. It was directed by Sam Mendes as his second James Bond film following Skyfall, and was written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth. It is distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures. With a budget around $250 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.

    Spectre was released on 26 October 2015 in the United Kingdom on the same night as the world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London, followed by a worldwide release. It was released in the United States on 6 November 2015. As of 13 November 2015 Spectre has grossed $324 million.

    The story features James Bond’s first encounter with the global criminal organisation Spectre—here reimagined as a private intelligence agency.

    Plot: On a mission in Mexico City, unofficially ordered by the previous M by way of a posthumous message, James Bond kills two men arranging to blow up a stadium and gives chase to Marco Sciarra, an assassin who survived the attack. In the ensuing struggle, Bond kills Sciarra and steals his ring, which is emblazoned with a stylised octopus. On his return to London Bond is indefinitely suspended from field duty by the current M, who is in the midst of a power struggle with C, the head of the privately-backed Joint Intelligence Service, which consists of the recently merged MI5 and MI6. C also campaigns for Britain to join “Nine Eyes”, a global surveillance and intelligence co-operation initiative between nine member states.
    Read more

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Published on Jul 22, 2015
    SPECTRE – Official Trailer – November 6
    In this brand new official trailer, Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE…
    Release Date: November 6, 2015
    A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

    Starring: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, David Bautista and Andrew Scott.
    Directed By Sam Mendes
    Written By John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade
    Produced By Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli

  12. Elizabeth

    █ Reuters: Scenes of solidarity around the world after Paris attacks + comments including maps

    French military patrol near Eiffel Tower the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris 14.11.15. REUTERS Yves HermanFrench military patrol near Eiffel Tower the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, 14.11.15. REUTERS/Yves Herman

    Peace for Paris tweet [Image by Jean Jullien (@jean_jullien)]via

    The Guardian: Eiffel Tower meets peace sign in show of solidarity after attacks | Artwork believed to by London-based French graphic artist goes viral, with photos posted on social media under slogan Peace for Paris.

    Peace for Paris []via

    Social media has also been used to offer help to those caught up in the crisis. The hashtag #PorteOuverte (open door) was used by residents in the affected areas to offer shelter to those fleeing attacks. Some just posted their addresses, while others, like Thomas Nigro asked Twitter users to contact them. wythe hotel [via]Image at – wythe hotel [via]

    REUTERS PICTURES – all packages

    █ Sam Smith “Writing’s On The Wall” lyrics

    I’ve been here before
    But always hit the floor
    I’ve spent a lifetime running
    And I always get away
    But with you I’m feeling something
    That makes me want to stay

    I’m prepared for this
    I never shoot to miss
    But I feel like a storm is coming
    If I’m gonna make it through the day
    Then there’s no more use in running
    This is something I gotta face

    If I risk it all
    Could you break my fall?

    How do I live? How do I breathe?
    When you’re not here I’m suffocating
    I want to feel love, run through my blood
    Tell me is this where I give it all up?
    For you I have to risk it all
    Cause the writing’s on the wall

    A million shards of glass
    That haunt me from my past
    As the stars begin to gather
    And the light begins to fade
    When all hope begins to shatter
    Know that I won’t be afraid

    If I risk it all
    Could you break my fall?

    How do I live? How do I breathe?
    When you’re not here I’m suffocating
    I want to feel love, run through my blood
    Tell me is this where I give it all up?
    For you I have to risk it all
    Cause the writing’s on the wall

    The writing’s on the wall

    How do I live? How do I breathe?
    When you’re not here I’m suffocating
    I want to feel love, run through my blood
    Tell me is this where I give it all up?
    How do I live? How do I breathe?
    When you’re not here I’m suffocating
    I want to feel love, run through my blood
    Tell me is this where I give it all up?
    For you I have to risk it all
    Cause the writing’s on the wall


    Flag - FranceTricolour – National flag of France

  13. Elizabeth

    List of names

    ### Mon, 16 Nov 2015 NZT
    Paris attacks: Who were the victims?
    2 hours ago | Europe
    Information about the 129 Paris terror victims has started emerging.
    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday that 103 bodies had been identified from Friday’s attacks, with 20 to 30 more still awaiting identification. “They will be (identified) in the coming hours,” said Mr Valls.
    At least 23 foreigners were among those killed in the attack, the AFP news agency reports.
    With information about victims still emerging, people turned to Twitter to search for missing people. The hashtags #rechercheParis (searching Paris) and #rechercheBataclan were being used widely on Saturday and Sunday to circulate the names and photos of the missing.
    A centre has been set up for victims’ families at the Ecole Militaire.
    Read more + Video

    █ A teacher who worked at five different schools in Dunedin was killed during the Isis attack on Paris. See tomorrow’s ODT.

  14. Elizabeth


    13:11:15 Stuff: Q+A: How the flag voting process works
    Worth a read

    [video] TVNZ: The great NZ flag discussion – Part 1 (12:20)
    11:38AM Sunday November 15, 2015
    Source: Q+A
    Greg Boyed is joined by Martin Snedden, Dr Claire Robinson, Ngarimu Blair, Oscar Kightley, Parneet Kohli, John Smith, Mai Chen and Malcolm Mulholland.

    via RadioNZ News

    An informal vote is any paper where a clear first preference can’t be determined, for whatever reason. While it’s true that writing “keep our flag” on the ballot paper would mean the vote would be ruled informal, that wouldn’t stop a second referendum happening. There’s nothing in the legislation which would cancel the second referendum – not even low turnout.

    In the National Business Review, Chris Keall is concerned that the design of the first referendum, in particular preferential voting, means the preferred flag will be a fern, no matter what. “Voters who put one of the fern designs at 1 will presumably put the other two at 2 and 3 on their ballots. Effectively, the fern is a triple threat,” he writes. “The deck is stacked against Red Peak (and that lousy possum tail take on the koru, on the off-chance anyone’s planning to vote for that).”

    You could, in fact, simply mark your first preference, and not any others, or rank all from one to five.

    “If no flag option gets 50 percent or more of the first preference votes, the flag with the least number ‘1’ votes is dropped and its votes go to the flag each voter ranked next,” states the Electoral Commission. This continues until one flag gets 50 percent or more of the valid votes.

    ### Sunday 7 September 2014
    RNZ National – Standing Room Only with Lynn Freeman, Simon Morris & Justin Gregory
    Flag It!
    1:34 PM. A group of opinionated artists rev up the debate over whether or not New Zealand needs a new flag. Michael Smythe, Dick Frizzell, Maureen Lander and Barry Brickell are all part of an exhibition at Devonport’s Artspace.
    Audio | Download: OggMP3 (12′ 04″)

    From Standing Room Only 7 September 2014

    A group of opinionated artists rev up the debate over whether or not New Zealand needs a new flag. Michael Smythe, Dick Frizzell, Maureen Lander and Barry Brickell are all part of an exhibition at Devonport’s Artspace.
    The images in the slide gallery are used with permission and are subject to copyright conditions.

  15. Elizabeth

    I have voted.

    ### Fri, 20 Nov 2015
    First flag referendum begins
    Locals are being sent voting papers for the first postal referendum on a new national flag. Voters are being asked to rank the five final options for a flag, according to their preference. The Electoral Commission expects to announce the results in mid-December.
    Voting is open for three weeks, finishing on December the 11th. The most popular flag design will then be the subject of a second referendum in March. That’s when voters will be asked to choose between the top alternative design and the current flag. It’s the first time in New Zealand’s history that residents have been invited to choose a national flag.
    Ch39 Link

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Nov 19, 2015
    First flag referendum begins

    █ You can view the flags flying (as shown in the video) atop the DCC carpark building on Great King Street.

  16. Elizabeth

    ### NZ Herald +2:01 PM Friday Nov 27, 2015
    NZ features in Isis’ latest propaganda video
    New Zealand features in Isis’ latest propaganda video. A polished, four-minute video has surfaced online through Isis’ media outlet, the Al Hayat Media Center. The video, entitled “No respite” features a graphic of 60 flags – representing “The global coalition against the Islamic State” – and includes New Zealand.

    Isis has put huge effort into its social media presence, with security officials believing it uses the power of the internet as a force multiplier to attract those to its cause who might otherwise not be drawn to violence.

    It produces a regular magazine, operates a slew of Twitter and other social media accounts and has dedicated teams producing highly stylised imagery intended to attract followers. The terrorist group relies on those vulnerable to its messaging to spread it through their own social media accounts.
    The video is almost solely aimed at the United States, with New Zealand featuring only among a display grid of flags.
    Read more

    ### Last updated 19:02, November 27 2015
    NZ flag shown in Islamic State video on group’s enemies
    By Vernon Small
    Prime Minister John Key says he is not aware of any new threats toward New Zealand after our flag was shown on an Islamic State video targeting members of the “global coalition”. Key said the video was an attempt by the terrorist group “to undermine the confidence of any nation that stands up to them”, of which New Zealand was one of over 60. “That said I am not aware of any new specific threat toward New Zealand as a result of the video’s release.”
    Read more

    isis [via]

  17. Elizabeth

    No Loss. Or they were that good ?

    ### ODT Online Mon, 30 Nov 2015
    Flags stolen from Dunedin building
    By Vaughan Elder
    The five alternative New Zealand flag designs have been stolen from a car park building in Dunedin. Police are appealing for witnesses. The flags were flying on the Great King St building, owned by the Dunedin City Council, to assist people voting in the New Zealand flag referendum.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Good thinking by someone. In years to come they’ll sell for a good price on TradeMe, as mementoes of a failed vanity project of an otherwise unmemorable Prime Minister.

      • Elizabeth

        According to Sandy this afternoon, the thief or thieves went to some trouble.

      • photonz

        So Labour’s wish to change the flag is also just a vanity project?

        Of all the reasons given to keep the current flag, the hoary old chestnut that it’s just a John Key vanity project has to be the weakest.

  18. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Dec 2015
    Flag theft shocks council
    By Vaughan Elder
    Careful planning would have been required to pull off the theft of alternative New Zealand flags from high atop a Dunedin car park building. It is believed the flags were stolen some time over the weekend. They had been flying above the Dunedin City Council’s Great King St car park building to help people decide how to vote in the New Zealand flag referendum.
    Read more

  19. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Dec 2015
    Time running out to vote for flag
    Nearly 40% of enrolled voters have cast their vote for a new New Zealand flag in the first stage of a referendum. The Electoral Commission said that as of the end of yesterday, 1,256,163 voting papers had been received, or 39.62% of enrolled voters.
    Read more

    █ To be counted, take your completed voting paper to a PostShop before the close of business on Friday and put it in the post box there.

    █ For more information about voting in the referendum, call 0800 36 76 56 or visit

  20. Elizabeth

    Garrick Tremain – 9 Dec 2015

  21. photonz

    Tremain has become as repetitive as a stuck record.

    Time to get a cartoonist who has fresh ideas and wit, rather than one who has run out of things to say so rehashes the same thing ad nauseam.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Time to get some new issues. No homelessness, no hunger, no waste of taxpayers’ money on fads till the necessities are done and paid for.
      Till then the message isn’t old.

      • photonz

        It’s tedious when it’s all tied to the flag referendum. At a cost of $6 per person (just once in a lifetime), you’d have to be delusional to think it would have any effect on poverty, hunger etc.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          According to the woman on (Countdown?) TV ads, a meal can be made for a family of 4 for $15.
          Five people’s six dollars, 8 people’s dinner.
          Everything is “only” a small expenditure, compared with a carefully chosen alternative, when the person saying “only” is in favour of that “tiny” expenditure. Been hearing it for years. It’s old.

          Budget advisors helping people who can’t achieve their big goals know that ignoring the small change. A year’s worth of lattes, compounding interest – these days might as well buy bonus bonds, interest is so meagre – stop impulse buying a magazine from the supermarket checkout display. A government’s numbers are bigger than coffee cups, both the spends and the necessities (vs wanna-haves) but the principle is the same. If I want to buy glossy magazines I’m the one who misses out on longer-lasting benefits from the dollars.
          When the government does the equivalent it’s using our money, and our most vulnerable stay low on the priority list.
          By the way I note that today Bill English is getting fed up with children’s wellbeing interventions not being effective enough, not starting early enough. Despite my galloping skepticism about Key’s government, I get the impression Bill English actually gives a damn about the important stuff, about being an honest steward.

        • photonz

          Isn’t it funny how people are complaining that $6 per person (in a lifetime) is actually a lot of money and could go a long way with poor people.

          Because not long ago, many of the very same people were complaining that an additional $25 a week ($1300 a year) on a benefit is absolutely nothing and will make almost no difference.

          What a topsy tipsy world we live in when the same people think $6 is an enormous amount, and $1300 is nothing.

  22. Elizabeth

    I’m a huge fan of Garrick Tremain, he gets inside my brain, swiftly, coherently, whether I agree or not with the depicted stance and caricature. It’s a New Zealand I mostly know or recognise. To a T. If contrived!

    • photonz

      I used to love him. But banging on about the same thing over and over he’s just become repetitive and tedious.

      All he does is he takes the flag, and a list of 100 other issues, and is going through them one by one making the same comparison every time.

      That’s not witty or thought provoking. The only thing it provokes is a yawn, because he’s trots out exactly the same idea over and over and over.

      Take any of the 30-40 flag cartoons Tremain has put out this year, and compare them to today’s Wuerker ODT cartoon. It blows all of Tremain’s flag cartoons out of the water.

  23. Calvin Oaten

    Tremain covers a hell of a lot more than the flag issue, though goodness knows it is one of Key’s most expensive (relatively) brain farts. Tremain tends to zero in on Key and his cabinet’s antics for very good reasons as we’ll all probably see over the next year or two. I like his style when he uses children, which demonstrates how childish many of the antics are. He gets my vote as the cartoonist of our times. Maybe it just takes a bit more to see through to the message.

    • photonz

      Nah – he’s repetitive and tedious. Today’s Wuerker cartoon is far superior to anything Tremain has done for a very long time.

      It doesn’t take any time at all to see through Tremain’s message. That’s because it’s exactly the same message we’ve seen 100 times before.

      I think $6 per person is cheap. Would it be any cheaper if Labour were in power?

      Because their policy is to change the flag as well.

  24. Elizabeth

    The commission sent out 3.1 million voting forms and late on Thursday just over 43 per cent had been returned.

    ### 6 hrs ago
    NZ Newswire
    Alternative flag choice to be revealed
    The nation’s choice of an alternative flag will soon be revealed. One design out of five will triumph and the Electoral Commission is aiming to have the preliminary result of the referendum announced by 8.30pm on Friday. The winner will go up against the current flag in a second referendum in March next year. […] Voting began on November 20 and closed on Friday. The official result will be announced on Tuesday.
    Read more

  25. Elizabeth

    Flag Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) by Kyle LockwoodKyle Lockwood’s blue-and-black silver fern design

    ### NZ Herald Online Fri, 11 Dec 2015
    Results out in flag referendum
    Kyle Lockwood’s blue-and-black silver fern flag has the most preliminary votes in the flag referendum.
    The Electoral Commission said it received 1,527,042 votes, which included 148,022 informal votes (9.7 per cent) and 2476 invalid votes (0.16 per cent).
    The voter turnout was 48.16 per cent of registered voters.
    The next most preferred flag design was Lockwood’s red, white and blue flag, followed by Red Peak, the black and white silver fern, and the koru.

  26. photonz

    Surprise surprise – the flag that’s been winning flag design competitions for over a decade, with the silver fern that was the overwhelming pick of Kiwis submitting to the flag commission – is the flag that goes up against the old colonial flag..

    • russandbev

      Surprise, surprise – huge numbers of people deliberately spoiled their vote to make a point. Now what we will see is the Key band push like hell to get his personal agenda completed. And it will be with the assistance of people like Saint Sir Richie McCaw. But now is the time for NZ’ers to give Key the straight message that they don’t like his personal agendas.

      • photonz

        Whether people want the new flag or not, this was their one chance in their whole lifetime to have a say in what any alternative might be.

        So throwing away the only say you’ll ever have is more like being an idiot than making a point.

        Because any point they thought they were making is utterly irrelevant in this part of the referendum.

        The winning alternative design was winning NZ flag design competitions years before Key was ever PM, and Labour also want to change the flag.

        This is for our country’s flag. So I can’t think of anything more small minded or petty than trying to turn the whole thing into whether people like Key or not.

        Only yesterday I heard an imbecile on the radio saying they wanted to change the flag but they wouldn’t vote for it because they didn’t like Key. It’s unbelievable how pathetic some people are.

        • russandbev

          What a pile of BS. If this was a serious exercise then put the existing flag into the first referendum. Most people recognise that this is nothing other than a Key vanity project and he has the ability to manipulate the media and people that don’t think too much. Plus spend $26m of our money in the process. There was NO public clamour to change the flag – it was, and is, being driven by Shonkey Johnkey.

        • photonz

          rusandbev – It would be really stupid to have the first referendum on whether people wanted to change the flag or not, without knowing what the alternative is.

          That would be as idiotic as having to decide whether or not you trade in your car, without knowing if you’re trading for something really good, or a total wreck.

          You can dress it up all you like as a vanity project, except Labour also want to change the flag as well, as do close to half the population.

          I stand by what I said previously. Anybody who is basing their flag decision on anything at all to do with John Key, is pathetic and small minded.

          Because if Key said he wanted to keep the current flag, those people would then have to then change their mind and vote for a new flag.

          Basing your flag decision on what Key wants is totally and utterly mindless. It is completely devoid of any intelligent thinking.

          It’s about our country’s flag. And whether we want one that was originally designed to signify we were a colony rather than a country, or the very first flag that New Zealanders themselves have chosen.

          And one that has been winning flag competitions and polls for more than a decade, is a really good alternative to run against the current one.

        • russandbev

          photonz, I’m not sure if you are unwilling or unable to see the wood for the trees.

          1 There was no public outcry for a new flag.
          2 The call for a new flag came from John Key.
          3 He has adopted the project as his own.
          4 He has cynically used his position, government money and media influence to get his own way.
          5 He appointed a hand-picked bunch of people with no experience in design and made it clear to them what he wanted. They delivered.
          6 Even if the process of calling for designs, the appointment of the panel etc etc is accepted, then there was nothing whatsoever to simply put the 4 or 5 alternative flags PLUS the current flag into ONE binding referendum.
          7 The reason for not doing this should be obvious to those that have the power of thought – Key wanted his design preference to be chosen and used point 4 above to achieve this, and then he has months of behind the scenes activity and promotion to skew public thinking.

          I don’t care whether you want a new flag or not, but to ignore Key’s role in this is just stupid and blind.

        • photonz

          Your claims about bad design, only Key who wants it etc, get smashed to pieces by real world facts –

          Like under current polling, such a large part of the population want a new flag, that if just 1 in 12 change their minds, we will have a new flag.

          Like the alternative choice has been winning design competitions and popularity polls for over a decade.

          Like the flag commission looked at over 10,000 designs, and thousands of submissions, who by a huge majority wanted a silver fern on the flag above any other choice – no other symbol came close.

          Like Labour campaigned at the last election was to change the flag.

          Like the Green Party welcomed the governments decision to have a flag referendum

          I fully stand by what I said – trying to change the debate from one about our countries flag, into one about “Why I hate Key”, is both petty and pathetic.

  27. Elizabeth

    Flag Consideration Panel chairman John Burrows said it was still too close to call because on first preferences the red fern was slightly ahead and when second preferences were counted the black one just overtook it. (NZ Newswire via


    1) Black and blue Southern Cross silver fern – 552,827

    2) Blue and red Southern Cross silver fern – 574,364

    3) Red peak – 119,672

    4) Black and white silver fern – 77,802

    5) Black and white koru – 51,879

    * Source Electoral Commission preliminary first preference referendum votes.

    ODT: Narrow win for silver fern flag

  28. Gurglars

    Claytons win in a Claytons competition. Clearly the Blue flag won round one.

    Preferences are the bureaucratic response, there will be no winner so in the second ballot it will be a no win situation.

    $26+ million wasted to keep unemployables in work. Just one example counting votes in an unwinnable situation.


    • photonz

      A once-in-a-lifetime cost of $6 a person is just a fraction of what the govt spends not in a month, not in a week, but in a small part of just one day.

      In fact, between the time I write this, and the time you wake up and read it, the government will have spent several times that.

      Many of the people complaining that $6 (once in a lifetime) is a huge amount of money, are the same people who were previously saying an extra $25 a week on a benefit ($1300 per year) is absolutely nothing.

      • Gurglars

        photonz you could muse on the fact that there was no income tax in 1909.

        World War 1 called for an income tax which was never repealed and over 106 years has jumped to 56% of your income including adding GST, parking fines and other acts of thievery by public servants.

        Global Warming, cycleways and wasted flag and republican referendums, conversion to decimal currency and kilometres are just some examples of makework schemes. All to no improvement in anyone’s life except cycle companies and DCC or state employees.

        The DCC employs over 700 persons and yet there is only one technician repairing parking meters, no person managing mudtank clearing, no person sweeping streets, four collecting dogs of which there are few, no one eliminating feral cats and possums. There are at least four on traffic light accumulation despite every corner in Dunedin already having too many traffic lights.

        photonz $6 per person may only be a cup of coffee for you, but it is another example of stupidity and wastefulness and bad management of public monies to me.

      • Calvin Oaten

        “A once-in-a-lifetime cost of $6 a person sounds vaguely familiar to the argument of ‘crooked lawyer’ Michael Guest’s admonition that for just the cost of a cup of coffee a week we could have a world class stadium. Now look what we have. The most expensive coffee on the planet.
        photonz these comparatives are trite and silly.

        • photonz

          You make a silly comparison between the flag and Guest, then immediately complain about silly comparisons?

  29. Elizabeth

    John Key PM: “So even if you don’t like me, if you want a new flag I encourage you to vote for it.”

    ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Dec 2015
    PM not surprised Red Peak failed
    Prime Minister John Key this morning said he was “delighted” with the design that won the referendum and said it was a good choice because it was traditional but used the “national symbol of New Zealand”, the silver fern. […] The Prime Minister said he wasn’t surprised Red Peak failed to do well in the vote because although “it was a nice design, it probably didn’t actually pull the heart strings of New Zealanders…. At least we’ve settled that matter.”
    Read more News (@NZStuff) tweeted at 9:23 pm on Fri, Dec 11, 2015:
    Here’s how our two flag options look in one of our most iconic moments: #nzflag
    [check out the gif/MP4]

    Ryan Baker (@ryanbakernz) tweeted at 5:04 pm on Sat, Dec 12, 2015:

    Darryl Ward (@darrylward) tweeted at 3:31 pm on Sat, Dec 12, 2015:
    .@AlessandraRach Here’s a #panda #nzflag for John Key.

  30. Rob Hamlin

    While we dicker around arguing about inedible flags, rather than making sure we have the class 1/2 land available to generate stuff to eat/sell – Has anybody seen this quiet but eye-popping East Taieri property listing?

    • Elizabeth

      Knew this was coming up. The late Gary Pearson was one of my neighbours in a different jurisdiction. I will move this discussion to a new post later.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Nana ranching.

    • photonz

      How do the likes of Japan and UK manage to feed themselves with the same land area yet up to 2500% more people?

      • Gurglars

        They keep productivity up by keeping the public servants out of the food chain.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        High proportion of Breatharians in both countries.
        Or it could be something that made life tricky during the war when merchant ships were having a hard time crossing the oceans.
        Oranges were rationed in Britain till long after WW2 ended. Recipe books of the time, British and NZ, have “substitute” every-darn-thing.
        My mother’s hand-written recipe book has close to the beginning a recipe for making cod fat into “butter”. Doubt if cod fat was any easier to obtain, esp in inland Otago!
        Can’t answer for the Japanese but I do know quite a lot about how the UK “feeds itself” – it doesn’t, it imports.

      • russandbev

        They don’t export food.

        • photonz

          Actually they both export food, but even if you totally ignore that, around 55% of both countries food consumption comes from within the country.

          Meaning for the same sized country, Japan is still feeding around 1750% more people than New Zealand is, and UK is feeding around 800% more people than NZ.

          Trying to tie the loss of farm land, which can’t even be in the top 100 issues facing NZ, to the flag debate, is just about as weak at trying to make it into a John Key debate.

        • Elizabeth

          Brief summary

          ### Feb. 13, 2015 – 06:34AM JST
          Japan’s agricultural, fishery and food exports hit record high in 2014
          TOKYO— The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says that the export of Japanese agricultural, fishery and food products hit a record high in 2014. According to the ministry, exports last year increased by 11.1% to 611.7 billion yen, the highest figure since records started being kept in 1955. A ministry official said there was a downturn in fishery product exports for a period of time from the impact of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, exports picked up again last year due to a Japanese food boom, which resulted in an increased demand for Japanese food products overseas, Sankei Shimbun reported Thursday. Among the most popular food exports were seasonings such as shoyu and miso, as well as wagyu beef and fruit. Lumber exports also rose, especially to China and South Korea, the ministry said. Overall, the top three export markets were Hong Kong (134.3 billion yen), the United States (93.2 billion yen) and Taiwan (83.7 billion yen). Link

  31. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online:

    Last choice
    Submitted by MikeStk on Sun, 13/12/2015 – 10:54am.

    Looking at how the STV voting went it appears that not only did 10% of those who voted spoil their ballots in protest, and over half of us declined to vote at all … But by having to go to four rounds of STV counting it means that 49.5% of those who voted chose the runner up, or chose the ‘winner’ as their very very last choice, in short they hated it …. Not exactly the sort of unifying symbol you want in a flag.

    • photonz

      Elizabeth – between the two final flags, they received 82% of first choices, so it’s not possible that they were 49.5% of last choices.

      For a start the last choice of 82% of voters was never ever even considered because both flags were always in the top two.

      By the third iteration they had 90%.

      And when Red peak went out, the last 10% of votes that were transferred from it were far more likely to be 2nd or 3rd or 4th place votes, rather than 5th.

      Even if those votes were distributed evenly between 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th (unlikely considering the overwhelming popularity of the two front runners), that would be 2.5% of people voted them as last place, or roughly 1% each.

      • Elizabeth

        photonz I hoped you’d comment. I want MikeStk to take this up.

        • Mike

          (sorry I’ve been travelling and posting on the fly this week)
          I probably misstated that slightly … really it’s 49.5% of the voters rated black-flag below red flag in the last round, but actually probably the better number is that 60% of the voters preferred a different flag.

          Which gets back to my real point: something that 60% (or 50% of us) don’t like is not exactly the sort of unifying symbol you want in a flag.

          Sadly, the winning flag is basically the old flag with a rugby corporate logo stuffed in, in place of the Union Jack – what that says about our future is really kind of depressing.

          Personally, I want to get rid of the Union Jack, it’s a symbol of my grandparents’ time, not mine; I’ve never met a member up my family line not born in NZ (I’m a 5th generation kiwi), I have no particular ties to the UK, and I think that bit of historical cruft has long overstayed its welcome.

          I do want another flag, I want one I’m proud of – I’d always assumed we’d just remove the union jack and keep the southern cross we already have, I really don’t understand why that wasn’t one of the options – it seems that that’s a flag we already have a history with, is already part of our identity and doesn’t look like someone’s packaging for selling party plates.

        • photonz

          Mike – there was NEVER any chance of it being anything but a silver fern replacing the Union Jack.

          That’s because 43,000 respondents to the flag commission overwhelmingly stated the silver fern was the top symbol they wanted.

          The Southern Cross was way behind in a distant, but distinct, second – probably because it can be seen from a significant part of the northern hemisphere (to about 25 degrees north of the equator) as well as the whole southern hemisphere – so it’s not even remotely close to being unique to New Zealand.

          The two silver fern/Southern Cross designs got over a million votes, and the other three between them didn’t even get a quarter of that.

          And far from being a rugby logo, the silver fern has been used as a NZ symbol since 1888 (well before the current flag was used as the country’s flag), and is on all of our war graves in Europe.

          As mentioned previously, with 10,000 flag designs, all those supporting 9999 are always going to be disappointed, so thinking a majority of people should or even could be unified around one design, will never ever happen in a 10,0000 horse race, or even a 5 horse race.

          The final referendum looks like both flags will get within between 40-60%, so you won’t even get unity in a two horse race.

          What is surprising, is that with two very similar designs, it would have been very easy for the votes to be split between them and another design to have won.

          What actually happened, is that the votes WERE split evenly between the two designs. The interesting thing is that even though this happened, they were still so dominant that even individually they still blew away third place with 3-4 times more votes.

    • Richard Stedman

      The same distortion has been happening in local body elections for years. That is how the we end up with such incompetence around the council chamber. The STV system is a disaster and frankly the only honest thing councillors could do is vote for a return to first past the post. But then turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and half of the council would be out to pasture where they belong.

      • photonz

        So the two top silver fern flags got 82% of the vote.

        Do you really think one of the other flags should have won?

        If so, which one? The one that got 8%, 5% or 3%?

  32. Elizabeth

    Bromhead – NZ flag beauty pageant [] 13.12.15

    Bromhead cartoon. NZ flag beauty pageant - Sunday Dec 13, 2015[]

  33. Gurglars

    Well John Key has got his way in Dunedin. Almost all of the comments here are on the flag choice, that no doubt is also consuming time at the water cooler.

    It only cost $26,000,000 to get people to forget about cars, tyres, Luggate, Jacks Point, overpayment of DCC key staff, outrageous daily fees to useless advisors at the SDHB and that’s only in Dunedin!

    Cheap diversion for Key; generally he would have to find someone bonking in the backbenchers’k stalls to get this kind of engagement, and at this time he can’t afford to lose a backbencher or he cannot govern alone.

  34. Peter

    What do you do when you really want to change the flag now the opportunity is here, but the alternative is so unexciting? Go for it, hoping a re-run happens in the not too distant future?

    • Mike

      A great question, I suspect I will spoil my ballot in protest.

    • photonz

      Or you could face the facts. Opinion on flag design is so diverse, that like the vast majority of people, you will never ever get your favourite design.

      Overwhelming responses to both the flag commission and the referendum show that if it doesn’t have a silver fern, then it doesn’t have a chance.

      Even if you don’t like the designs, just vote for the flag you think best represents New Zealand.

      • Mike

        No – my vote is my vote – saying I should just follow on with what other people think and vote with the sheep makes a mockery of democracy.

        Honestly I feel the same about this corporate rugby logo flag as I do about the Kiwifruit marketing board taking away my identity as a “kiwi” (go to the US and look at the blank stares when you claim you are a kiwi) –

        Certainly I’m not ever going to go and fight for my country under the NZRFU’s logo, it’s not what I stand for.

        • photonz

          That’s pretty offensive to tens of thousands of dead New Zealand servicemen buried under silver ferns in Europe.

          The silver fern badge was worn by soldiers in the Boer War (1889 – before we even had the current flag), soldiers in WW1, and soldiers in WWII. (the current NZ flag was seldom used)

          So to say soldiers won’t fight under a rugby logo is totally nonsensical.

          The silver fern is held in such high regard that no other symbol came remotely close to the silver fern in the 43,000 submissions to the flag commission.

          Hence my comment – face the facts. The silver fern has been used to symbolise New Zealand since 1888 (before the current design became our flag).

          It is so well used across all facets or New Zealand international representation – military, sports, travel, business etc – has been for so long, and is so overwhelmingly popular, that you haven’t got a hope in hell getting a new flag without one on it.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          A vote for change to a naff logo? Even if I thought there was a point in changing the flag I’d vote against the current alternative.
          Change now and we’re stuck with the embarrassing excuse for a real flag that conforms to vexillological standards, looking like naive colonials unfit to run a cake stall, for decades. Changing again would be a governmental (whatever party is in at the time) admission of another money-wasting whoopsie, and we know how reluctant politicians are to admit they’ve goofed.

        • photonz

          So why don’t you complain to the Commonwealth Ward Graves commission that you’re disgusted that the symbol over 30,000 New Zealand war dead in Europe is nothing but a “naff logo”?

          You’re delusional if you think anything other than a silver fern was going to be on the flag. Of the tens of thousands of submissions to the flag commission, nothing got more than a small fraction of the support that the silver fern got.

          If you think it’s nothing more than a naff logo, then you show ignorance of its use for the last 130 years.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Calm down, photonz! The fern as it is, on the war graves, is no more naff than the rose etc :
          “…It was decided all commonwealth soldiers would be buried as commonwealth soldiers and thus there are no indidual countries’ flags on those gravestones just their unit/trade insignia (not all NZ servicepeople had ferns). Hence roses, thistles, ferns, kiwis and others….” Lynden,
          The *flag* is a naff logo. Not because it has a fern on it – though it’s not a good choice being neither unique to NZ nor a good design element, for one thing it bisects the flag top to bottom – but because the design *as a whole* is naff. However, you’re more than welcome to feel it excellently represents yourself. From what I’ve seen of your photographic work I’d have thought you had a more refined sense of design than the average person.

        • photonz

          Anytime someone talks about “good flag design” or “bad flag design” it rings warning bells.

          That’s because those who purport to have significant expertise in the design field, throughout the entire campaign have been at odds with each other about which flags fall into which category.

          And of all the people who say the winning alternative design is “bad design”, I haven’t heard a single one who is able to articulately and concisely say why.

          Oh – and if you think the silver fern is not endemic to New Zealand, please tell us what other countries it comes from.

        • Mike

          You know they are dead right? they don’t care – we are choosing for the living and for future generations

          As far as choosing good flag design or bad flag design these were chosen for us by Peter Chin, that world famous expert on flag design, and his ilk – and the PM and cabinet had a veto over whatever they chose – it’s why we got such a crap bunch of choices.

        • photonz

          Ooooh – a big conspiracy. The provisional winner was only there because the devious choice Peter Chin made because the PM gave him a wink.

          It’s got nothing to do with being the ONLY flag that’s won flag competition after flag competition, repeatedly for over ten years.

          It’s got nothing to do with the public indicating to the Flag Commission in tens of thousands of submissions, that a silver fern was miles ahead of any other symbol – even miles ahead of the second placed southern cross.

          No design you choose without a silver fern would stand the slightest chance against the provisional winner.

          Because the public has indicated overwhelmingly they want a silver fern on any alternative flag.

          And this is a popularity contest.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          photonz, on the flag it’s not silver, it’s white. It’s a generic fern shape. Stars aren’t 5-pointed, nor red with white borders. To anyone not highly emotionally invested in the winner of the 1st referendum, to the people who are supposed to be reassured that NZ products aren’t from Australia if we have a new flag, a white fern is a fern-shaped design that in real life could be dark green, light green, brown – or silver. They’ll probably imagine it the colour of whatever fern they are most familiar with, whatever that may be, or mistake it for a feather.

        • photonz

          Hype – the “mistaken for a feather ” argument is not only very really weak – it’s also very silly.

          For the last 130 years there’s been no problem with the silver fern being mistaken for a feather, but suddenly we’re supposed to believe it will be?

          I notice you avoided telling us what other countries the silver fern comes from.

          Or did you just make that up.

        • Mike

          Conspiracy? I’m simply trying to say two things:
          – Peter Chin was an incredibly poor choice for a flag committee
          – despite what most people think the flag committee didn’t have the last say over what flags ended up on the ballot – read the law, it says that Cabinet does – the flag committee were put in a position where they had to provide flags that would pass Cabinet scrutiny.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          “I notice you avoided telling us what other countries the silver fern comes from.” True, photonz. Because it’s not relevant. As I pointed out, the flag has a white fern-shaped pattern on it. It is not a botanical depiction of a silver fern, so to others will not be able to tell whether it is intended to represent a silver, pale green, dark green or brown fern. Clearly it is not a maidenhair fern. Beyond that it’s just a generic fern shape.
          Please don’t hesitate to ask further questions if my explanation is still not clear enough.

        • photonz

          Mike – the cross party group (consisting of one MP from each of National, Labour, Maori Party, Green, Act and United) nominated the Flag Committee members, who had to be independent and non-partisan.

          They also designed the process.

          You’ve claimed the PM and cabinet had the final say, but as they didn’t change the flag commissions choices, I’m not sure why you are whinging so much about that, when it hasn’t interfered with the process.

          But then you’ve also stated you would never ever fight for NZ if it was under the new flag. Do you realise how bizarre that sounds?

          “Private Mike, grab your weapon – we are being attacked”
          “Sorry, Sir – I can’t fight the invading Nazis/ISIS”
          “Why not Private Mike?”
          “Because I’m not happy about the design of the flag, Sir”

        • photonz

          photonz says “I notice you avoided telling us what other countries the silver fern comes from.”

          Hype says “True, photonz. Because it’s not relevant.”

          Translation of Hype’s reply – “I’m not telling you, because you’ve caught me out fabricating the bit about it not being unique to New Zealand”

          “So instead I’m getting all anal about the stars and fern symbols not being exact photo realistic copies that are botanically and astronomically correct to the last detail.”

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Enough of this!
          “Translation of Hype’s reply – “I’m not telling you, because you’ve caught me out fabricating the bit about it not being unique to New Zealand”
          photonz, in your passion for changing NZ’s flag you are making more and more absurd statements. And now you have accused me of fabrication by producing a small segment of my response to your insistence that the diagrammatic form on the flag is a *silver* fern. To you it is, and it is a uniquely NZ plant. To others viewing the white shape it is a generic simplified fern design, in other words since it is not silver on the flag it is only a “silver fern” to those who already know and care. That’s why I say, many many countries have ferns of approximately that shape, that could be represented as white on blue, or pink on purple, or black on white, or… wasn’t one of the flags black and white on white and black?

          An amusing and totally personal assessment of flags is
          “[Union Jack] Colonial Nonsense
          Used for countries that have the flags of their colonial masters as a part of their flag. The colonial master in question is nearly always the UK, but that’s just because French territories all use the French flag, and US external territories all use something the local military commander has created using Microsoft Frontpage.” On he goes through a list of countries and rates their flags, some only with the symbols he introduced on the previous site, and some with added comments eg Brunei – Appears to involve a moustache sprouting from a flagpole.

        • Mike

          Sigh, you continue to misrepresent my point – practically, the flag committee had to present flags that Cabinet would approve of – if they’d put forward laser kiwi Cabinet would have have turned it down despite its obvious public support

          This city has been screwed over by selfish corporate rugby time after time, we continue to be, this is not my flag:

          I’m certainly not going to go off and die for that bunch of selfish twats – if ISIS show up I’ll do it for my family and community, not for rugby.

        • photonz

          Mike – no need to misrepresent your point to show how silly it is.

          A word for word quote will achieve that –

          “Certainly I’m not ever going to go and fight for my country under the NZRFU’s logo, it’s not what I stand for.”

          Equally silly is Hype’s argument that the Silver Fern (which has represented NZ without a problem for 130 years) can not longer represent New Zealand because it’s not really silver on the flag.

          Any other laughably ridiculous arguments against a symbol that’s so popular, that throughout our history it’s been used far more to represent New Zealand internationally, than our own flag has been?

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Mirrorm mirror….photonz, you’ve done it again: “Mike – no need to misrepresent your point to show how silly it is.”
          And then by presenting brief selective quotes from comments by other people you “prove” your point via misrepresentation.
          Oh look! Another opportunity! Let me guess your next response:

          “Hype, I’m glad to see you acknowledge that I’m right, you’re wrong and so is Mike and all others who disagree with me: ‘you “prove” your point’.”

        • photonz

          Hype – out of context?

          You really think adding Mike’s surrounding comments (about kiwifruit) adds context about whether he’d fight under the new flag or not?

          I didn’t think your arguments could get any weaker. I was wrong.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Clearly photonz is ready for the nyah-nyah stage of debate, unless a detour through Godwin’s law precedes it on the agenda. Which of us is supposed to call the other a nazi first, photonz? Your call, I supposed it could be tied to your fern-on-war-graves theme and your theory that (if the majority of his comments are excised) Mike delights in contemplating the rape and murder of his family rather than fight under the rugby-logo flag.


      Let the reasoned discourse roll! (Apologies for early pre-emptive responses, please re-read them whenever you feel the need. Time doesn’t allow for my further participation in this game before mid-January 2016, my hare needs shampooing.)

      • photonz

        There’s a lot of reasons you might not want the silver fern.

        For example, a reasonable one is you just don’t like it.

        But the ones trotted out here are largely ridiculous, petty, and anal or plain falsifications, like –
        – that it’s not an exact rendition of the silver fern,
        – you wouldn’t fight for NZ if the flag was changed,
        – it’s nothing more than a rugby logo
        – Peter Chin chose it
        – it was last choice for 49% (when in reality it was actually around 1%)
        – it’s not silver

  35. photonz

    The problem is, that with 10,000 designs submitted, the people who support 9999 of them will always be disappointed.

    Hence the process where the flag commission took on board the opinions of tens of thousands of people, who overwhelmingly wanted a silver fern on the design, with the Southern Cross second.

    Many people won’t like the design (my favourite got left behind in the last 40, which interestingly also turned out to be the favorite of my wife and kids).

    But it’s not just a coincidence that out of 10,000 designs, it’s this one that has been winning numerous polls and design competitions for over a decade.

    And I don’t think any of the other 9999 designs could claim that.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    How many of the other 9999 were presented to polls and competitions during that period?

  37. photonz

    Don’t know, but some flag competitions have had entries in the high hundreds.

    What I do know is none have come close to the popularity of the Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) – the provisional winner of the referendum

    Winner Horizon Poll December 2015 (B)
    Winner UMR Research Poll November 2015
    Winner ‘Children’s Flag Referendum’ Nov 2015 (B)
    Winner Fairfax Media Poll November 2015
    Sir Richard Hadlee’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015 (B)
    Winner UMR Research Poll October 2015
    Sir Peter Snell’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015 (B)
    Winner Kiwiblog Flag Poll* Oct 2015 (B)
    Winner Aardwolf Research Flag Poll* Oct 2015 (B)
    Winner NZ Herald Poll September 2015
    Winner TV3 Poll September 2015 (B)
    Winner Sydney Morning Herald Poll Sept 2015 (B)
    Winner UMR Research Poll September 2015
    Mahe Drysdale’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015 (B)
    Winner Radio Live Poll August 2015 (B)
    Winner Reddit Poll August 2015
    Winner NZ Herald Poll August 2015 (B)
    Dame Catherine Tizard’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015
    Winner Bay of Plenty Times Poll July 2015 (B)
    Winner NZ Herald Poll July 2015 (B)

    Winner The Nation TV3 News Poll July 2015 (B)

    Winner NZ Herald Poll June 2015 (B)
    Winner Aardwolf Research Flag Poll June 2015 (B)
    Winner Fairfax Media Poll May 2015
    Winner People’s Choice Award ‘Flag It!’ Rawene 2014
    Winner One News Poll 2014
    Winner Whale Oil Poll 2014
    Prime Minister’s Preferred NZ Flag 2014, 2015
    Winner of Change the NZ Flag poll 2011
    Winner of Pataka Museum & Gallery Flag Poll 2007
    Winner of TV3 Campbell Live Flag Poll 2005
    Winner of Hutt News Flag Design Competition 2004

  38. Gurglars

    C’mon Hype, we need more Hype, not real analysis.

  39. Peter

    Beige, with no symbolism, would have been an appropriate colour for the NZ flag. Take that any way you like it.

  40. Gurglars

    No flag at all would have been even better, at least it would have got rid of jingoism!

  41. Elizabeth

    repulsive rugby/sports vibes [BBnz476 via]

    Flag alternate BBnz476 [via]

    ### via NZ Newswire 44 mins ago
    Official NZ flag contender confirmed
    Kyle Lockwood’s black and blue Southern Cross silver fern design has been officially confirmed as New Zealand’s choice to take on the incumbent flag at the March referendum.
    The final results, released by the Electoral Commission on Tuesday, revealed the favoured flag won a 50.58 per cent majority after votes were redistributed from three eliminated rivals.
    Read more

  42. photonz

    Not my top choice, at least it’s a New Zealand flag.

    Unlike the current one where the main part is another country’s flag.

  43. Elizabeth

    Voter turnout via today’s The Wash, ODT (page 2)

    ODT 15.12.15 The Wash p2


    Garrick Tremain

    15 Dec 2015


  44. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Thu, 17 Dec 2015
    Editorial: Something old or something new?
    OPINION ….In the ongoing and controversial flag saga, New Zealanders now have confirmation of the design which will fly against our current ensign in next year’s binding referendum. […] It is to be hoped there will be information widely circulated about both options. […] Already, details are available on the Government’s Flag Consideration Panel website.
    Read more

    NZ Flag current ( (


    For good measure (!!!), sadly as yet no rich comparative for the alternative.

    nz-flag2 []

  45. Tom

    NZ has made the right choice of flag to put up against our current one. The white feather certainly is the sign of the times in NZ. Polluted water ways, treaty hand outs, stadium and council financial blow outs. Just to name a few. The white feather says it all.

  46. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 28 Dec 2015
    All happy under tradition of a British flag
    By John Lapsley – Wit’s End
    OPINION I planned to have the Kyle Lockwood flag fly jauntily from the Ford at Christmas. But the flag merchants have been caught with their trousers around their ankles. […] The Duchess is opposed to the Lockwood flag, and I’d looked forward to driving her, beflagged and lips pursed, to Carols by Candlelight.
    Read more

    ● John Lapsley flies the flag in Arrowtown.

  47. Elizabeth

    Two-thirds still against flag change: poll [5 hrs ago]
    Two-thirds of New Zealanders are still planning to back the current flag in the upcoming referendum, according to a poll – and just as many say the whole process was a waste of money.
    Read more at MSN News

  48. Elizabeth

    ### [one hour ago]
    Key plays down flag change meeting
    Prime Minister John Key is ridiculing reports that National MPs have held a “crisis meeting” over changing the flag.
    TV3 and TVNZ are reporting a leaked email revealed cabinet minister Maggie Barry organised the meeting on Wednesday morning in the Backbencher pub across the road from Parliament.
    “Leaked National Party emails show its MPs are divided over John Key’s flag change and that a crisis meeting of MPs has been held to give the campaign a boost,” TV3’s Newshub reported.
    It said only 32 out of National’s 59 MPs were invited.
    Read more

  49. photonz

    Australian flag repeatedly used to represent New Zealand at world rally champs –
    – wrong flag used by supporters
    – wrong flags used on cars
    – wrong flag used on winners podium

  50. Elizabeth

    Sending The Prime Minister A Message: UMR Research asked people to respond to the following question: “The flag referendum has been a distraction and a waste of money. New Zealanders should send John Key a message by voting for the current flag.” Two-thirds of UMR’s respondents agreed with that statement.

    ### Fri, 19 Feb 2016
    Flagging Our Opposition
    By Chris Trotter
    OPINION Strange days we’re living in, when New Zealand’s youngest voters are the most vociferous defenders of their county’s flag. It has become a commonplace of post-war political sociology that youth and radicalism go together like Ché Guevara’s image and T-Shirts.
    Even before the youth rebellions of the 1950s and 60s, the close correlation between tender years and tender ideals had been apparent to no less a figure than Winston Churchill. “He who is not a socialist at twenty, hasn’t a heart”, the great man observed, before immediately alienating every twenty-year-old (and socialist!) by adding: “He who is still a socialist at forty, hasn’t a head.”
    When it comes to the Flag Referendum, however, Churchill’s formula fails spectacularly. Instead of 18-29 year-olds favouring Kyle Lockwood’s Union Jack-less fern and stars design by an overwhelming margin, UMR Research reveals that nearly three-quarters of them (72 percent!) will be voting to keep the New Zealand flag exactly as it is.
    Read more

  51. photonz

    The flag debate comes down to one thing – what best represents New Zealand?

    The silver fern (over every Kiwi war grave in Europe and use for all our sports representatives)

    Or the Union Jack (the flag of another country)

  52. russandbev

    Is it not time photonz that you gave up on your Key crusade by trying to convince people to change their minds on the flag? Nothing you can say will change my mind on the subject. Nothing. Best to put your efforts and thoughts into how to force change in Dunedin’s appalling governance. That is something that you may have success at. Or do you not mind Dunedin heading down the toilet further?

  53. photonz

    It sounds like you want to shut down debate on the flag that you don’t agree with.

    If you want the main symbol on the New Zealand flag to be something that doesn’t actually represent NZ, but is the symbol of a completely different country – that’s your choice – you get one vote.

    It’s just a shame that some people who actually want to change the flag, have said they won’t vote for change because they have some sort of personal psychological hang up about the current leader (who likely won’t even be in power in one or four years).

    As for Dunedin’s appalling governance. Protesting about that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed (or can’t) also join other debates, like the flag.

    It sounds like I should only be allowed to debate Dunedin, and not the flag. Luckily, we live in a free country.

    • Elizabeth

      photonz, entirely happy to have you here and why not :)

    • Hype O'Thermia

      photonz, you have strong opinions on various topics and tenaciously keep on expressing them, more and more emphatically, to the point of using antagonistic tone and vocabulary towards the people who disagree with you. So I find this response to russandbev quite ironic: “It sounds like you want to shut down debate on the flag that you don’t agree with.”

      On various topics, another way to look at it might be, “It sounds like you want to browbeat others until they agree with you or at least cease expressing their opinions, including sometimes expertise that you will not acknowledge as such.” There is no need for you to eff-off from any discussion – perhaps read through your comments before posting, looking not for spellcheck glitches but for how the tone and language come across if you put yourself in other readers’ shoes.

      Many of the topics here are the subject of strong feelings, nonetheless a degree of respect to other contributors, a tone of goodwill, awareness that whether intentional or not some strongly expressed opinions come across as bullying rather than healthy robust discussion, these all help to keep the site from ugliness.

      • Elizabeth

        I don’t believe rigourous debate or ‘engagement’ is bullying, not when people are fairly similarly empowered – I see it more akin to rugby joust, that will have the odd bruiser for emphasis.
        Again, why not.

        • No, but there is Bad Manners Street, and surely debate is not ‘being thrashed’ as in Rugby. I wish the metaphor to be feminine: a bruising is like being done over by Richter City Roller Derby. It really Hertz, but there are no hard feelings, mostly.

        • Elizabeth

          brownestudy, sticks and stones….
          besides, purple is Royal Link

  54. photonz

    Hype – I was told to give up on the flag debate, with the insinuation that if I didn’t, then I didn’t care about Dunedin going down the toilet.

    I strongly disagreed, but in what I thought were relatively polite terms.

    But you’re right that sometimes I can be intolerant and very vigorous in my responses when I sense someone is talking utter nonsense.

    But I’m not talking just opinions – I’m talking about people stating facts that are provably and blatantly false (in the exactly same way I’m intolerant of Cull saying the drains are OK or the heads of SDHB saying there’s nothing wrong with the food).

    Rob was trying to tell me nonsense about how depreciation works, when I and my accountants have been working out depreciation for 20 years.

    I even put in a submission to the Tax Working Group on depreciation, to ask them to change the rules (which happened). Previously equipment like a $250 filing cabinet could not be claimed as an expense. Instead, it could be claimed, just a tiny bit each year as it depreciated, over 20 years. It was ridiculous – the time spent accounting over all those years probably cost more than the item in the first place.

    I’ll try to be more tolerant, but will probably still struggle when I’m told insurance companies are running the economy (they’re not), are making grossly excessive profits (they’re not), inflation has been way higher than rises in the minimum wage (the opposite is true) or that having a shinny 4×4 is proof that someone must be ripping off the tax system (it’s not).

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Perhaps you interpret remarks intended to be about “some” and “sometimes” as meaning all and always?
      Insurance, and indeed all kinds of subsidies and “relief” payments or exemptions, are distorting factors that result in some people organising themselves not for real effectiveness but for eligibility. Muldoon’s export subsidies and fertilizer subsidies to bring unproductive land into farming were glaring examples of how badly this can turn out.
      Another reason people are bitter about insurance companies is the way they use reasons not to pay out, always it seems on the powerless who weren’t aware of how extensive the disclosure of everything that ever previously occurred in their lives had to be, if they were not to fall foul of the “you failed to disclose” refusal to pay out, though this microscopic testing of the customer only occurs when a claim is made, not when payments are accepted by the company. Compare with readiness to pay out to DCC. It’s like the saying, you owe the bank $1000, you’ve got a problem. You owe the bank $10,000,000, the bank’s got a problem.
      So when the insurance company takes your payments for years then jerks you over, your payments have effectively gone down the longdrop. Whether this is “excessive profit” it’s certainly unfair advantage of powerful company over a (usually) relatively naive client, (usually) trying to answer the questions honestly so as not to strike trouble if they need to claim. As with WINZ, a minority of very clued-up rorters succeed in rip-offs of both. More often honest people get the bare minimum.
      Another thing, profits declared are not the whole story, what other property has been acquired for instance? Not something confined to insurance companies BTW. Nor, as Rob pointed out, is share price, because the issuing of extra shares and the splitting of shares (eg investor with 1000, worth now $500 each, now owns 5000 shares at $100 each) distorts the record if one looks simply at value of a share last year – $500 – versus today’s $100 – omigod what a drop, what failure!!!

      As for inflation v minimum wage, as I attempted to point out, it’s not that simple. Both are expressed as a percentage, but we don’t go to the supermarket and hand over a percentage, we hand over money whether actual coins or credit/debit card. When the coin in the minimum wage is less than the coin required to cover the amount by which their spend had increased, the percentage is immaterial. Meanwhile other costs have been added, more costs transferred to the individual, even the change from rubbish collection by men on trucks emptying the permanent metal rubbish tin, to having to buy DCC rubbish bags – a small indicative example of the kind of thing that is going on all the time.
      It may be factually correct, but it’s a fact that distorts the facts of life, ie it is only half the picture, rather like Compass’s assurances that its meals are up to the adequate standard. They may be in terms of quantity and the vitamins and minerals in the ingredients – BUT…!

      I’m not meaning to diss your viewpoints, simply to add other ways of looking at things.

    • russandbev

      I think you need to carefully read the posts to make sure that you aren’t reading something into them that isn’t always there.

      But looking at some things that you have raised.

      The flag debate has come from a small group led and orchestrated by John Key. That is undeniable and so that will affect how people see the issue or perceive it. I know you support a change but simply repeating what you believe will not, in my experience, cause people to change what they think. Repetition leads to turning people off. It is my belief that organising people – prominent or not – to try and effect influence is not beyond political strategies. Cameron Slater is a good example via Minister Collins.

      Insurance. Others have made the point more eloquently than me, but there is something basically wrong when honest people in Chch after 5 years still can’t get an honest settlement. Yes, some people will rip off insurance companies, but my impression is that they are few and far between and there are more examples of cowboy “fixers” who do bad repair jobs than dishonest claimants. What I’m angry about are institutional shortfalls that no-one seems interested in fixing. I’ve given examples of this in the past.

      As to tax and depreciation etc – in my experience it was an easy job to list all capex items on a spreadsheet and insert a macron to automatically calculate the correct rate of depreciation.

      What it seems to me to be worthwhile to consider is to win by picking your battles. No-one in Auckland will win the battle over how Dunedin is being badly managed or governed – it will take thinking people who maybe will influence the vast numbers of disengaged people who live in the City and somehow believe that nothing can be improved. If you believe that things could be run better in Dunedin and change is necessary then how are you going to win that battle?

      As to facts – despite the dictionary definition, they seem to be like stats. Lies, lies, and more lies. Ask a politician for a fact and they will give you what they want you to believe.

      • photonz

        russandbev says “The flag debate has come from a small group led and orchestrated by John Key. That is undeniable”

        It’s not only deniable – it’s totally wrong.

        100,000 New Zealanders signed a petition to get a new flag over a decade ago, before most New Zealanders even knew who Key was.

        Not only that, but Labour Party policy is to change the flag.

        Depreciation – the debate was because Rob was wrongly saying that the IRD don’t insist you depreciate things.

        He doesn’t get that when you buy a vehicle or equipment, you can’t actually claim what it cost – you can only claim the depreciation over many years – but to him this is not real so he says it’s the basis of fraud.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Re depreciation – I agree that the way it has to be claimed is a pain, esp when it is a small item. What I took from Rob’s post is that there is a whole rigmarole of how you MUST claim IF you want to claim (and you can’t claim what it cost, straight off) but on the other hand you can choose not to claim at all. He also noted that accountants are keen on claiming depreciation and I wonder if he means over-keen considering the hassle it is for the claimant.
          For something like your example – cost $400 wasn’t it? – I’d be thinking, is it worth this amount of my life-time, or would I be better occupied knitting my own winter socks / catching more zzzzzzzzzz’s / wandering the neighbourhood at dusk looking for wasp nests to eradicate?

        • Elizabeth

          I was wandering the neighbourhood after dark tonight looking for undergrads to eradicate – they are all clones – women, thin, average and overweight were all dressed in short shorts or short dresses; strangely, they all looked the same regardless of body type. And that was clueless, slightly drunk, in really uncool mode appearing in groups like they came from the colleges and or the land of fake tans, together. The mainly East Side George Street Story, tonight. The men were far more original – kudos to them.

        • Elizabeth

          [aside] Snippets on Depreciation

          [excerpt] Assets that depreciate
          For tax purposes you must depreciate assets that:
          – are owned by the business and are available for business use
          – cost more than $500
          – have an expected life of more than 12 months.

          (tip) Intellectual property assets like patents and copyright are depreciable.

          [excerpt] Depreciation basics
          As a business you’ll need to make depreciation deductions on your assets each year. Deductions are made on assets that you:
          • own
          • lease (depending on the type of lease), or
          • are buying under a hire purchase agreement.

          The amount of your depreciation deduction will vary depending on the:
          • cost of the asset
          • depreciation method, and
          • depreciation rate.

          If you’re registered for GST you’ll need to calculate depreciation on the GST-exclusive cost of the asset. If you’re not registered for GST you’ll need to calculate your depreciation on the GST-inclusive cost of the asset.

          It’s important that you keep accurate records of your assets for filing your annual depreciation claims.

          Watch our video to find out what you need to know about depreciation:
          Introduction to business 4: Depreciation 6:05 mins

          [transcript: ]

          What to depreciate
          Assets that attract depreciation:
          Generally, you must claim depreciation deductions on business assets that you keep in your business for longer than a year. However, there are some assets that you don’t need to claim depreciation for. These include:
          • land
          • trading stock
          • franchise fees
          • assets that you elect not to depreciate
          • low cost assets (less than $500) that you claim as a full deduction
          • intangible assets like goodwill
          • patents

          If an asset is for private use as well as business use, then you can only claim depreciation on the percentage used for business.

        • photonz

          Hype – choosing not to claim is not a good argument, as if people bought vehicles or expensive equipment for their businesses, and didn’t claim depreciation on them, they’d all go broke pretty quickly.

          And if the item is lower cost (currently under $500, previously under $250), they don’t use depreciation as they can claim 100% straight away.

  55. russandbev

    I see that uber hero McCaw has entered into the flag fray with his mate Carter. No surprise at all bearing in mind the close association that both have had with Key over past months. I stand entirely by my statements that this whole issue was created by Key. Have a look at this page for what has happened in the past – helps to get the full picture rather than cherry picking bits and pieces.

    • The AB’s association with National is embarrassing, but it proves that politics and sport go together.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Until John Key came along and picked it as a potentially achieveable Memorable Mission, new flag-itis looks like it’s been in the same league as spelling reform, one of those things that a few people get excited about every few years.
      If the entrails don’t lie, if the flag isn’t changed this time, I wonder how long it will be before another good keen campaigner mounts and flagellates this horse that never – quite – dies.

    • photonz

      russandbev – your link shows the push for a new flag goes back decades and totally contradicts your claim that flag issue was created by Key.

      As does the fact that there was one of New Zealand’s biggest ever petitions calling for a new flag before most people had even heard of Key.

      So for a significant percentage of the population this is about whether a silver fern or a union jack best represents New Zealand.

      And for others it’s not about NZ, or the flag at all, – it’s about their personal hang-up with Key.

  56. Calvin Oaten

    I think much of the apathy towards a flag change is a deep seated mistrust of the motivation behind it. Politicians rate significantly below second hand car salesmen in people’s minds, and it seems an unspoken meme that they are up to something when offbeat proposals are put forward. When we think about it, flags are ceremonial icons used as symbols of national hubris, hence at winning ceremonies it’s the flag (ie Olympics etc) that is waved.
    It is the honour of men [and women] going to war for their country and flag. Never mind that war kills millions and are always the doings of politicians of all dogmas including religious.
    If one took the time to study history one might well come to the conclusion that flags serve no useful purpose whatsoever other than a great emotional propaganda tool, designed to control the masses.
    So, it probably doesn’t matter when all is said and done what we end up with, it’ll still be used for the same purpose, as a rallying point. I know of no other species of animal life on this planet that feels the need for other than individual displays, and those are almost invariably sexual. So how about a banner much the same as now but the union jack replaced with a big ‘brown eye’.

    *{Square bracket, the moderator’s… rather than control – ‘represent’ the masses ? Display: sexual and or threatening/distractive….}

  57. Gurglars

    Flags were the pennants on the end of lances to ensure groups did not kill their neighbours in a melee.

    Without wars we would need no flags. Wars are created by weapons manufacturers to ensure stock turns.

    No war, no need for annual mass production of bullets and guns.

  58. Elizabeth

    MSN News [6 hours ago]
    Richie McCaw hammered over NZ flag Facebook post
    As a two-time Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks captain, Richie McCaw has risen to near God-like status in New Zealand, but a social media post this morning has jeopardised that lofty position. The 35-year-old published a photo and caption to Facebook supporting New Zealand’s controversial flag referendum. Link

    Yesterday at 11:13

  59. photonz

    There is a sick side to NZ society.

    Simply stating your opinion on the new flag, is enough for the Labour leader to send warnings of a backlash.

    Then a chorus of people harshly critising and abusing McCaw – NOT for his choice of flag – but merely because out of the 1-2 million other people who also want a change, one of them is Key.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Be fair, you do quite a bit of harsh criticising yourself.
      I’d have thought people were entitled to support/oppose the proposed new flag for their own reasons. If one reason is resentment of how this has been pushed by Key they’re in the wrong, according to you. If they are uncritical admirers of Key/McCaw and choose based on being me-too followers that’s okay though?
      If people want to use this vote to indicate annoyance with Key I reckon they’re entitled to. Or should there be a vetting procedure before people are allowed to vote, to make sure their flag choice is based on only the “right” factors?

      • Elizabeth

        Freedom of expression – NZ Bill of Rights.

      • photonz

        There are a lot of good reasons to want a new flag, or to keep the old flag.

        But keeping it solely for the sake that someone you hate wants the new one, seems very small minded to me (to be polite).

        But what I find really appalling, is the abuse hurled at McCaw, simply because he is one of the million or more who happen to want a new flag, like Key.

        The flag issue is far more important than simply making some statement about one person.

        • Elizabeth

          Ugly bed partners, photonz. McCaw has a lot to learn about NZ politics and the way he is being utterly used and mauled.

          Dislike the new flag option as a design wrt colour array and signifier fern form – flat character. The fact that Key and McCaw are both pushing it now is a bonus – they’re strongly informing my vote against.

          Keep the existing Flag of New Zealand.

          nz-flag2 []

        • Hype O'Thermia

          You said it, Elizabeth. My opinion too, 100%. And I’m not just saying that because you said it :-)

        • photonz

          That’s where we differ.

          There’s no way in the world I’d make my mind up, or even cement my choice, because it’s the opposite of someone I don’t like is on the other side of the debate

          I can think of few things more facile, especially considering our of four million Kiwis, there would be a lot of people I don’t like, on both sides of the debate.

        • Elizabeth

          I was never going to accept a change of flag. RM/JK Voodoo Dolls are just the fun element where I behave badly ‘on the field’ for the hell of it. Larrikinism.

        • photonz

          So how do you cope mentally with issues, where they are on the same side as you?

        • Elizabeth

          Are they ever on the same side of issues I consider important to me. Prefer the Deputy PM in the engine room.

        • photonz

          So you’re not for doubling the number of children who get free GP visits?

          Or giving the first non-inflation increase to beneficiaries in 40 years?

          Or the big increase in vaccinating children against diseases?

          Or the 50% increase in health funding since 2008?

          I used to have an unusually strong dislike for David Cunliffe. But I’d still agree with him on some things.

          And I hope that my thinking is always independent enough to never be swayed one way or the other, simply based on what someone else does or doesn’t think.

  60. Hype O'Thermia

    I think one might ponder this: is the person who announces e.g. free GP visits for children, the person solely, or even principally, responsible for initiating it?

    Me-tooing Elizabeth again: “Prefer the Deputy PM in the engine room”. Yes, yes.

    • photonz

      I’ve always thought the majority of adults have 100 times more control over their own lives than Key/Clark ever have/did.

      However I also have a family member who was in the treasury team that Key set up specifically to see what areas money would be best spent to combat child poverty.

      That’s what led to such a massive amount of extra spending on child poverty in last year’s budget ($790,000,000.00 of new spending on child poverty) – see

      And it seems to be working. Salvation Army reports state that the number of kids in beneficiary families is the lowest in 25 years.

      And kids in abject poverty have dropped from the high during the global financial crisis, back to the same as they were under Labour before the GFC.

      • Elizabeth

        photonz, I never disregard good works on that front –

        Then too, our country continues to have bad track on child abuse, also highlighted by appalling formal reports on CYF care and fostering.

        Lots more work required of any government in power, but mostly by all New Zealanders.

        • photonz

          Here’s another bit of good news from the Salvation Army report, that contradicts what’s often claimed here
          (quoted from NZ Herald)
          “Perhaps most heartening, the report says increases in the statutory minimum wage have helped lift the incomes of the lowest paid faster than the highest paid employment”

        • Elizabeth

          I think of everybody working at the terrible rates offered by resthomes & hospitals for care of our elderly.

        • photonz

          They could certainly do with higher pay. The question is where does it come from?

          My father was in an average Dunedin rest home before he died and was paying several hundred dollars a week to top up what the government paid.

          And that can mean the surviving partner suddenly has no savings left.

        • Elizabeth

          yep been there with both parents ten years apart – although Govt has increased the dollar amount a single person can retain

  61. Gurglars

    Vote for NO flag.

    (I must admit this call seems unsupported)

    However years of experience tell me that kiwis vote like sheep, so I only need one supporter and our campaign is off and running like a lemming migration.

  62. Trev, Trev & Trev.

    Sheep Gurglars. You have hit the nail (or sheep ) on the head. As a nation of sheep s*****rs what better emblem could we have for a flag.

  63. Gurglars

    That little line in the salvos report is misleading photonz!

    As wages have not risen significantly for ten years it is only for a frisson that wage rises have exceeded salary increases.

    How you could be in support of $500,000 plus for SDHB manager, $400,000 for Delta manager, and all the other overpaid bureaucrats suggests you may be one of them.

    No rationalist could support such errors of judgement.

    • photonz

      Gurglers – I’m not in favour of the high salaries you point out.

      And if you think that Salvation Army report is wrong, you should complain to them and tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about.

      And while you’re at it, you should also tell them they’re wrong about wages rising 3% last year vs cost of living rising 0.1%.

      And you should probably also contact the Reserve Bank, and tell them they are also totally wrong about wage rises in the last ten years –
      – 38% increase in wages
      – 44% increase in minimum wage
      – 22% increase in inflation.

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