Jonkey a flag!

nz-flag2 []

Prime Minister John Key has warned if people vote against changing the flag they will not get another chance until New Zealand becomes a republic.

### Updated at 12:46 pm today
RNZ News
Has the PM mistaken himself for a flag?
By Finlay Macdonald
OPINION: To borrow a title from the late, great Oliver Sacks, we appear to have a prime minister who mistook himself for a flag.
John Key is now arguing that a vote against the silver fern flag in the March referendum is really a vote against him. He is echoing those commentators who have already tried to depict opposition to a new flag as simply anti-Key sentiment in red, white and blue drag.

Last chance to change flag before republic – PM
Only citizens should vote on flag change – NZ First

The flag debate, they claim, has been “politicised” by the Left out of bitterness and spite. Aside from their own absurd partisan assumptions, what those arguments can never address is the ideologically diverse nature of so much opposition to the Lockwood flag.
How else to explain the informal alliance of lifelong republicans and ageing anti-establishment boomers with monarchists and RSA traditionalists? If anything unites these camps it seems less likely to be a shared loathing of the prime minister than a nose for what you might call a false dichotomy – an unnecessary choice between two inadequate options.
Because you can say a lot of bad things about the alternative flag, but probably the worst is that it makes the current flag look good.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
14.11.15 New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel…
25.9.15 New Zealand Flag —symbolism
28.2.15 Campbell Live | TXT POLL: Does NZ need a new flag?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr



Filed under Business, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Sport

63 responses to “Jonkey a flag!

  1. russandbev

    The Nat Party phone surveys have been running hot over the flag issue and if others are like me who fielded a call and told the surveyor that since Key is pushing this as a personal issue then I wouldn’t consider voting for his preferred option, then this is perhaps why Key is now saying that this isn’t a “political” issue. Of course it is a political issue and Key is using every tool in his well-funded kit to convince people to change thus ensuring that Key would be seen as the person who made the change.

    His polls will be telling him very clearly how things are shaping up and his increasing desperation tells us what he is being told.

    Whatever your preferences – register your view asap and don’t forget to do it!!!

    Now back to an issue that people can surely unite behind and that is how to stop politicians and their lackeys rip off the City treasure.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Mr Lockwood may be terrifically good in some field of visual arts and he’s certainly prolific (never mind the quality, look at the productivity!) but flags really aren’t his forte. Even people who would like to change to something that’s not like Australia’s, or not linked to Empire, realise that changing to a flag that epitomises mediocrity would be a mistake. Change now means we rule out the chance to change to something that doesn’t look like a weak logo.

    • photonz

      The funny thing is, people who rubbish the design have repeatedly failed to come up with anything better.

      And certainly not one that has even 10% of the success of this design……….

      ​Winner Fairfax ^Poll 22 December 2015
      Winner First NZ Flag Referendum 2015
      Winner Horizon Poll December 2015
      Winner UMR Research Poll November 2015
      Winner ‘Children’s Flag Referendum’ Nov 2015
      Winner Fairfax Media Poll November 2015
      Sir Richard Hadlee’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015
      Winner UMR Research Poll October 2015
      Sir Peter Snell’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015
      Winner Kiwiblog Flag Poll* Oct 2015
      Winner Aardwolf Research Flag Poll* Oct 2015
      Winner NZ Herald Poll September 2015
      Winner TV3 Poll September 2015
      Winner Sydney Morning Herald Poll Sept 2015
      Winner UMR Research Poll September 2015
      Mahe Drysdale’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015
      Winner Radio Live Poll August 2015
      Winner Reddit Poll August 2015
      Winner NZ Herald Poll August 2015
      Dame Catherine Tizard’s Preferred NZ Flag 2015
      Winner Bay of Plenty Times Poll July 2015
      Winner NZ Herald Poll July 2015
      Winner The Nation TV3 News Poll July 2015
      Winner NZ Herald Poll June 2015
      > Winner Aardwolf Research Flag Poll June 2015
      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​

      • Elizabeth

        photonz, no point in trying to come up with something better if, like me, you really like the New Zealand flag as is and all it represents.

        • photonz

          Except its main symbol is from the wrong country.

          Unless you are like the letter writer in the ODT today who says New Zealand should keep the Union Jack as we are still part of the United Kingdom. I had to laugh about that.

        • Elizabeth

          My genes, my heredity, are from those far lands – very proud of that and being here.

        • photonz

          So why should your ancestry take priority over the other half of the population who are either indigenous, or originally came from the Pacific, SE Asia, India, USA, Europe etc?

        • Elizabeth

          Yes but. I’m not speaking for anyone except myself. Nor would I hope to. Anyone would think you’re one of the National plants into NZ blog sites. Nonetheless I think you’re way better than that photonz.

        • photonz

          No – I just think it’s really stupid having the wrong country’s symbol on the NZ flag.

          Because of having another country’s symbol, it’s so ineffectual that Kiwis don’t even bother using it – they use the silver fern instead.

          And when it is does come out, the rest of the world thinks it’s Australian.

          It totally fails to do what a flag is supposed to do. Time to get a flag that will benefit NZ by identifying us, instead of one that’s a detriment to the country because all it does is make the rest of the world think we are part of Australia.

        • Elizabeth

          All you can do is vote like everybody else who chooses to do so in the referendum. If you have helped people figure out their position on the flag, photonz, then well done :)

        • Hype O'Thermia

          I think replacing the flag is about 9999999999th highest priority in NZ anyway. But even when the 9999999998 more important things had been done satisfactorily, I’d have to be presented with a design that was aesthetically better and in no way resembled a cheap logo. At that point I’d vote for it, but there is no way I am voting for something I consider worse in every way, no matter how many polls or competitions it has won. My vote, my opinion – mine, get it?

        • Hype O'Thermia

          It’s a weird argument. If a table wobbles or a door won’t shut does anyone suggest we shouldn’t criticise the joiner or the builder if we can’t make better tables and houses ourselves?

        • photonz

          You vote for the flag that fails miserably to do what a flag is supposed to do, and I’ve vote for the alternative.

          You’ll probably win, and we’ll continue to have a totally ineffectual flag and half the world will continue to think we are part of Australia.

        • Elizabeth

          I like Britain, I like Australia, I like New Zealand. Things in common.
          Anyway, as an individual I can see a flag as doing anything I want it to – in my own mind. If it’s fluttery and red white and blue as an object, and I quite like (OK, really like!) it’s history, layered symbolism and (IMO) good looks as a national ‘standard’ of commonality that indeed takes in the ‘offshore’, then a happy vote for the status quo from me.

          IF New Zealand becomes a republic then I will consider my flag options then.
          I resist the Key bulldozer and I’m not convinced the time is here for change – and certainly not to something “less”, that is poorly designed and lacks ceremonial class. Woops. At first I thought Lockwood designed houses.

          NZ Herald Editorial on Sat, 27 Feb 2016:
          Editorial: Fern flag debate is getting heated
          “The fact that Mr Key has also been wearing a black and blue silver fern flag pin on his lapel as he carries out his duties, including the signing of the TPP, has done nothing to help his cause.”

        • photonz

          The funny thing is, many people say they might vote for a new flag if the design was better, but not a single one of them has been able to point to a better design.

        • Elizabeth

          That’s true. Design is subjective but they knows what they like ~!!
          Which might (who knows) tell us that the flag is not the leading issue, that other issues need solved first as to community health and nationhood. I dunno.

      • Brigade colours I knew: Grey Greys Junior Guerillas, The Day Camos, The ‘I am a peaceful man from the Land of The Palm Trees’ Long Range aux, Jack, Black Pirate Jenny’s, the ‘Woops! Don’t Mind Me!’ Ents Div. No awards. No money.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Thanks for that link Elizabeth. I literally LOL, big loud hoot of delight at this : “…a flag that looks like a Weetbix box had sex with an entry for a colouring-in competition for the bewildered.”

  3. Elizabeth

    I really like the New Zealand flag!
    Me talking. Me voting. Meeeee.

  4. Elizabeth

    Said the March hare.

    • Calvin Oaten

      What on earth has the March Hare got to do with it, except to be as mad as? photonz has a fixation on the fact that the upper quadrant of our flag features a union jack. So what? If the rest of the world (a big call) thinks we are part of Australia (again who cares), why would that be different with a fern in the upper quadrant?
      This whole Key led non event is getting on my wick!

      • Elizabeth

        Yes a bit short in the grain, Calvin…
        The March hare has some craziness brought on by the first day of Autumn.

      • Peter

        Calvin. NZ Welcome…. as the seventh state of Australia or should we make it a territory? We, Australians, welcome your subservience to our rule.

        • Elizabeth

          Peter, oh Aussie mate and diplomat, just get me a free non return air ticket to Sydney or Melbourne and a long term high pay job anytime soon. Dunners smells bad.

        • Calvin Oaten

          Peter. We’ve been there, done that, didn’t like it the first time so why would we want to do it again? Didn’t take a flag either, it was just a logical intellectual exercise carried out in the nineteenth century.

      • photonz

        You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out the benefits to New Zealand if we are better known in the world, rather than confused for another country.

        I lived in the UK for a few years and regularly met people who thought NZ was a state of Australia. In the US it is very common.

        Our tourism and export industries benefit massively from us being better known, rather than unknown or confused.

        And those industries make up just about 100% of the positive side of our balance of payments, so they are crucial industries to New Zealand as they determine how much debt we have as a nation, and if we can pay if off.

        And of course their income flows on to how much we spend on health, education, social services etc.

        So your question was who cares if the world knows who we are?

        My response is that it would be incredibly silly not to care.

        • Elizabeth

          There is NOTHING convincing about the Lockwood swing tag.

        • photonz

          At least it’s better than the one that’s so bad, that supporters of Kiwis competing overseas don’t even use it.

        • Elizabeth

          SORRY photonz – a national flag is not merely for sportspeople (yawn)

        • Elizabeth

          Further your opinion is yours, and everybody else’s is theirs. Let them vote in peace.
          Stop being National’s troll.

        • photonz

          Elizabeth, I was just arguing with you that the flag should be for everybody – not just one segment of society.

          So your point insinuating that I thought it was only for sports people, was surely disingenuous.

        • Elizabeth

          Maybe so, the national flag is best not reduced to a toy for sportsjocks to flutter after they’ve stimulated their endocrine systems.

        • photonz

          That is surely way beneath you Elizabeth – abusing people simply because they support a flag change.

          Just today I’ve seen two stories in mainstream media about the pathetic name calling towards anyone who wants a new flag.

        • Elizabeth

          Well. My voting paper arrived today and I will be voting for the status quo – win or lose.

        • russandbev

          Please photonz give up your browbeating nonsense and concentrate on things that really matter that you can actually change – if you want to.

        • photonz

          So I should restrict myself to only subjects that you care about? (and you do realise that as the first person to make a comment on this page, you’re telling me not to comment on this page).

          Interesting results of UMR poll in the ODT today. 59 our of 100 people will be voting no to change, but 20 of those voting no, do actually want a new flag. And 16 of those 20 are voting no to send a message to Key.

          It’s sad indictment on New Zealand society that so many people think petty political point scoring is more important.

  5. Elizabeth

    Warning: unscientific poll (again)

    Four out of five people spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday voiced their support for the current flag.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Mar 2016
    Existing flag still favoured option
    By Damian George
    Voting in the second referendum on the New Zealand flag will open in two days and the existing flag has the inside running, if popular opinion is anything to go by. The second stage of the referendum will pit the present New Zealand flag against Kyle Lockwood’s Silver Fern challenger, which was chosen from five flag designs in the first referendum late last year.
    Read more

    NZ Herald – search term *flag referendum* brings up latest news items/opinions:

  6. Lyndon Weggery

    photonz – totally agree with Elizabeth. The present flag is still fine and will get my vote. Historically it reflects our British colonial past which had a lot going for it. We inherited British justice for Maori and a Westminister Parliamentary system that is the envy of other nations. The present flag reflects our stability as a Pacific nation on a bi-cultural journey between two races – Maori and Other in terms of the Treaty of Waitangi. Also suspicious of John Key’s motive to use a flag change as the pre-cursor to turning N.Z. into a Republic with a corresponding change of National Anthem. There is no mandate for this and why change when the present system works fine in many respects.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Lyndon: “…why change when the present system works fine in many respects.” And there are so many more important jobs that need doing with the money and efforts.

    • We did go up West, minister, to Westminster. Bloody Tudors. I didn’t vote for them. The one true is the last Stuart. Boycott Hanover Street.

    • photonz

      Lyndon – the current flag is awful.

      It’s so bad it’s not even used to support our teams overseas.

      It’s so bad it doesn’t even signify NZ – overseas people think it’s either Australia or something to do with Britain.

      It’s so bad, it fails one of the five basic rules of flag design. That is NEVER have a flag that has another country’s flag as part of it. The Journal of Vexillology’s example of what NOT to do, is actually a flag with a Union Jack in the corner.

      It’s so bad, that because it only represents white New Zealanders, the racist National Front are desperate to keep it.

      We need a flag that represents ALL New Zealanders – not just Anglo Saxons.

  7. Peter

    I will vote for a change of flag, but that doesn’t mean I am thrilled with the alternative. I just prefer it to the present colonial one.
    Neither National nor Labour have covered themselves in glory on this one. I think the Greens have been more open-minded and of course NZ First is thinking of its oldies vote by its own intransigence.
    Maybe the government could/should have imposed the change without the cost to taxpayers, but to their credit have been more democratic. To a point.
    NZ must be a laughing stock to the outside world… except Donald Trump takes the cake for that one for the good ol’ USA.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    How did that get to be The Truth – NZ First == oldies? “NZ First is thinking of its oldies vote” – I supported NZ First/Winston Peters long before I was an oldie. Have been interested in how many younger people – generally independent non-conforming types – think likewise. It’s his attitude of not caring which “side” he upsets, he sticks to what he believes is rights and in general I think he’s at least as often right as anyone else in politics, more so than most.

  9. Peter

    I have never voted for Winston/ NZ First,but am pleased he is around parliament because he is fairly straight up and down with his views as you say, Hype.He is a character unblemished by the PC Brigade.
    However, it is reasonable to say he has the support of mainly older people because of his strong stance on super over the years and his meetings usually contain a sea of grey/white hair…. like mine!

  10. Elizabeth

    ### Thu, 3 Mar 2016
    Voting begins in second flag referendum
    Voting has begun in the second national flag referendum, with papers being sent to residents throughout the country. People are being asked to choose between the existing flag and an alternative design selected last year from five options. The substitute flag features a silver fern in black, white and blue with a red Southern Cross. It’s a move away from the traditional Union Jack on the current design. More than three million voting packs are being posted over the next week. The referendum closes on the 24th of March and voters are asked to return their papers a few days earlier.
    Ch39 Video

  11. Rob Hamlin

    It’s my understanding that it’s not compulsory to deprecate the existing flag.

  12. Elizabeth


    [Link] Tim Murphy (@tmurphynz) John Roughan nails the flag vote….. We’ve got a chance for change if we retain the old one

    NZH: John Roughan: Our flag I can bear but we could do better
    OPINION For few weeks after the first referendum I was going to vote for a change. On paper the new one looked better than the old. But on the harbour bridge it did not. Even once they had replaced the washed-out rag that first went up alongside the national flag, the new one did not do it for me.
    I wanted it to. We need to replace the colonial artefact. Every day, driving across the bridge, I willed that fern to grow on me but it hasn’t happened. I can only think this is because it is not a professional design. A successful design of any kind is not always immediately appealing but it usually works with time.

  13. Elizabeth

    Had to like this.

    ### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Saturday Mar 5, 2016
    Steve Braunias ‘ Opinion
    Steve Braunias’ Secret Diary of John Key’s flag

    At the end of the day it’s not about the National Party.
    It’s about all of us.
    It’s about who we are as a nation and who we are as a people.
    God almighty! How much do we pay Ralston to come up with this stuff?

    Hi, I’m Bill Ralston. You might remember me as a journalist but these days I pursue the truth in more constructive ways as a National Party operative.
    And that’s why I’m standing in my house and talking really animatedly in a video about why we need to change the flag.
    There’s the hallway to my left. You can see the kitchen over my shoulder. Would you like to come outside? I don’t have much of a front garden – but it’s big enough to put up a campaign sign every three years on behalf of National Party MP Nikki Kaye.

    I remember Bill Ralston. Oh, he was a rascal, a real cheeky monkey! But now the National Party looks upon him fondly, as we do all our pets.
    I’m appearing in a video about why we need to change the flag because I feel very deeply and passionately about this subject. I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up under a colonial symbol any more than I would accept a colonial title such as Dame.
    Read more

    ● This item also appears in today’s ODT (page 31).

  14. Elizabeth

    Fabulous PR stunt to win friends —more blokey humour by Mr Key PM.
    Photo by Andrew Cornaga /

    John Key golf NZ flag [Andrew Cornaga via] detail### Last updated 12:27, 13 Mar 2016
    Prime Minister John Key draped in current flag at NZ Open
    By Peter Thornton
    Prime Minister John Key has been snapped draped in the current New Zealand flag, which is sure to get tongues wagging as the flag change referendum continues. Key has led the charge for changing the New Zealand flag but clearly he’s open to being spotted in the current one, having been involved in some banter with former Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting at the New Zealand Open golf tournament in Arrowtown on Sunday. Ponting pulled the NZ flag out on the first tee at The Hills and placed it on the ground, ahead of the final round of the Celebrity Challenge, and Key proudly draped himself in the flag as the Kiwi and Aussie teams joked around.
    Read more

  15. Elizabeth

    Voting on the second flag referendum is now at the half-way point.

    ### NZ Herald Online 4:56 PM Tue, 15 Mar 2016
    Key optimistic Kiwis will vote for flag change
    By Isaac Davison
    Prime Minister John Key is holding out hope of a change of national flag, despite strong support for the status quo. Labour leader Andrew Little, on the other hand, says the flag issue can be addressed again when New Zealand considers becoming a Republic. […] Mr Key, who has voted for an alternative flag, said this morning he remained optimistic that the flag would change.
    Read more

  16. Elizabeth

    Young voters are the most keen to stick with the Union Jack, nearly trebling those who are voting for the alternative.

    ### MSN News 12 hours ago
    Flag poll puts incumbent flag way ahead
    By Paul Purcell – NZ Newswire
    The Union Jack looks set to remain on New Zealand’s national flag as voters overwhelmingly reject the silver fern challenger in a new poll taken during the referendum. Kyle Lockwood’s silver fern design gained three percentage points in a telephone poll taken by UMR Research between March 10 to 15, while the Union Jack emblazoned flag fell by one point. But the margin between the two remains enormous, with 58 per cent of respondents saying they’re voting for the incumbent compared to just 35 per cent for the silver fern.
    Read more

    Garrick Tremain – cartoons

    16 Mar 2016

    10 Mar 2016

    8 Mar 2016

    18 Feb 2016

    6 Feb 2016

  17. Elizabeth

    Polls consistently show New Zealand will keep its Union Jack and Southern Cross design.

    Wed, 23 Mar 2016
    ODT: Flag referendum result tomorrow
    Source: NZME
    Following a 15-month process, the Electoral Commission will announce a preliminary result in the second flag referendum tomorrow evening around 8pm. More than 1.9 million people have voted in the postal referendum so far, a turnout of 61.1 per cent. A final result will be declared on Wednesday once all late votes have been counted.

    Can I still vote?
    Yes, but your ballot paper must be in a letterbox before the end of tomorrow (Thursday). It will only count if it is postmarked before 7pm.

  18. Elizabeth

    Thu, 24 Mar 2016
    NZ Herald: Flag referendum: New Zealand votes to keep current flag
    New Zealand’s flag will not change, a referendum has decided.
    The existing national flag won 56.6 per cent of the vote, compared to 43.2 per cent for the silver fern flag. The total number of votes received was 2,124,507 – a turnout of 67.3 per cent. Of those, just 0.23 per cent were informal votes and 0.21 per cent were invalid votes.

    █ The result is provisional. A final tally will be announced on Wednesday.

  19. russandbev

    As dispassionately as possible to do so, it is easy to see why the change was not accepted by the public.

    1 There was no ground swell of public views that a change was necessary nor even thought about except by a few prior to Key raising the issue.
    2 Key made it a personal crusade to change the flag and ipso facto it became National Party policy that a change was desirable.
    3 Key made it very plain exactly what elements he wanted on a replacement flag.
    4 The design of the double referendum was such that it allowed the change proponents to focus pushing a design that Key made clear he wanted.
    5 The composition of the flag committee was dubious to say the least.
    6 The cost of the process was huge and most NZ’ers could see better use for the money.
    7 The use of “sporting icons” especially those within the All Blacks who Key wooed after the World Cup to read the Key scripts struck many as being manipulative.
    8 By heavily politicising the issue, Key turned many off what he wanted.

    Key wanted a lasting vanity project to suit his ego and like most defeated egotists now has to lick his wounds as far as he can get from NZ. Hopefully a lot of people both within National and the wider public will start to ask questions on just how the NZ economy is being managed, and how much bigger and more important issues such as health, crime and education are being managed.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    Got to wonder about Key, full stop.

  21. Elizabeth

    FURTHER TO THE KEY LEGACY, we got Lani, Earl and Stu
    [DAY 1] The news that spilled early this morning…

    ### April 18, 2016 at 5:30pm
    We all expected a hit on the National Party as soon as Key was overseas: here it is
    By Whaleoil Staff
    Sources: – Newshub, via RNZ
    “Labour says there are question[SIC] to answer over a National Party donor winning a hotel management contract in Niue after making a major donation during the tender process. Leader Andrew Little has written to the Auditor-General to ask her to investigate Earl Hagaman, who donated more than $100,000 to the party, and whether everything was above board. The donation was made two years ago, and a month later his company, Scenic Circle, was awarded a Government-funded $7.5 million upgrade to its resort in Niue.”
    Read more

    The only thing worse than Trump hair should be the NZ Flag.

    But nothing to sneeze at, they’ve done really well.

    NBR: HAGAMAN Earl and Lani

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s