NZ flag is the NZ flag is the #NZflag [beach towel selection in context]

RNZ Toby Morris 'Make Your Own Flag' eight_col_DIY-FLAG (1)RNZ/Toby Morris — eight_col_DIY-FLAG

RNZ: On the Inside
OPINION: Flag failure – Where did it go wrong?
By Toby Morris
Well, that’s that. The votes are counted and at last the shambolic flag saga is finally over, banished to eternal life as a series of pub quiz trivia questions. An embarrassing phase best forgotten like a national bad haircut.
As much as I’ve always wanted a change, in the end I think we made the right choice. So why do I feel so rotten?
I had a bad feeling about it from the start, and I wasn’t alone. This time last year, anyone who has ever worked on any kind of corporate creative brief took one look at the chosen panel and their proposed process and saw that it would result in a mediocre, safe choice. It was creativity by committee, with no designers involved, and a process that allowed no room for development or refinement.
So we expected the worst, but like George W Bush said, we ‘misunderestimated’ them. Things went from worst to ‘worster’ as they lurched from one disastrous step to another. An inane and vague campaign to engage people about what they stood for led to the saddest road trip ever as the panel toured the country for public meetings with record low turnouts. No one was interested.
By the time the public was able to submit entries, the mood became more evident…. In large numbers, we were treating the flag process as a huge joke.
Read more + Cartoons

RNZ: How the world saw NZ’s flag decision
RNZ: Kiwis have their say; flag’s here to stay
RNZ: NZ flag result – how it happened
RNZ: MPs split down party lines on flag vote

NZ Herald
‘Wasteful vanity project’ ….How world reacted to flag result
Defeated PM defends $26m flag vote as critics round on him
Andrew Little: PM’s pet project has cost NZ $26m

Related Posts and Comments:
29.2.16 Jonkey a flag!
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, Coolness, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Leading edge, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Sport, Tourism, Travesty

42 responses to “NZ flag is the NZ flag is the #NZflag [beach towel selection in context]

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    “So where to from here? … Take it up a notch and have a go at choosing an official hat?” Toby Morris improves an excellent day!

  2. natalie

    Best result, even in Kim John Key’s own electorate the majority voted for the incumbent.

  3. Sally

    John Key. A great prime minister. A man of democracy. He allowed the Greenies’ and the Labour’s Red Peak to be added, and it got dumped. What chance would the Greenies and the Andrew Littles of this world have allowing another flag to be added. Let alone allow us a vote to decided our flag. John Key the Teflon man. You can keep throwing the shit at him, but you can’t make it stick. So go throw another tantrum.

  4. russandbev

    Nothing worse than a sore loser Sally. Yes, Key is the Teflon man. Nothing more effective than a thick layer of money to stop the shit sticking.

  5. Sally

    Are you speaking of yourself russandbev

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Got any calloused hands Sally? Just wondering.

  7. Elizabeth

    Some bloody young wet-behind-the-ears drongo called ‘University of Otago history lecturer [Dr lololololol] Michael Stevens says: “New Zealanders are simple people. DB, Speight’s; Ford, Holden; Labour, National; yes, no; black or white. We don’t like change for change’s sake.”

    Posed as an ODT front page choir boy, this “news” leads straight to his permanent disbarment from (clinical psychologist) Harls’ ladder to senior lectureships and professorships.

    You want freaking simple, Michael? I’m happy (and as complicated as it will ever get) to take you on a conducted tour of the SDHB’s emergency mental health facility – if no nearby parking, we can instead take a quick look round behind the security curtain at Dunedin City Council, Octagon. Name your day.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Elizabeth – “Some bloody young wet-behind-the-ears drongo” – whatever else University of Otago history lecturer Michael Stevens is, he’s not young. He may be a “Sleeping Beauty” recently awakened by a kiss, or hospitalised, comatose since the days when motorbikes were AJs, Enfields and Triumphs, and Japanese-made ones were scorned as “Nip shit”.
      He may have had the good fortune to sleep through the time of Cold Duck, a fizzy pink wine product. Clearly he has yet to catch up with even Dunedin’s Emersons, still less the huge range of craft beers, just as he remains in ignorance of the predominance of Japanese cars, new and 2nd hand imports.
      Poor fellow, it must be terribly bewildering waking in a society so changed. The ODT showed poor judgement bordering on cruelty, printing the confused words of one whose consciousness has been absent for about half a century, and behind whose ears would be found not moisture but a thick layer of dust.

      • Elizabeth

        Young in the sense of sheltered by obeyance to faux grand-parental notions only found in kinky historical fiction or at Tawa. Whatever this is down to, Hype O’Thermia, it’s unhealthy that the teachings of Prof Barbara Brookes of History and Art History have made no impact whatsoever. But wait.
        I’m not fooled! This is ODT stepping up to short comedy and wacky satire to sell subscriptions; the weekly Insight is not Morris Dancing after all.

        (I hesitate to warn our colleague newspaper that if we, a trifling blogsite, are made to suffer DCC’s po-faced lack of humour, then a well-heeled independent newspaper stands no chance at all with stand up dull thuds in maintaining a cosy spoon fed relationship with DCC or was it Comma.)

  8. Simon

    You are quite right Elizabeth. This idiot has all the answers after the event, but was silent before the event. He even knows why we voted the way we did. This man is an insult to the intelligence of every NZer, and to think that we the taxpayers pay his way. No doubt he is one of the many academic lefties troughers who know everything about nothing, and nothing about everything.

  9. Elizabeth

    Sat, 26 Mar 2016
    ODT: Clutha-Southland votes for silver fern
    Both Dunedin electorates voted strongly in favour of keeping the current flag, with 35.6% voting for the silver fern in Dunedin North and 38.4% in Dunedin South.

    Sat, 26 Mar 2016
    ODT: Reform lessons to be learned from flag referendum
    Audrey Young at NZ Herald: OPINION The first lesson is pace.
    With the benefit of hindsight, the flag referendum was conducted too quickly. If it had been conducted over two electoral cycles, not within one, it may have had better buy-in from parties of the Left.

  10. russandbev

    It is interesting to note the countries or states that still have a Union Jack on the flag and even more importantly to note some of the rationale behind that,

    Apart from the UK

    New Zealand
    British Columbia
    British Antarctic Treaty
    Falkland Islands
    The Cook Islands
    St Helena
    Ascension Island
    Turks and Caicos
    British Virgin Islands
    Cayman Islands
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    Tristan da Cunha
    South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    and most interesting of all HAWAII

    Some of the attempts to change the flag have been dismal failures and have struck deep opposition. The attempts were invariably made by politicians.

    Graham Bartram, chief vexillologist at the Flag Institute was quoted by the BBC as saying “There’s often a fundamental misunderstanding of flags by politicians, It isn’t the design but what it shows about their history and means to them. Saying you like a flag because of its design is like saying you like your family because they are all handsome or beautiful. You love them because of who they are, unconditionally. Flags are a bit like that.”

    Something that Key and his “branding” mates should have thought about long before wasting +$26m on a vanity project.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      IF – and I agree with Graham Bartram’s “…what it shows about their history…” – it was deemed necessary to change the flag to as not to be confused with Australia –
      – couldn’t the Union flag have been removed from the corner and the rest of the flag remained the same, just the Southern Cross, no ferns or feathers or cheese rolls or kiwi or sheep or koru or buzzy bees?

      • Kleinefeldmaus

        If you wait long enough the Union Flag could well become obsolete as it nearly did when the Scots nearly left. There would be no union to justify a flag.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          It would still be relevant as history. I’m not impressed with the Key idea that the flag should “represent who we are NOW” – so every few years it’ll be SO irrelevant to who we are…….
          History isn’t always our most comfy story. There are always people who want to put it in the attic out of sight because “we’re different now”. And then there’s politicians desperate to look like they left a legacy.

    • photonz

      And you think it’s a GOOD thing that our flag is little different to a dozens of other places?

      Message to the world – “we’re keeping our nations colonial training wheels on”.

      Most people will ignore the flag and use the silver fern instead.

      Just like we’ve been doing for more than 100 years.

  11. Calvin Oaten

    Never mind, the whole exercise was just a diversion by Key and his cabal from the real issues, like the dairy commodities price, the towering black clouds of the world’s economic chaos looming, manifested by the fact that since 2008 (and prior) the world has created over $35trillion of credit in order to try and forestall a collapse. That it has failed abysmally is seen by the continuing deflationary trends, dropping of commodities (milk, oil, iron ore, coal and exports generally as the Baltic dry index shows), shifting of wealth from the middle class to the ‘one percenters’ and shrinking employment opportunities. Credit is just another word for debt as soon as it is uplifted and therein lies the problem. You can’t reduce debt by creating more credit, it just skews values like real estate and stock markets. We see these massive bubbles here in New Zealand as elsewhere and we all know it can’t be sustained. What we don’t know is when it will burst, but the certainty is that it will, and then watch for Key and Co to turn in a rush for the exits.

    • photonz

      The whole “diversion” argument is as weak as water considering the Greens and Labour both campaigned at the 2014 election to change the flag.

      If you go by the “there are more important things” mantra, then you’d never ever address any issue except world peace.

      And minor things like Dunedin issues certainly shouldn’t be on the radar.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Never mind, it’s over now. Your choice whether to nurse a grievance and keep on kvetching or get on with the rest of your life. Depends, of course, on which is more important to you.
        I’m pleased with the result. If it had been different I’d have been cringing for a while about the shoddy amateurism of the design but in a short while it would have been one of those things in shadowy background, accepted as an emblem or logo, no longer consciously noticed except as a marker, like the design / logo / branding on laundry detergent.

        • photonz

          You mean like the current flag that has been largely ignored ever since we first had it (not used on war graves, not used to fight under, not used for sports)

  12. Elizabeth
  13. Lyndon Weggery

    Many blog contributors who know me personally respect me for my personal faith beliefs and that is one of the reasons my wife and I voted for the status quo. The Union Jack in the top right hand corner represents our British colonial history which many will argue was not all bad. Certainly the British missionaries played a significant part in bringing British justice to our land for Maori and Pakeha settler alike. And isn’t that positive influence reflected in the three crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick that make up the Union Jack? Certainly the stars of the Southern Cross in our present flag also reflect that sentiment. A sentiment also reflected in our National Anthem. If you think about it New Zealand has the best of both worlds – freedom of religion backed up by a secular state with a constitutional monarchy based on the British Westminister system that would be very hard to overthrow by revolutionary forces. With 1,000 years of evolutionary thinking behind our unique system of Parliamentary Democracy aren’t we still the envy of the world? I think the 60% of Kiwis who voted like us perhaps instinctively felt the same and took the pragmatic view “if it ain’t broke why fix it?”. The road to republicanism is fraught with danger and we may regret going down that path in the future. I believe the majority of kiwis who voted for no change voted wisely and with some thought about the implications of such a change.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      The “gene” pool is too restricted for republicanism. Look at the quality of MPs and councillors we elect! Which of them would be a president (or whatever the Queen-alternative might be called) who wouldn’t be an embarrassment?
      And cost a lot more than our contribution to the monarchy. Doubtless after having been president they would be, like ex MPs, eligible for pensions and perks for life – that’s how the powerful assess what their peer group deserves.

    • photonz

      A UMR poll two weeks ago showed 20% of those voting against flag change (1/3 of all those voting against change) actually DID want a new flag, but were voting against it because they either didn’t like the new design, or didn’t like Key.

      So there was definitely a majority who wanted to change the flag – there was just no universal agreement on which design.

      And there never will be.

  14. Peter

    I can imagine M’aam will be pleased by our devotion to the Union Jack and all her Hooray Henry cohorts in the British aristocracy.
    Gosh…..the colonials in NZ know a thing or to about the superiority of all things British. Jolly good show, don’t you think?
    And don’t they love our honours system where titles mean everything.
    Yes, a little country that has not forgotten the Empire and all that British heritage.

    • Kleinefeldmaus

      Don’t think Ma’am will be too concerned about our little bit of absurdity – she will more likely be worried about Brexit

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    The comment from LovesHistory ( expresses my view too, to a T:

    Teenagers rebel against their parents, grown-ups respect their heritage. Having traced my family tree, I’m now proud of where I come from and don’t feel the need to vote for a poor design just to rebel against my ancestors.

  16. Elizabeth

    Garrick Tremain cartoons:

    26 Mar 2016

    28 Mar 2016


    Mon, 28 Mar 2016
    ODT Editorial: Momentum for change
    As the ashes of the flag referendum are raked over for perhaps a few more days, the questions are already being asked about where to next for New Zealand. […] Prime Minister John Key, not known for misreading the political mood of the country, misjudged the timing of holding a referendum to replace the flag. He alienated large swathes.

  17. Elizabeth

    ### 9:50 am today
    RNZ News
    Flag debate: Politics distracted people from real meaning – Sir Jerry
    The politics of the flag referendum distracted people from its real meaning, says outgoing Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae. After months of debate, the current flag defeated the new silver fern design by about 285,000 votes, according to preliminary results released last week. Sir Jerry told RNZ’s Easter Monday programme this morning that the conversation around the flag change had not always been a healthy one.

    Listen to Lynn Freeman’s full Easter Monday interview with Sir Jerry Mateparae.
    Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3 (20’10”)

    With five months left to run on his tenure, Sir Jerry Mataparae talks with Lynn Freeman about highlights from his time in office, what is exciting about our universities’ work in science and innovation, rugby and his open heart surgery.

  18. Elizabeth

    Tonight’s replay of The Nation at Newshub (TV3), with Lisa Owen, looked at the flag ordeal….

    Interviews with John Key PM, Winston Peters and more.

  19. Elizabeth

    Seems to be general agreement with the PM that the alternative flag design was just not good enough.

    The existing flag has history and meaning for nationhood that is hard to ignore for many people as yet. Even for young voters – that is really interesting.

  20. Elizabeth

    The world’s happiest and unhappiest nations
    ….according to:
    The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for the United Nations has released the World Happiness Report 2016 Update. SDSN studied 156 countries and considered six variables — GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social support, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity. These were rated on a scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best), with the average score of 5.4.

    – check out the scores for each country via [41 slides]
    Source: 16.3.16

    Happiest…. (in short)

    1. The most happy nation – Denmark
    Once again the Scandinavian nation takes top spot as the world’s happiest country. It scored highly across all six categories in the report, particularly in the areas of social support, life expectancy and low levels of corruption.

    2nd most happy – Switzerland
    It may have just been pipped at the post but Swiss residents still have a big reason to smile. The nation’s people enjoy a high GDP per capita, strong social support and feel they have the freedom to make their own life choices.

    3rd most happy – Iceland
    The 2016 survey showed that despite Iceland suffering from the post-2007 economic crisis the country’s residents are still able to maintain extremely high levels of happiness largely because of social support and solidarity.

    4th most happy – Norway
    With one of the highest GDPs on the list, Norway is among the wealthiest countries and that’s reflected in its residents’ quality of life. Norwegians also boast one of the highest life expectancies.

    5th most happy – Finland
    While they might not be as generous as their European neighbors, Finns believe their country has low levels of corruption and they enjoy the freedom to make their own life choices.

    6th most happy – Canada
    With a high life expectancy and good average income Canada comes in as the sixth happiest country.

    7th most happy – Netherlands
    With people’s liberal views and good work/life balance, it’s not surprising that the Netherlands maintained its position in the top ten.

    8th most happy – New Zealand
    Coming in eight place, the land of the long white cloud edged ahead of its Antipodean neighbor Australia. The small island country proves they’re a tight knit bunch that like to look out for one another, scoring highly for generosity and social support.

    9th most happy – Australia
    The folks Down Under are pretty satisfied with their lives scoring highly across all six categories. In particular, they are a wealthy bunch with a high GDP per capita and they’ll have a long time to enjoy it with the nation recording a high life expectancy.

    10th most happy – Sweden
    Western Europe’s third largest country is also home to some of the world’s happiest people. And why wouldn’t they be with high GDP per capita, strong social support amongst its citizens and solid healthcare boosting their life expectancy?

  21. Elizabeth

    A great column in its entirety:

    Tue, 29 Mar 2016
    Flag-flunk over, now (perhaps) real stuff for kids
    By Colin James
    Two losses in a week for a man who made a fortune winning: to Bradley Ambrose, the photographer he trashed in the 2014 election campaign; and no new flag. John Key’s concession that Ambrose did not “behave improperly” in recording (by accident, Ambrose insisted) Key’s stagey chat with John Banks and that he (Key) had harmed Ambrose “personally and professionally” was a humiliating climbdown. Key tried to minimise it by going beyond the agreed statement to say his payment to Ambrose was “small”. Not good legal form. Then Key tried to minimise his flag-flunk: it had provoked a discussion on nationhood; he would support the Union Jack version and we should celebrate it. (Really?)

    █ Colin James is an experienced New Zealand political journalist and commentator. He is a life member of the Parliament of New Zealand’s press gallery and has a focus on party and election politics.

  22. Elizabeth

    The official results of the second flag referendum were released on 30 March.

    ### RNZ News 5:45 pm today
    Official results confirm Lockwood flag’s loss
    Final results for the second flag referendum have confirmed the current New Zealand flag won with 56.6 percent of the vote. More than 1.2 million people voted to keep the same flag, beating the blue-and-black Kyle Lockwood design by nearly 287,000 votes. A total of 2.135m people voted in the second referendum for a voter turnout of 67 percent. More than 10,000 votes were not counted because the voter had not clearly marked their preferred option or they were invalid.
    Read more

  23. Elizabeth

    Sat, 2 April 2016
    Stuff: John Key texted All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter to drum up support for new flag
    Prime Minister John Key has revealed he texted former All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter to draw their attention to his video promoting a flag change. Both high-profile All Blacks went on to publicly support the alternative flag design that was defeated in a public referendum in March. Key’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, disclosed details of the texts after an Official Information Act request, NZME reported.

  24. Hype O'Thermia

    Oh dear. OIA request, eh.
    There’s something not very nice about a high-status person “encouraging” younger people to engage in, well, a personal desire……

  25. Elizabeth

    No noo, Hype – remember we is all here for “FLAG AND COUNTRY” (given no King), bruiser lads included.

    Random quote for the PM:
    I am not the flag: not at all. I am but its shadow.
    Franklin Knight Lane

  26. Elizabeth

    ### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Saturday Apr 9, 2016
    John Key’s secret flag donor luncheon
    By David Fisher
    Prime Minister John Key was the star guest at a private fundraising lunch for the Change the Flag lobby group in a last-ditch bid to raise cash from wealthy Chinese donors who supported a flag change. The exclusive meeting with no more than six donors took place in a private room of an Auckland Chinese restaurant. Other guests included National Party president Peter Goodfellow, Cabinet minister Nikki Kaye and National MP Dr Jian Yang. Funds raised at the February 18 lunch allowed the lobby group to fund a last-minute push for votes, including a pamphlet to 500,000 homes just days before voting started on March 3.
    Read more

    ● Mr Key would not be interviewed on the issue and neither would Mr Goodfellow nor Ms Kaye.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Wouldn’t be interviewed on this issue? I don’t blame them, I’m afflicted with crippling shyness myself so I *totally* identify…..

  27. Elizabeth

    Wed, 15 Jun 2016 [video]
    Channel 39: Provisional flag referendum costs revealed
    The total cost of the country’s flag referendum has been released, with figures showing the project came in under budget.

    The provisional cost has been revealed as $21.8m, almost $4m less than what was initially budgeted.

    That’s despite the late addition of the red peak option, which cost just under $270,000. The most expensive aspect of the process was the first postal referendum, coming in at a cost of $9m. After two referendums, 57% of New Zealanders voted to retain the current flag with the remainder voting for the Kyle Lockwood alternative.

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