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Monday, 10 December 2018 11:47 am

Long list of flag designs fail to get people excited about change

Aug 11th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Lead Story, News

Two of the most popular flag choices - Black Jack and Silver Fern

Silver Fern (left) by Kylie Lockwood was the most popular choice with Black Jack (right) by Mike Davison coming in second.

THE RELEASE of 40 possible Kiwi flag designs has failed to change public opinion.

Of 114 people spoken to on the streets of Wellington yesterday, 63% (72) of them were against any change in the national flag.

A “long list” of 40 designs chosen from more than 10,000 options submitted by the public was released this week by the Flag Consideration Panel.

The Newswire team posed two questions for members of the public: Now you’ve seen the final 40, what do you think about changing the flag? Which design do you prefer?

Just 20% (23) of people were for the change, 10% (12) were undecided and 5% (6) did not care.

Respect for history and waste were common themes in the responses. Murray Oaten

“It is atrocious and disrespectful to our ancestors,” says Dunedin farmer Murry Oaten, left.

Upper Hutt swimming teacher, Shelley Nightingale, right, (33), says the $26 million spent on the campaign could be better spent and any change would betray former soldiers. “I have my grandad’s soldier number tattooed on my wrist and I think that it’s very disrespectful to the World War Two veterans because they fought under the current flag.” Shelley Nightingale

Te Aro barista Nik O’Connell says there should be a purpose behind any change. “If we change the flag, we may as well become a republic.”

Arguments for changing the flag ranged from breaking from British history to unifying the nation. “It’s a great idea. It’s good they want a new national symbol that unites everyone, I think the Unity Koru is the best,” says Paremata mother Alice Nash (50).

Albert O'ReillyFour-year-old Albert O’Reilly of Khandallah, right, interrupted an interview with his nanny to give his emphatic opinion: “No. Keep the flag the same. I like [that] it’s blue.

Of the 40 options, the Silver Fern (black, white and blue) was preferred by the biggest number (16), and Black Jack was next with 12, during yesterday’s street poll. New Zealand will find out in the middle of next month the four which will join the current flag as part of a referendum in March next year.

The four will be chosen from by the Flag Consideration Panel.

Some of the responses from those questioned were:

Chris RossChris Ross, left, locksmith, Lower Hutt: “No. Nothing there to vote for. I want to keep what we had”.

Christine Haynes, house cleaner, Auckland: “No”, “What a waste of money.”

Louis Whittaker (19), student, Paraparaumu: “No. I’m not for changing at all. I’m fine with what it is now. All the same, they look like corporate logos.” William Morris

William Morris, right, (19), student, Paraparaumu: “No. I would vote for the old flag if (the poll) was nearby.”

Alex Ross-Smith (21), butcher, Newtown: “No. It’s ridiculous. Put something Lord of the Rings related on the flag.”

Lily Kim (21) receptionist, Te Aro: “I think it’s good. New Zealand is its own country and should have its own flag.” She also thought a new flag would show New Zealand’s independence from the UK. Peter Love

Peter Love, left, (22) hospitality, Te Aro “I’m for it. Sick of seeing the Union Jack, sick of people queuing up to see the royal baby, who cares. New Zealand has enough going for itself.”

David Wallems (31) barista, Karori. “I hate being reminded that I’m part of a colony, and I’m for changing the flag. But what they end up going for can’t be pandering to interest groups. It would need to reflect modern New Zealand, and all of the people in it.” David most enjoyed Mike Archer’s Land of the Long White Cloud because “it shows the sea, the sky, and the people”.

Carl Gordon, right, project coordinator, Johnsonville “ I don’t mind the original but I think we need a change to feel a source of independence.” Carl GordonUsha

Paul (46) chef, India: It’s like a new beginning, representing the country in a modern fashion. It gives the people freedom to pick their own flag that they think represents them.”

Liam Hockings, freelance journalist, Newtown: “Definitely a good idea, 68% of New Zealanders never go to Britain so why should we have another flag in the corner of us.”

Elliot Gonzales (20) student, Aro Valley: “I think the reason for changing the flag doesn’t have too much rationale behind it. We’d be losing the connotations associated with the old flag, like people waving it at positive events in our history, such as the nuclear power protests.”

Daphne BoneDaphne Bone, left, (56) shop manager, Porirua: “I don’t really like it – it’s a waste of money.” She didn’t really like any of the flags.

Suzan Fritz (26) bar manager, Newlands: “It should stay the way it is, if we change it would be confusing. Both for New Zealanders and others.”

Daniel Cotton (20), Petone, Whitireia student, “It’s quite a costly change but I agree because our flag is confused with Australia’s and as a Kiwi I don’t want that.”

Don Anuruddha, right, (33), student, Mount Cook: “The previous flag looked too Australian. It’s a good idea to change the flag”. Don Anuruddha

Siva Sivanantham, (55), immigration adviser, Karori: “It’s a bold move. Initially, I wasn’t keen because of the cost involved but in the last few days I have changed position and I think it’s good. My family and I haven’t discussed it but one of my daughters says the flags look like logos, but a flag is kind of like the logo of a country. I am very against the black and I think the Union Jack, the Koru, the stars and the silver fern should be included somewhere to keep continuity. I think that it should be very easy to know that it is New Zealand’s flag..”

Caitlyn Parslow (19), student, Newtown: “I don’t really want it changed. I just didn’t like his (John Key) reasoning.” Shane Williamson

Shane Williamson, left, (28) retail worker, Tawa: “To be honest, we should keep it the same. The money should be going to our friends on the street. There’s a lot of people in need, but that’s just me being straight up”.

Max Dupre-Smith (18) bartender, Scotland: “I feel like New Zealand shouldn’t change their flag, although it is very similar to Australia’s. If Scotland were to change their flag, I wouldn’t be very happy, it’s a long standing symbol. If they were to change the flag, it should have the fern and stars, because they are identifiable symbols”.

Thomas Fitzgerald (25) student, Brooklyn: “I don’t really think it’s necessary. It’s costing $26 million dollars. You could do a lot with that money.” Emma Dowman

Emma Dowman, right, (20) student, Te Aro: “It’s a waste of money. It could go towards more important issues. I understand that New Zealanders want their own identity, but it could be disrespectful to those who have served in the army under the current flag.”

Ankit Patel (29) customer service representative, Kilbirnie: “I think it’s a bit of a waste of money to be honest. It’s crazy, surely we can find something else around the country that needs doing.”

Tait Burge (21) barista, Brooklyn was concerned about the cost involved in changing the flag and said “It’s not huge on my priorities. If it’s got to be done, it’s got to be done”. Janeen Holmes

Janeen Holmes, right, (56) Nurse, Queenstown: “I think we should keep the current flag as the cost to change it is too much.

Ariel Garden (19), Student, Newtown, “It’s such a big deal to change the flag. I think this is just John Key trying to make a legacy. Why do we need to make this change now?” Ariel felt all the designs were “Ugly”.

Nonnie Brown (23) hair and make-up artist, Wellington: “It’s an absolute waste of money. The government should be using it on more important things than a different flag.”

Bronwyn Scott, event manager, Northland: “It’s a big waste of money. There’s people starving.” Robin Maud

Robin Maud, right, (80s), Lower Hutt, retired, “I’m not impressed. I would’ve considered it if the design was by a flag designer, which is an actual skill. These have been done by graphic designers and seems immature. I find it hard to make a decision under duress and not being able to compare it to other countries flags.”

Tekaka Henry (49), Porirua, parking warden, “Don’t change it. I’ll be voting for the current one.”

Callum Ross (23), Haitaitai, bill sticker, “It’s not necessary to change but I would prefer Maori representation if there was one.” Lou Sinclair

Lou Sinclair, left, (27) software developer, Newtown: “I don’t like any of them. I think the money can be put into better areas like education and food. Then again I saw on Facebook that all the Commonwealth have changed so would’ve spent similar amounts of money but they weren’t given a choice.”

Mark Aimishev (19) student, Kazakhstan says it depends how much is spent. If it does change he wants One with a fern. “It’s on the passport, why not the flag?”

Mika Saniuela (21), Hataitai: “It would be cool to see our own identity, but that looks more commercial, we sell that. I’m for it to have our identity, I read up on it but a lot of these flags seem like they belong on a weetbix box.”

Derek Stirling KerrDerek Stirling Kerr, right, (50), author, Central Wellington: Undecided, it would be “good for Commonwealth countries to have something not British focussed.”

Olleen Bato (19) student, Newtown: “I understand why they want to change the flag, because ours is so similar to Australia’s. But we’re still a part of the commonwealth, and I think that should be a main part of the flag. Most of these [designs] are too contemporary-looking.”

Kieran Armstrong (30) accountant, Kelburn: “I really don’t care”.

Connor Berry (21) student, Aro Valley: “The spending could be used on other things but I like the silver fern or black jack.”

Jason Krivan (40) business analyst from Wellington: “I think it should be put to a vote.”

Zque Masters, (20), barber, Newtown: “I’m not really that fussed. I think there are better things they could be spending the money on other issues but there are some cool designs.”

The NewsWire team: Clementine Smart, Virginia Fallon, Kennan May, Matt Tso, James Baker, Colin Englebrecht, Joanna Piatek, Alia Overend, Emma Moody, Larissa Toelupe, Brad Flahive, Andrew Johnsen, James Lobban, Jade Maisey, Te Huia Moke, William Griffith, Darcy Morgan, Alysa Vercoe.

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