The Ashley Madison scam

So it turns out the Ashley Madison website was a scam.

Annalee Newitz at Gizmodo reports in The Fembots of Ashley Madison.

Yesterday I published the results of my analysis of the Ashley Madison member database, which contained 37 million profiles of people seeking discreet affairs. What I discovered was that, at most, about 12 thousand of these profiles seemed to belong to women who were active on the site. The rest of the 5.5 million women had profiles that appeared to have been abandoned directly after they were created.

How could this have happened? To find out more, I searched the data dump of Ashley Madison corporate emails that hacker group Impact Team released last week.

There are many reasons to call fraud on Ashley Madison’s parent company Avid Life Media, including the fact that they forced men to pay to delete their profiles—and then kept their personal data anyway. But I would argue that Ashley Madison’s fraud goes beyond the paid delete scam. The real scam is false advertising. In commercials and on the site itself, the company promises men that they will meet real women who want to have affairs.

Men can even pay a premium rate for a “guaranteed affair.” To email women, men have to pay extra, and then they have to pay more still if they want to send a “gift” of a silly gif or picture. Using the site as a man is a little bit like playing Farmville, except instead of blowing your money on fake cow upgrades, you’re blowing it on messages to fake women. At least Farmville is up front about the fact that you’re burning money for a dumb fantasy.

Of course, the “custom message” costs money. When he hits reply, the man is redirected to this page, below.

The Fembots of Ashley Madison

So the man has to pay to send a message to what is undoubtedly a dead profile. At which point the cycle starts again, with another robo-message from another inactive profile.

So it looks liike a deliberate rip off.

Newitz goes on to detail how AM generated fake female identities around the world.

I was very surprised whe it was reported that their were 4,000 AM members in Dunedin. It adds up if many of them were fake.

The Ashley Madison CEO has just resigned. It looks like the whole caboodle needs to resign.

Flu vaccinations

I’ve been feeling crap all week. I’ve avoided flu vaccinations until now but might reassess that next year. This is the worst dose I’ve had and it’s not over yet. Makes me wonder if I should try and avoid it in the future.

Has anyone had good or bad experiences with flu vaccinations?

Deep discussion at Dim-Post

Danyl kicked off some deep discussion at Dim-Post on Jacinda Ardern’s image promotion – Hang on a second.

But the context around Ardern’s surge in popularity complicates all of this a bit, I think. She isn’t popular because she’s an effective campaigner, or because she’s been breaking big stories or landing hits on the government in the House. She’s popular because she’s gotten glowing coverage in the women’s magazines over the last few months, appearing on the cover of Next magazine and being profiled in the Woman’s Weekly. I assume this is all being facilitated by Labour’s new comms director who is a former Woman’s Weekly editor and it is a level and type of coverage that any politician – even the Prime Minister – would envy.

Ardern’s popularity subsequent to that coverage tells us something very interesting about the power of that type of media, which is something that political nerds like me are usually oblivious to. But it’s also something that’s happening because she’s really pretty. And there’s something problematic about insisting politicians shouldn’t be judged on their looks when they do appear to be succeeding specifically because of their appearance.

Prettiness, sexism and political capabilities were all thrashed over. Danyl updatred his post twice in response to criticisms.

If you’re interested in a leftish view of all this the thread is worth reading. But one comment stood out from the crowd.

Left wing women are horrible no matter what they look like.

Comment by Redbaiter — August 28, 2015 @ 10:44 am


The world must be an ugly place for Reddie. He sees nearly everyone as left wing.

The Dim-Post post was also discussed at:

Open forum – Saturday

29 August 2015

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some basic ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.

Ardern on State of Care report

Having been the centre of much discussion this week afret being promoted by NZ Herald as apotential Labour leader it’s worth checking Jacinda Ardern in action.

Yesterday she led the Urgent Debate on the Office of the Children’s Commissionaer State of Care Report.

Draft transcript: Office of the Children’s Commissioner— State of Care 2015 report

JACINDA ARDERN (Labour): On behalf of Carmel Sepuloni, I move, That the House take note of a matter of urgent public importance.

The report that we have before us today is an absolute indictment, and it is only right that this House gives its time and consideration to what can only be considered some of the most important issues that we have a responsibility to address as members of this Parliament.

There is no statement in this report that captures the seriousness of the issues more so than the statement that the Children’s Commissioner made that “We don’t know if children are better off as a result of State intervention, but the indications are not good.”

To hear from the representative and advocate of children in this country that we cannot even guarantee that a child who is potentially being abused and neglected, who has an intervention from the State, is necessarily better off as a result of that in an intervention. What an absolute indictment on this country that we are in this situation.

The commissioner lists a range of areas specifically where we are failing our most vulnerable, and they are our most vulnerable.

More than 50 percent of these children are under the age of 10, and 5,000 of them are in the care of responsibility of this State. The State is their parent. The State has become the only stable thing that the Government has determined needs to take over so that they can be assured of safety and security.

Yet what is happening to those children after that intervention?

We have the case of one child who had up to 60 different placements. What message do you send to a child who has experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of their own family or caregivers, to then shuffle them around into up to 60 different placements?

We have got records of constantly changing caseworkers and a lack of stability and care and support for those children—a lack of support when transitioning not only between care but out of care. Let us remember that “out of care” in this country means to be at 17 years of age, one of the youngest ages to exit care in the developed world, and even then we are not supporting those young people.

The horrific number of more than 100 children, who even once they are removed, is experiencing further abuse and neglect. What long-term hope do they have, when only 20 percent of these children are then reaching National Certificate of Educational Achievement level 2 or higher.

All of this paints a damning picture not only for the State but for the children themselves who are experiencing this. It is true to say that in an area such as this, where you have wickedly complex problems, we have had issues arise before.

Labour had to deal with it when we came into office in 1999, and what did we do? Straight away, we recognised the under-funding and under-resourcing. We increased the baseline funding of that department by more than 50 percent. I will say that again—when Labour last took office it increased support for baseline funding of Child, Youth and Family Services by more than 50 percent.

But even then, as the years went on, we recognised we needed to do more, particularly with the workforce. We undertook a baseline review. That piece of work was completed by the Hon Ruth Dyson.

And before that, we also made sure that we started registering social workers, and now we say it is time that that becomes mandatory. We improved relationships with the community sector and our 10-month baseline review resulted in $111 million in operational spending going into Child, Youth and Family Services.

Why? They did not have the resources they needed to do the job. When that happens you have got to stand up and have the courage to acknowledge it as a Government, and that is what we are calling on this Government to do.

Because as much as that Minister stands up and says “We can’t just throw money at the problem”, well, Minister, the last time we looked at whether or not this department was sufficiently resourced was 13 years ago—13 years ago was the last time a baseline review was done of Child, Youth and Family. And a lot has changed in between.

Reviewing these issues again is not chucking money at an issue; it is good practice to check that your social workers have the support they need to do the work that they do. What has changed?

We do not have a static picture when it comes to vulnerable children in New Zealand. Let us just look at the numbers. During the year 30 June 2014 Child, Youth and Family received 146,657 notifications of possible abuse or neglect—146,657, that is enormous.

That is 17 percent higher than just 5 years ago—80,000 notifications were made back then. That is just a massive increase in a short space of time. The Minister will claim that not all of that is substantiated, that we might have false reporting, that just more people know about the vulnerability of children. In part, some of that will be true, but not all of it.

In fact, we know that roughly a third of those notifications are coming from the police, who know that those children are witnessing domestic violence, and we know the impact that has on those children.

We also know from the police that a lot of them are in fact substantiated. In fact, the recorded number of cases where children have been abused has gone up to 5,397 offences. That figure is 56 percent higher than in 2009. So in that short space of time the workload on Child, Youth and Family and the increase in harm against children has absolutely been documented.

And what has happened to staff? What have we done to make sure that that are able to cope with those dramatic jumps? In the 5 years how many more social workers would you expect to be dealing with 66,000 more notifications? How many more staff?

Well, in that short space of time there have been 76 new fieldworkers—76 new field workers. Crudely, that is 877 cases per new social worker. That is phenomenal. There is no way anyone in this House could claim that that is sufficient to deal with the extra demand this department is dealing with.

Yes, some issues in Child, Youth and Family have cut across Governments—absolutely, no denying it. But there is no denying that right now, in this period of time that this Minister in this Government has responsibility for, the changes for Child, Youth and Family have been enormous.

The Children’s Commissioner put it like this: “The ability of CYF’s current workforce to improve the outcomes experienced by children in the care system is constrained in various ways: limited resources, high caseload, and the need to invest in training.”

The Minister cannot put her head in the sand—that she must support her department as part of answering these issues. I wonder if the Minister, in fact, could respond even to the body who represents social workers, when they said, and I quote from the New Zealand Public Service Association, “The Government must address these issues of underfunding and capability. Otherwise there will be no improvement for those in need.” I do not want to hear a contribution from the Minister that says: chucking money at this problem is not the answer. No one said to chuck money at anything.

We said: “Invest in the people that you have charge of. Make sure they are equipped to do the job.” It is a hard job and at the moment all of the indications are that the cracks are showing in what they are having to deal with.

No one knows this better than the Children’s Commissioner. Even he has had static funding. So much so that he has closed his Auckland office. He cannot do an annual visit of all of the residences that he is meant to monitor; they have moved to every 18 months. He himself is struggling under the weight of an under-investment in this sector. He will not say it, so we will say it on his behalf.

The one area that the Children’s Commissioner has said that Child, Youth and Family is doing a good job at focusing on is that first intervention—the first moment when it is told that there is a potential issue with the safety of a child. In fact, this is how he states it: “Our analysis is that Child, Youth and Family is very focused on keeping children safe and managing the intake and assessment processes at entry to the system.”

I will say that again—at entry to the system. He said: “They’ve lost sight of what children need while in care and what they need to receive to ensure they thrive once they’ve left.

That concerns me.” That beginning is incredibly important. It is the triage phase. It is the point where we make sure a child is not in immediate danger. Interestingly, it si also where the political risks exists. As the Social Services Providers Association stated in its response to the report: “CYF’s staff are extraordinarily challenged by the dual expectation of managing both political risk and the risk of abuse to children.”

Very few social workers ever speak out of turn. They are very professional. But I will never forget when I had a Child, Youth and Family social worker who retired and came to see me and said that they are required to keep a political risk register”—not a register of harm to children, not a register of risk to family—a political risk register. We all have to take responsibility when a department starts focusing on the politics instead of focusing on children.

That is an absolute indictment, and it is part of the problem. It is part of what must change if we are to focus on outcomes for kids. What have we lost sight of? The Children’s Commissioner put it clearly—transition into placements, support for caregivers, and focus on residential care.

I want to touch on residential care. The Minister knows she has had problems with residential care—Children, Youth and Family residences, including youth justice residences run by the department. How do I know that? I have Official Information Act information to prove it.

I have never used these statistics in the House, or anywhere in fact, but there is a youth justice facility in Christchurch that the Minister has been briefed on almost continually, for a couple of years. And why? Because based on the Official Information Act information I received, between July 2014 and April this year that facility had more than 600 dangerous incidents.

Hon Nanaia Mahuta: How many?

JACINDA ARDERN: I will say that again. Between July 2014 and April this year, a Christchurch-run Child, Youth and Family facility had more than 600 recorded serious incidents, including serious assaults, drug use, and self-harm. The police have been called to the centre numerous times, and in the past 2 years, as the Children’s Commissioner pointed out as part of the problem, they have had 16 temporary staff and five different residential managers.

I have briefings that show that the Government knew about the problems at this residence, and indeed it knows about the problems more broadly within Child, Youth and Family. What have we had from that Government in response to these kinds of issues? We have had a white paper, we have had a green paper, and we have got a Children’s Action Plan.

The Minister places a lot of weight on children’s teams, for instance. Apparently they are going to help 20,000 kids. Where is that resource going to come from? I will tell you where— Family Start.

The Minister is reprioritising resources that are already in the field on early intervention and shifting them to her new action plan. That whole exercise had the goodwill of the community sector behind it, but it did not address core issues.

What we should be looking at is putting children at the heart of all of the decisions that we make around them. We should be focusing on early intervention.

That means Ministers and the Government have to look at deprivation, poverty, and inequality in our communities. That is at the heart of many of these issues that we are dealing.

They need to join back together interventions in the home and continuity of care, because they have been separated. They need to focus on ensuring their department is resourced properly, trained properly, and supported properly. They need to guarantee they will not privatise the bits of the system that they are scared are falling over and causing accountability issues for them.

We have all heard rumours about Serco sniffing around youth justice facilities. We need the Minister to rule out that that will not be her answer and her way of getting this issue off her plate. What we also need to do is ensure that young people who are in care and protection right now, the kids who are in the facilities, the kids who are in care, and the kids who are in foster care are used to come up with the answers.

They should be part of this discussion. Not only did the Minister’s expert advisory panel not even include a social worker, but it did not include the young people who know care and protection better than anyone, and those are the kids who are in it.

Labour will use those voices. Labour will use the voices of social workers. Labour will use the community sector that works in this space. Only collaboratively will we come up with solutions, and that includes Māori and Pasifika as well.

Yes, some of these issues go beyond just the last 7 years, but this report absolutely has to be taken on board by this Government, and responsibility has to be taken by this Government to repair the damage that has been done to children’s lives right now. We should expect no less.

Is Freed starting to happen?

After silence fropm Freed for most of the year there was a sign that somethig may be happening. Posted on their Facebook page on August 19:

Rehearsing traffic reports in the Freed chopper

Are they going to be Auckland-centric or national?

The Freed Media Group image was also posted on Twitter, the first sign of activity since February.

Their webpage has also changed at some stage but offers no hints about their plans.

Freed was first announced in July 2014.

Whale Oil proposes new revenue model

Whale Oil is proposing to try a new means of generateing income in a difficult online environment.

Old media has struggled with income and the transition to extensive online content. New media is also finding it tough.

Much of online advertising revenue has become dominated by major international players like Google, through genereal websites like Facebook and Youtube.

Some New Zealand blogs raise a bit of revenue from advertising (Kiwiblog, Public Address) or sponsorship (The Daily Blog). The Standard ditched their advertisiing, citing modest returns that compromised site integrity (my words from memory).

The Standard and Public Address also ask for donations to contribute to site running costs.

Most blogs don’t even bother trying to raise any revenue.

The one big exception to all of this is Whale Oil. as Pete Belt explains in FROM THE PASSENGER SEAT: WHALEOIL IS CHANGING.

It’s been quite a ride since October 2012 when I put my hand up as an (unpaid) volunteer.

I get asked occasionally how I got ‘this job’.  Well, to be honest, I had to create it myself. About mid-2013 I said to Cam, “I want to do this full time and I want you to pay me.”  He didn’t flinch.  He replied that if I wanted to be paid for helping him out, I needed to grow the blog, so we could grow the advertising income that could pay for my exorbitant fees.

This made Whale Oil a two-income blog as it also supports Cameron Slater.

During Dirty Politics, the traffic on this blog went through the roof, and we had a reasonably good income from the advertising.  In fact, once I was paid, there was some left over for the Slater family too.

But before, and since then, Cam’s relied on your donations to supplement his income.  Mine is steady, but any lean month and the Slater family are having a tough time.

Whale Oil has tried a number of revenue earners, including intrusive levels of advertising, merchandising (Belt says that has been disappointing) and using the begging bowl.

But obviously revenues are an ongoing struggle. Despite this they are adding costs:

Worse, we’re growing.  It’s not just about meeting my costs.  As you have seen, Journalist Stephen Cook has been putting in serious hours on some very meaty stories, and he’s not doing it for free either.

I’m dubious about the claiming that they are still growing much. But if they are paying for a journalist (is this where Freed has ended up?) perhaps it’s the growth in costs that Belt is referring to.

He then sort of explains what they are looking at as a new way of generating income.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing a new way for us to make money.   You will be able to opt-in to complete small consumer surveys.   You can opt-in to receive direct email from us.  In return for this, you get the chance to see much more targeted advertising, be offered “members only” deals and, in general, start a new money-making infrastructure that is going to succeed where the old models have failed.

Here’s our promise:  if you, our audience, commit to supporting this new way for us to turn a dollar, we will reduce the amount of advertising as it is displayed now.  And if that continues to work, we expect to remove all display advertising from Whaleoil.

The aim is two-fold:  1)  we can maintain what we do now, and we want to grow (that needs more money), and 2) we no longer rely on advertising for our ‘survival’.  This means any attempt by opponents to sabotage our income stream is going to fail.

I realise all of this is a little woolly, and you’ll want more details, but this is just to give you some background and explain why you may see, for a while, both advertising and other “pop ups” that want you to answer questions.

Yes, it is a woolly explanation. Time will tell how it works out.

I’ve been a strong critic of some aspects of Whale Oil, including Belt’s ‘moderation’ purges that began mid last year. Banning large numbers of commenters must have had an impact on particip[ation and readership.

And revelling in doing things dirty must also be an impediment to getting wider support.

Slater has to be credited with trying a new media venture that no one else in New Zealand has come close to emulating. Whale Oil has in many ways been a bleeding edge innovator.

Whale Oil has been both the best and the worst of blogging in New Zealand.

And credit has to be given to Belt as well. He’s tried a number of innovative fund raisers.

Time will tell how this new attempt pans out.

It must be a challenge trying to attract additional financial support while continuing to act as the bad boys of the blogosphere.

Another factor is that blogging is still just a narrow niche in online media in New Zealand. Most of the population has little or no idea they exist. Most of the social interaction is done via more general forums like Facebook.

So blogs don’t have widespread appeal and will find it a challenge to compete fort attention let alone revunue.

How much of a future do blogs have in general?

Can Whale Oil recover, or has it peaked and is now a waning whale?

More on misuse of pseudonyms

The issues of the use and abuse of pseudonyms has come up again.

I’ve said before that the responsible use of pseudonyms is fine here, as it is in most online forums. There’s a number of valid reasons why people use pseudonyms, so people can choose to comment here using pseudonyms and shouldn’t be pressured into revealing their identities.

But there’s been an ongoing problem here with one person in particular using multiple pseudonyms in what has amounted to deliberate deceit. They have deliberately misled by making false claims. They have misrepresented or failed to reveal their associations on issues of obvious interest to them, pretendig to be independent of people they have had close associations with. They have replied to their own comments using an alternate identity to fake support for their comments.

I’ve already raised this on August 6 in Is “blog land” in the cactus? Some of the response there from THE TYRANT  continued his attempts at deceit, making further false and misleading claims.

While ‘THE TRYANT’ ceased two days later the pseudonym was changed in a couple of later comments, to ‘Te Reo Bukkake’ and ‘BUKKAKE FAN CLUB OF JAPAN’.

But this same person had also been using a number of other pseudonyms for months, and has continued to comment under ‘BUCK WIT’. Under that name they have also made comments that claim things that are demonstrably false.

For example “so for me i have always struggled to see a connection”. They are the connection, or at least a significant connection.

And “I did a quick search and did laugh at the scam site someone has put up that defames both Nottinghams” – pretending he was not already aware of that site is comical, and the second part of that comment is hugely ironic.

Some of the issues this person is involved in are worthy of discussion and others contributing here have a genuine interest i these issues – but their pesudonym shams and deceitful attempts at manipulating discussion make my very sceptical of their motives and their credibility.

One response from THE TYRANT on August 6 :

Your other alternative Pete, is just name the person you have written about here and see what comes to the surface.

If THE TYRANT/BUCK WIT/etc approves of me naming them then I’ll do that. But as I’ve said before, it would be more honest of them to disclose this themselves. They have my email address, I’ll put it up in their own words in a post if they like. If I’ve got anything wrong here and ‘THE TYRANT’ and ‘BUCK WIT’ can show me they are separate individuals then I’ll add a correction to this post.

If they keep denying/diverting and commenting then I’ll address that as I see fit.

Amongst other things the misuse of pseudonyms is unfair on the majority who reasonably and responsibly use pseudonyms here as it taints the basis on which this blog operates.

Morgan versus Key on flag preference

Gareth Morgan has been given another opportunity to promote his flag change preferences in a Herald column – PM’s flag preference is underwhelming. He criticises Key for stating his preference for a new flag – while promoting, again, what he wants and doesn’t want.

Firstly the Prime Minister clearly wants his preference to be chosen and that does somewhat taint the integrity of using public referenda to arrive at a decision.

Why? Key has just one vote, like the rest of us. He’s doing far less promotion of his preference than Morgan is of his. Morgan is doing far more than anyone to influence the outcome of flag choice.

Mr Key has politicised the process, and so some will oppose whatever he prefers regardless, thereby undermining the entire exercise.

It would always be politicised no matter who initiated a flag change process. Yes, some will oppose Key’s choice just because he’s a politician they don’t like. They have a right to vote however they like. Some may oppose Morgan’s choice because he is using disproportionate influence with money and media access to promote it.

Morgan is trying to get his flag chosen amongst the final four.  He is trying to impose more influence than anyone, including Key.

The Prime Minister wants the silver fern. His rationale was spelt out in Saturday’s newspapers. He simply wants the flag to be a brand, he has no interest whatsoever in any meaning beyond that. It’s all about recognition for Mr Key.

Of course a flag is about recognition, that’s what they are for. But Morgan makes up “wants the flag to be a brand”. Key doesn’t say anything like that.

This is what he said in John Key: Why my vote will go to flag with the silver fern:

I believe a new flag can take the best of the past and project that into the future.

It can reflect a forward-looking, confident New Zealand that is asserting itself and building its own identity in the 21st century. Our flag can be the choice of New Zealanders rather than the 19th century adaptation of a British ensign.

Last Saturday night I wore a New Zealand Rugby Union tie with a silver fern on it. On my lapel I also wore a silver fern because it, to me, symbolises this country that I love and so proudly serve.

The All Blacks’ jersey had a silver fern on it, and around me were more of them. In a sense, the people have already spoken.

They have adopted a symbol that unites them as belonging to a young and proudly independent country that has achieved a lot and has more to do.

Our flag should tell that story.

Morgan’s version is quite different – he made it up.  Morgan went on:

It’s all about recognition for Mr Key. He loves the Canadian flag for that reason and he adorns himself with silver fern badges and insignia when he attends sports events. He notes the rugby crowd all have a silver fern somewhere on our attire when we roll up for the game. And that for Mr Key that means we have chosen or endorsed the fern as the symbol of who we are.

That logic’s pretty shallow.

Again, recognition is the primary function of a flag.

And Morgan’s analysis is very shallow. The silver fern is used far more widely than in rugby. It’s a symbol that’s common across a range of sports. And businesses. And the State already uses it extensively.

Our passports are black with large silver ferns front and back. It’s a widely used symbol. It is already New Zealand’s defacto symbol.

Morgan keeps repeating his dissing:

I suspect Mr Key’s thoughts on this issue don’t run much deeper than corporate branding. That’s disappointing don’t you think?

National flags more often than not tell a story about the formation of the nation, what its values are and what it stands for – as the Flag Consideration Panel’s first question to the public asked. They are not a logo – many firms will incorporate recognisable aspects of their nation’s various insignia within their own brands and logos.

To suggest the national flag should just be another corporate brand like this is underwhelming, a shallow facsimile of what a national flag could be.

It’s Morgan who keeps claiming the silver fern is just a brand, while saying andf implying that’s what Key has said, which is incorrect.

After a long diss of Key and the silver fern Morgan finally gets to make his own case.

Let’s get serious here. New Zealand has just undertaken a 40-year process to reinstitute the legitimate basis of how our nation was formed. The Treaty of Waitangi is recognised officially as the founding document now, it is incorporated already in over 300 laws and regulations.

New Zealand is seeking to honour, albeit belatedly, the truth of arrangements between indigenous peoples and subsequent migrants. This is a huge achievement, and a major differentiating factor between us and Australia, Canada or the US for that matter. We should be extremely proud of this – forgive me, but it means more than the All Blacks winning.

What better way to celebrate such a coming of age, than to adopt a flag that recognises that milestone, recognises that we have one of the most multicultural societies on earth, a society that also has a bicultural treaty at its heart – an agreement that establishes the legitimacy of all migrants to call themselves New Zealanders? This is our uniqueness. We have a wonderful opportunity here to present a flag that defines, who we the New Zealanders actually are.

This is the flag that Morgan thinks does all that and defines who we the New Zealanders actually are:


There is nothing about it that suggests ‘New Zealand’ to me.

The designers of it have written an explanation of the colours and shapes, as required in Morgan’s flag competition guidelines. But most people don’t read stories behind flags. For most people a flag is simply a visual image.

Flag noun: a piece of cloth used as the symbol of a nation, state, or organization

Morgan wants it to be more than a symbol, and has the money and access to media to push his own design and his own ideas on what it should all mean.

But he is misrepresenting what Key has said. He is misrepresenting by omission by not acknowledging how widely accepted the fern already is as a symbol of New Zealand

Morgan may end up being successful in pressuring the flag panel into including his design in the final four. That appears to be his current aim.

And he may then pile money into promoting his design (plus all the free publicity media give him).

He can promote his story as much as he likes.

But I think that most people won’t care about abstract stories attached to some basic shapes and colours.

New Zealanders will choose the flag that they feel most means New Zealand to them.

Open forum – Friday

28 August 2015

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some basic ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.


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