Order of flag referendum questions won’t change

The Select Committee considering the process for the referendum on the flag has rejected most requests for changes to the process, and have declined changing the order of the referendum questions.

Many submitters wanted the first referendum to ask us whether we wanted the flagged changed or not first.

Party politics also seems to have influenced some campaigning to change the question order. Labour is effectively campaigning against one of it’s stated policies (see next post).

NZ Herald reports: Select Committee rejects calls for one-off flag referendum

Many submitters had asked for the first of the two referendums, due to be held later this year, to ask whether voters wanted a new flag rather than wait until the second referendum when the new flag will go up against the most popular alternative.

However, the majority on the committee chose to stick with the current order, saying it agreed with the advice of officials that to change the order would bias it in favour of the current flag because voters would not know what the alternative was.

Some people will be genuinely disappointed in that decision – I think it’s the right decision – but from what I’ve seen many wanting the question order changed oppose any flag change so promote what is most likely to prevent change rather what is best practice for referendums on it.

“The only significant amendment is to include a ‘regulated period’ for advertising for the referendum to ensure that MPs do not use taxpayer funds or resources to campaign on the flag.

There are no limits on advertising spending.

The $26 million flag process has been criticised as a waste of money after low attendance at public meetings.

The Flag Consideration Panel has defended that, saying there has been intense debate on social media about the issue and almost 5000 possible designs submitted.

The deadline for flag designs from the public is 16 July and the panel will select a shortlist of four after that.

The first referendum will be in November and December, and voters can rank their preferred choices of the alternatives.

So despite attempts to change the process it will go ahead largely as planned.

Leave a comment


  1. John Schmidt

     /  30th June 2015

    The analogy I use a Toyota Corolla (current flag) looks good until you find out you could have had a Ferrari (new flag). Showing us the Ferrari first makes complete sense.

  2. @JS
    using your analogy.. as long as I get from A to B, I really don’t care whether its a Toyota or a Ferrari OR even a Mk2 Zephyr (LOL)

    • John Schmidt

       /  30th June 2015

      Are you telling me that given the choice you would choose a Corolla rather than have the Ferrari, WOW we clearly came from different parts of this planet.
      Where are my Ferrari keys I feel like a drive.

  1. Labour still campaigning against it’s own flag policy | Your NZ

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