‘Keep the flag’ rallies attract small numbers

It wasn’t long ago that poor turnout at flag change consideration meetings were criticised and ridiculed by media and on social media.

Two ‘keep the flag’ rallies in the weekend failed to attract much support.

This headline sounds strong, but the attendance was very modest.

Waikato war veterans march to keep New Zealand’s current flag

When Waikato veteran Terry Findlay dies, he doesn’t want some “Mickey Mouse” flag laid across his casket.

The Te Awamutu vet was one of about 30 people to march in opposition to the referendum to change the country’s flag in Hamilton on Saturday.

There may be more veterans further back in the ‘crowd’ but I can only see one there.

Findlay, who was with a group of RSA members who travelled from Te Awamutu for the protest, wants a chance to vote for the flag in the first round of the upcoming referendum.

“We prefer the existing flag. You don’t get to vote for that in the national referendum – why don’t they include it?”

That’s been well explained. He gets his chance to vote on the current flag in the second referendum.

Findlay is a Vietnam veteran – see Apology to vets ‘long time coming’.

Protester Mischele Rhodes said keeping the existing flag would maintain the country’s sovereignty.

It has got nothing to do with sovereignty.

It was hoped there would be a bigger turnout, but sunny skies and other events on in Hamilton meant fewer turned up than expected, Rhodes said.

I doubt that pouring rain would have attracted a bigger turnout.

It must have been even sunnier in Tauranga:

Taking a stand against flag change

A Tauranga group is taking stand against the Prime Minister’s plans to change the current New Zealand Flag.

The Tauranga Referendum Awareness Public Group met down at Edgewater Fan today to discuss options about how to keep the current flag.

NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell got behind the campaign and addressed a crowd this afternoon.

Here’s a picture of the ‘crowd’:

That looks like nine people plus a NZ First MP.

Flag awareness campaign organiser Maryanne Harpur says the country needs to focus on making New Zealand a place to share with future generations.

She doesn’t think this will happen with a new flag.

“Around the town, there has been a lot of support. It’s just a matter of making sure everyone realising we can do something now.”

It looks like most people realise there’s little they can do about retaining the current flag now except doing nothing, that opportunity is in the second referendum next March.

Harpur spoke at an anti-TPPA rally in April. A month ago she subscribed to “New Zealand’s largest online free archive of protests, public meetings and interviews” which has video links like:

Rhodes (quoted from the Hamilton report) has also been active in TPPA rallies:

Colourful crowds in Hamilton march against TPP

“The government is not listening to the people. We are not going to let overseas corporates take over our sovereignty, wealth and freedoms,” protester Mischele Rhodes said.

This was Rhodes’ third rally against TPP, and by far the biggest protest in the Waikato yet, she said.

She stood for Democrats for Social Credit last year: DSC selects Mischele Rhodes for Hamilton West

Patient’s Rights Advocate Mischele Rhodes has been selected as the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s candidate for Hamilton West.

As Vice President of Patient’s Rights Advocacy Waikato, Ms Rhodes says she is “passionate about championing issues that adversely affect people”. She dedicates much of her time fighting for transparency and accountability.

“I am compelled to stand for Parliament this election because of the many international political influences in agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I am opposed to the provisions in such agreements which may very likely destroy our Kiwi way of life, and take away the ability of our government to make decisions for the benefit of New Zealanders.

She has also campaigned for Fluoride Free NZ and supported the group “No Forced Vaccines”.

Leave a comment


  1. Mike C

     /  28th September 2015

    Based on the small crowds attending these “Keep the Flag” rallies … I would almost be willing to bet that New Zealand will be flying a new flag after the second referendum 🙂

    • jamie

       /  28th September 2015

      If I were a gambler I’d be tempted to take that bet. 😀 I reckon this is yet another example of how little interest there is in the whole issue.

      For those who want change, the best hope now is that by the second referendum the media will have moved on, Key will have stopped talking about flags altogether, and hardly anyone will bother to vote.

  2. Zedd

     /  28th September 2015

    I also think, that many are just TOTALLY losing interest.. (OR was it just the weather ?)

    Unfortunately, this could end up like the last election, were large numbers just don’t bother voting & the ‘pro-change’ group get enough numbers to ‘scrape over the line’ ? 😦
    either way.. Key seems intent to get his way, by ‘fair means OR FOUL !’

    • Mike C

       /  28th September 2015


      But every single person over the age of 18 has the right to vote, and if they choose not to, then that is not Nationals fault or doing.

      I will be voting in both referendums, just as you will be … which means we will cancel each other out. LOL.

      • Zedd

         /  28th September 2015

        you never know, I may just change my mind too ?
        there is one of the ‘final 5’ that I think is quite reasonable…
        LOL 🙂

        • Mike C

           /  28th September 2015


          Well, if you vote for Red Peak and it gets into the final … then you and I will be cancelling each other out then, because I will be voting for the Union Jack. LOL.

  3. Zedd

     /  28th September 2015

    I think it was Labour, who tried to put in an SOP that if less than 50% vote in either referendum, then it not continue (no confidence).. BUT ‘Team Key’ voted this down !

    Will it really be acceptable to change the flag, if only 20% or less actually vote ‘YES’ to change it ?
    *BUT that is more than those who actually vote ‘NO’
    I understand that the legislation will actually, allow this scenario.

    • jamie

       /  28th September 2015

      I think that’s exactly what Key is banking on. A small group of highly motivated anti-union jack political tragics and a large apathetic no-show.

      • Mike C

         /  28th September 2015


        That strategy works for me 🙂

        • jamie

           /  29th September 2015

          Not much of a vision, mate. Is that what all the nation-building, patriotic, boldly taking our place in the world has been reduced to?


  4. Robby

     /  28th September 2015

    This is just more evidence that the vast majority of Kiwis’ really don’t GAF. Regardless of whether the rally is for or against change, the turnout is low. Saying this is proof that the public want a change is laughable. All it proves is that most of us don’t care, and have better things to do on the weekend…


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