Breakfast flag poll

Seven days until voting in the flag referendum.

Breakfast has been running an online poll since yesterday morning.



Self selecting online polls are non-scientific and should be looked on with a fair degree of scepticism as they are easily manipulated and easily affected by special interests.

But with the number of votes now over 30,000 it gets harder to manipulate significantly, unless you can organise a huge number of helpers. So this poll may be a reasonable albeit rough indicator of current preferences.

I think it’s surprising how close this is, based on past polls. Newshub/Reid Research polling from about a month ago had a different of 61 to 30.

The Breakfast poll was closer early last night with about 20,000 votes but has widened a little.

And 55 to 45 is still a big gap to close up if there is to be any flag change.

But it’s not over until the referendum is counted. There may be late swings (either way), and a lot may depend on voter turnout and who is most motivated to vote.

I still think it’s unlikely the flag will change – this year or probably in my lifetime – but it could get close and interesting.

If the first referendum was ‘Do you want to change the New Zealand flag?’ would the outcome have been any different?

It’s possible more people would have voted for change without knowing what the alternative would have been.

If that had happened it’s probably the fight over the alternative design would have been even more fraught and bitter as the end result would be the new flag, as change would have already been decided.

The only certainty is that there would have been wide and often strong disagreement on what the new design should be.

There will never be a Goldilocks flag that everyone thinks is just right.

And I think those who prefer to keep the current flag even though they want change, hoping that they will get to choose again soon, are fooling themselves.

If the flag doesn’t change this time then I think National are very unlikely to offer us the choice again.

Labour and Greens are unlikely to try flag change soon after strongly fighting against this process, as that would highlight their political hypocrisy.

And I think flag change needs some hefty weight of opinion from the centre right on it’s side to succeed. We have that this time, but Labour in particular has done it’s best to dirty the left wing vote for change.

I’ll still be voting for change, because i think the Lockwood design is good enough and far better than the present flag.

Because it’s something I strongly believe in I’ll be promoting flag change over the next few weeks.

If anyone wants to do a guest post on their preference or on any aspect of the flag referendum then I’ll be happy to put it up here too (as long as it’s reasonable).

The Lockwood flag in Paris recently:


If you post links to your favourite flag images (New Zealand and Lockwood) in comments I’ll collate into posts.

Flag choices

We’ve had a break from flag discussion, but it’s time to start thinking about alternative flag options again.

The referendum to choose a possible alternative flag gets under way soon (20 November – 11 December 2015). Here are the choices.

The five alternative flags

From The NZ flag — your chance to decide.

See how voting in the first referendum works on the Elections website 

To vote in the first referendum, you must be correctly enrolled byThursday 19 November.

Your voting papers will be sent to you in the mail, so it is very important to make sure that you enrol early, and that you update your details if you have moved house.

Enrolling or updating your details is easy.

You can do it right now by clicking here.

Personally I prefer the flag on the left, but would be happy enough with the two on the right as well – the balck and white fern in particular.

I thought Red Peak might be growing on me as being simple and distinctive but I’ve now I’ve seen it in a number of situations I have gone right off it. It looks like a random flag unrelated to anything New Zealand or Kiwi.

Sure there’s some words to describe all the things it is supposed to depict, but flags fly without words to back them up. They need to stand on their visual merits alone. And Red Peak doesn’t have any impact for me and I don’t feel any empathy for it.

But Your NZ is not just about me. I want everyone here to have equal opportunity to have your say.

Say what you think about your choice of alternate flag – or why you don’t want to participate in the first referendum or want to spoil your ballot – and I’ll put all your comments up in a post in the order that they are in the thread below.

Remember that this first referendum doesn’t chose whether we will change flags or not, we get to vote on that seperately in March next year.

May the best flag win.

The other side

China’s Chang’e spacecraft has taken a photo of the Earth along with a view we don’t usually see, the other side of the moon.


EarthSky reported: Extraordinary shot of moon’s far side and Earth, from Chang’e

The Chinese Chang’e 5 test vehicle captured this extraordinary view of Earth over the far side of the moon on October 28, 2014. From Earth on this date, the phase of the moon was a waxing crescent. From the moon that day, the Earth was in a waning gibbous phase.

The Chinese Chang’e 5 spacecraft, which is testing lunar sample return technology, has rounded the lunar far side and is now on the return leg of its journey to the moon. It is landed back on Earth on Friday, October 31, 2014.

Moon Connection explains Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

The same physical half of the Moon, the “near side”, is always facing Earth. That means there is a far side or so-called “dark side” that is never facing Earth and can only be seen from space. This is true regardless of the moon phase.

Why is this the case? We all know that the Earth rotates on its own axis, so theoretically, the Moon should also do the same, allowing us to get a full picture of the planetoid. Why are we limited to seeing only 50 percent? It turns out that the speed at which the Moon rotates has led to this particular phenomenon. Millions of years ago, the Moon spun at a much faster pace than it does now. However, the gravitational influence of the Earth has gradually acted upon the Moon to slow its rotation down, in the same way that the much smaller gravitational influence of the Moon acts upon the Earth to create tides. This influence slowed the rotational period of the Moon to match that of its orbit – about 29.5 days – and it is now “locked in” to this period.

If the Moon didn’t spin at all, then eventually it would show its far side to the Earth while moving around our planet in orbit. However, since the rotational period is exactly the same as the orbital period, the same portion of the Moon’s sphere is always facing the Earth.

We can actually see more than half the moon due to a ‘rocking’ motion.

Actually a little bit more than half of the Moon’s surface is observable from Earth. Since the Moon’s orbit is elliptical, and not circular, the speed of its orbital travel increases and decreases depending on how close it is to our planet. The rotational speed of the Moon is constant however – and this difference between orbital speed and rotational speed means that when the Moon is farthest from the Earth, its orbital speed slows down just enough to allow its rotational speed to overtake it, giving observers a small glimpse of the usually hidden area. The term for this “rocking” motion of the Moon is called libration and it allows for 59 percent of the Moon to be seen in total (over time).

There is no dark side of the moon, only a side we can’t see from Earth.

One reason that the far side of the Moon is frequently referred to as the “dark side” is because many people mistakenly think that it never sees any light from the Sun. In that sense the term “dark side” is wrong and misleading. In fact, since the Moon is constantly rotating on its own axis, there is no area of the planetoid which is in permanent darkness, and the far side of the Moon is only completely devoid of sunlight during a Full Moon – when the Sun is facing the Moon with the Earth in between.

What’s this got to do with politics? Nothing really, but I’ll make up an association.

There’s another side to most things, even though we may not find it easy to see it.