New Zealanders have chosen their flag
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says a robust democratic process has allowed New Zealanders to choose their flag.
Preliminary results, released by the Electoral Commission this evening, show 1,200,003 voted to keep the current flag, while 915,008 voted for the Kyle Lockwood-designed, alternative flag. Final results will be released by the Electoral Commission on Wednesday 30 March.
“We have run a robust, democratic process that has allowed us to discuss who we are and how we want to be represented on the world stage.
“I acknowledge there will be those who are disappointed with the outcome, but the majority of New Zealanders have spoken and we should all embrace that decision.
“This process has engaged Kiwis in their homes, in their schools and in their workplaces, here in New Zealand, and right around the world – it is something we’ve all had a point of view on.
“It’s been a good conversation to have – voter turn-out of 2,119, 953 shows how deeply passionate New Zealanders are about their national identity.”
The Flag Consideration Panel, which ran the independent public engagement process, reports that over 10,000 flag designs were suggested and the alternative design gallery drew over two million page views.
Over 1.75 million Kiwis engaged online, 43,000 shared what they stood for, and 6,000 visited public seminars and information stands.
Mr English wishes to thank everybody who has taken part in the process.
“This process has been a good debate around patriotism.
“Now a flag has been decided I encourage all New Zealanders to use it, embrace it and, more importantly, be proud of it,” he says.