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2015–16 New Zealand flag referendums

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Two New Zealand flag referendums were held by the New Zealand government in November/December 2015 and March 2016 and resulted in the retention of the current flag of New Zealand.[1]

New Zealand flag referendums

20 November – 11 December 2015
3–24 March 2016
Opinion polls
TurnoutFirst referendum: 1,546,734 (48.78%)
Second referendum: 2,140,805 (67.78%)
  Flag of New Zealand.svg NZ flag design Silver Fern (Black, White & Blue) by Kyle Lockwood.svg NZ flag design Silver Fern (Red, White & Blue) by Kyle Lockwood.svg
Candidate Flag of New Zealand Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue)
First preferences 40.15% 41.64%
Two-flag preferred 50.58% 49.42%
Second referendum 56.73% 43.27%
  NZ flag design Red Peak by Aaron Dustin.svg NZ flag design Silver Fern (Black & White) by Alofi Kanter.svg NZ flag design Koru (Black) by Andrew Fyfe.svg
Candidate Red Peak Silver Fern (Black & White) Koru
First preferences 8.77% 5.66% 3.78%

New Zealand flag referendum, 2016 results by electorate.svg
Results by electorate

Flag of New Zealand before election

A British Blue Ensign, defaced with four stars of the Crux Australis in red, outlined in white

Elected Flag of New Zealand

Same as before election

The first referendum to determine the preferred alternative flag took place between 20 November and 11 December 2015 and asked, "If the New Zealand flag changes, which flag would you prefer?"[2][3] Results show the black, white, and blue Silver fern flag by Kyle Lockwood advancing to the second referendum.

The second referendum took place between 3 and 24 March 2016 and asked voters to choose between the selected alternative (the Silver Fern Flag) and the existing New Zealand flag.[4][5] The final decision was to keep the current flag.

Reception of the process was critical, with no great enthusiasm shown among the public.[6][7][8]



New Zealand has a history of debate about whether the national flag should be changed. For several decades, alternative designs have been proposed, with varying degrees of support. There is no consensus among proponents of changing the flag as to which design should replace the flag.

In January 2014, Prime Minister John Key floated the idea of a referendum on a new flag at the 2014 general election.[9] The proposal was met with a mixed response.[10][11] Then in March, Key announced that New Zealand would hold a referendum within the next three years asking whether to change the flag design, if the National Party be re-elected for a third term.[12] Following National's re-election the details of the referendum were announced.[3]

Legal issuesEdit

The results of both referendums are binding, meaning the flag with the most votes in the second referendum is the official flag of New Zealand.[13] In the unlikely event the second referendum vote was tied, an assumption for the status quo would have applied.[14]

If a new flag design had been chosen, assuming no intellectual property issues, the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981 would have been updated to reflect the new design six months to the day after the second referendum results were declared (or earlier by Order in Council). The current flag would have remained the official flag until then; for example, the current flag would have been flown during the 2016 Summer Olympics, four months after the second referendum took place, regardless of the results of the second referendum. This result would not have changed the coat of arms (which includes the current national flag), national Māori flag, nor the flags of Associated States (Cook Islands and Niue), nor the New Zealand Red Ensign (merchant marine), White Ensign (naval), (both incorporating Union Flags) police flag and fire service flag (which are based on the current flag).[15] It would also not change New Zealand's status as a constitutional monarchy in the Commonwealth of Nations.[16]

Use of current flagEdit

If the flag had been changed, it would have been legal to have continued to fly the current flag of New Zealand, which would have been "recognised as a flag of historical significance."[17] Old flags would have been replaced once worn out.[15][18] Official documents depicting the current flag, such as driver licences, would have been phased out as a matter of course – in the case of driver licences, this would have been when licences are renewed and would therefore have taken up to 10 years.

New Zealand Government ships and those non-government ships flying the New Zealand flag (instead of the New Zealand Red Ensign) would have been given an extra six months to change their flag to the new design. Ships flying the New Zealand Red Ensign and ships belonging to the New Zealand Defence Force would not have been affected by any flag changes, nor would any New Zealand-based ships registered to foreign countries.[19][20]

Cost of transitionEdit

The estimated cost of updating government flags and Defence Force uniforms is at least $2.69 million. Other unknown costs include updating government ships, updating trademarks and logos, publicity of the new flag, excess stock of old flags (including products and souvenirs containing it), and updating all flags, packaging, uniforms and marketing material in the private and sporting sectors. The government would not have provided compensation for the cost of adopting the new flag.[15]

Pre-referendums processEdit

Cross-party groupEdit

Shortly after announcing the referendum, party leaders were invited to a cross-party group. The purpose of the cross-party group was to review draft legislation allowing for the referendums to take place, and to nominate candidates for a Flag Consideration Panel by mid February 2015. Members included Bill English (Finance Minister and leader of the group), Jonathan Young (representing National), Trevor Mallard (representing Labour), Kennedy Graham (representing Green), Marama Fox (representing Māori), David Seymour (representing ACT) and Peter Dunne (representing United Future). New Zealand First refused to participate.[3][21][22]

Flag Consideration PanelEdit

The Flag Consideration Panel was a separate group of "respected New Zealanders" with representative age, regional, gender and ethnic demographics. Their purpose was to publicise the process, seek flag submissions and suggestions from the public, and decide on a final shortlist of four suitable options for the first referendum. Public consultation took place between May and June 2015.[23][24] The panel stated that it consulted vexillologists (flag experts) and designers to ensure that the flags chosen were workable and had no impediments.[25] The members of the Flag Consideration Panel were:[26]

Referendums legislationEdit

The legislation to set up the referendums passed its first Parliament hearing on 12 March 2015 with a vote of 76 to 43.[27] It was then considered by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee. During their public submission intake phase the RSA launched the "Fight for the Flag" campaign, also backed by New Zealand First, to reverse the question order and first ask if New Zealanders want a flag change.[28] Labour MP Trevor Mallard presented a petition signed by 30,000 people to the Committee, asking for a keep/change question to be added to the first referendum, similar to the 2011 voting system referendum.[29] During its second hearing in Parliament, MP Jacinda Ardern proposed an amendment so that the second referendum would only take place if turnout for the first referendum was at least 50%, as a way of ensuring majority rule and reducing costs if the public was apathetic. Ardern's proposal was voted down and the bill was passed as-is on 29 July 2015.[30]

Public engagement processEdit

A silver fern frond, a common element in many flag designs

As part of the public engagement process, flag designs and symbolism/value suggestions were solicited until 16 July, which resulted in a total of 10,292 design suggestions.[4] All 10,292 submitted design proposals were presented to the public on the New Zealand government website.[31]

During the public engagement process, the Flag Consideration Panel travelled around the country for workshops and hui. These in-person consultation events were noted to have markedly low attendance.[6] The consideration panel noted strong online engagement with over 850,000 visits to the website and 1,180,000 engagements on social media.[32]

The panel reported that feedback found the themes of freedom, history, equality, respect and family to be the most significant to New Zealanders,[32] however it was later revealed that those themes were dwarfed by the amount of feedback critical of the flag change process.[7] From the submitted designs they found the most common colours were white, blue, red, black, and green. The most common elements incorporated into the flag designs were the Southern Cross, silver fern, Kiwi, and koru. The main themes incorporated into the designs were Māori culture, nature and history.[32]

Long listEdit

From the 10,292 submitted designs, the Flag Consideration Panel deliberations resulted in their selection of a 'long list' shortlist of 40 designs (announced to the public on 10 August 2015).[33]


  1. ^ The Wā kāinga won the top $20,000 prize in a privately organised competition run by the Gareth Morgan Foundation.[34]
  2. ^ The "Modern Hundertwasser" was later removed following a copyright claim from the Hundertwasser Non-Profit Foundation.[35]

Shortlist announcementEdit

On 1 September 2015, the Flag Consideration Panel announced the final four designs to be included in the first referendum.[36]

Image Designer(s) Name Notes
  Alofi Kanter Silver Fern (Black and White) Variation of the silver fern flag which has the unique silver fern and black and white colour scheme.[37] This design uses counterchanging and the fern design from the New Zealand government's Masterbrand logo.[38]
  Kyle Lockwood Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue) The silver fern represents the growth of the nation and the Southern Cross represents the location of New Zealand in the antipodes. The blue represents New Zealand's clear atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean. The red represents the country's heritage and sacrifices made.[39]

This proposal won a Wellington newspaper flag competition in July 2004 and appeared on TV3 in 2005 after winning a poll which included the present national flag.[40] In 2014 a similar design won a DesignCrowd competition.[41] The design was criticised on aesthetic grounds by Hamish Keith, Paul Henry and John Oliver.[42][43] New Zealand Herald writer Karl Puschmann called it a design for those "sitting on the fence" who didn't want much change.[44]

  Kyle Lockwood Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) Variation of the above with black instead of red, and a different shade of blue. This general design is John Key's preferred proposal. Black is one of the most well known National colours of New Zealand, and represents the pride and strength of New Zealand.
  Andrew Fyfe Koru (Black) Features a Maori koru pattern depicting an unfurling fern frond, traditionally representing new life, growth, strength and peace. In this flag it is meant to also resemble a wave, cloud and ram's horn.[37]
When this design was revealed on the shortlist, the public immediately nicknamed it "Hypnoflag" and "Monkey Butt" via social media.[45][46]

Criticism of selectionEdit

The flag design shortlist was met with negative response from some members of the public, professional designers and vexillologists.[47] The selection was lambasted as unappealing, clichéd, dull and too logo-like. There were complaints that the four designs were far too similar to each other, as only one does not feature a large silver fern dividing the field, and two are identical except for a colour choice. The two Lockwood proposals were likened to the design of a beach towel,[48] at least until Lockwood pointed out that most national flags were made into beach towels.[49] Some commentators also felt that the Flag Consideration Panel was never qualified to make an adequate design selection, since none of its members had any credentials or experience in the fields of graphic design, art or vexillology.[45][50][51][52][53][44][54][55][56] The panel stated that it consulted vexillologists and designers to ensure that the flags chosen were workable and had no impediments.[25] According to journalist Grant McLachlan, the panel consulted a Nike shoe designer and not any vexillologists.[47]

Nándor Tánczos opined that the Flag Consideration Panel denied the public a chance to choose their favourite designs by deciding on their behalf, and ended up with a selection bad enough to potentially prevent a flag change as the referendum outcome.[57]

Red PeakEdit

The Red Peak flag rose to prominence after dissatisfaction with the final four designs

After public disappointment with the official shortlist of four options, a social media campaign was launched on 2 September[58] for the Red Peak flag, a design well-liked by supporters of changing the New Zealand flag who disapprove of the silver fern flag and other similar proposed designs. Despite not being selected by the official Flag Consideration Panel, the Red Peak design was supported by a grassroots social media campaign.[59][60] An online petition to support inclusion of the flag design as an option for the referendum gained support from 50,000 petitioners in fewer than two weeks,[61] and was handed over to Parliament by David Seymour on 16 September 2015.[62]

On 23 September, the Green Party MP Gareth Hughes attempted to introduce a bill to parliament to include Red Peak as an option in the first referendum. The bill's introduction was blocked by New Zealand First. Prime Minister John Key confirmed that the National Party would pick up the legislation, meaning the Red Peak flag was added as a fifth option in the flag referendum.[63] Red Peak gained 10.9% of the vote in the first referendum.[64]

Criticism and controversyEdit


Opposition parties condemned the flag as low priority compared to current issues in the public consciousness such as the education system, lack of funding to district health boards, cuts to police services, child poverty, gridlock in Auckland among other transportation problems, lack of economic diversity, immigration, the housing crisis, Māori representation, and lack of written constitution. Trevor Mallard and Phil Goff cited the results of recent opinion polls that showed widespread public opposition or apathy (results are shown in the section below). These were used to argue that the referendums were unnecessary as the question was already answered by the public as a clear negative.[65]


Opposition parties, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association (RSA) president Barry Clark and members of the public criticised the referendum plan for costing $26 million which could be spent on other issues.[66][67][68][69][70][71] Once the Flag Consideration Panel started its national tour, the cost of the campaign was again criticised. Various charities and social services emphasised how much $26 million could fund to help poverty alleviation, public health and education. Also, the $4 million publicity campaign was contrasted with the low turnout; at the Christchurch event only ten people arrived.[72]

John Key defended the cost of the referendum by stating that it is the price to ensure a genuine democratic process and would be a one-off cost for the next "50 to 100 years" regardless of the result.[73] David King pointed out that a stronger brand image for the country could lead to a net financial gain, especially through exports and tourism.[15]


The public opposition to a flag change was also contrasted with prime minister John Key's disproportionate drive to run the referendums, and members of parliament accused him of attempting a flag change as his "vanity project" or populist bread and circuses.[65][29] New Zealand First accused the referendum of acting as a distraction from poverty and housing issues.[22]

Various members of parliament accused the process and documents of being biased. Trevor Mallard and Phil Goff claimed that the final list of members of the Flag Consideration Panel was numerically slanted towards those nominated by the National Party, despite the shortlist of candidates being roughly neutral. Kennedy Graham expressed scepticism at the official rationale that the referendums simply reflected a pre-existing public debate, and argued that recent discussion was actually deliberately sparked by the referendums announcement itself. Denis O'Rourke said that the shortlisting process was undemocratic because the Flag Consideration Panel would select the final flag design options on behalf of New Zealanders, and asking the public to choose between alternative designs before asking if they wanted a change was intentionally manipulative. Stuart Nash presented quotes in the Regulatory Impact Statement document admitting that referendum options were restricted by prior decisions by the National Party dominated Cabinet and prime minister, accusing them of pre-determining the process.[65]

A third-party analysis of submissions to the consideration panel's website revealed that negative submissions were filtered out and disregarded in the panel's report and the associated and widely publicised word cloud. According to this analysis, the largest term in the official word cloud, "equality", appeared in 4.89% of comments, whereas "keeping the current flag" was the most common theme and represented 31.96% of comments.[74] According to opposition MP Trevor Mallard this shows that the flag change process is suffering from "total spin" and that the panel is pushing to change the flag in breach of its mandate to be neutral.[7]

Documents revealed that Flag Consideration Panel judge Julie Christie is a board member of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) body New Zealand Story where she "had formally agreed to support the use of the NZ Way Fern Mark in any flag design". This fern design ended up as one of the shortlist entries. Christie had declared this as a potential conflict of interest but it was dismissed as minor.[75]

Order of questionsEdit

During the first Parliamentary hearing, Labour Party, NZ First, Green Party and Māori Party expressed dissatisfaction with the order of the questions and said that the public should first be asked whether they want a change, and continue with a second referendum only if they do, or both questions compacted into one referendum, which could potentially save millions of dollars.[65][27] David Seymour (ACT's representative in the Cross-Party Group) said that the planned order made sense, as the public would need to see the alternative designs before deciding on a change.[76] Professor John Burrows, chair of the Flag Consideration Panel, agreed that familiarity with proposals is a prerequisite for a properly informed decision about them.[16]


Members of parliament were also concerned about the timing. Some expressed disgust at the timing of the bill just before the centenary of the Gallipoli landing, some said the process was rushed, and Louisa Wall said that no significant event had occurred to warrant a flag change at this time.[65] Nándor Tánczos noted a common perception that removing a symbol of British sovereignty from the flag before constitutionally removing British sovereignty is tokenistic.[57]

Inclusion of Red Peak flagEdit

In September, the initial shortlist of four flags was amended to include the Red Peak flag after an online petition accrued 50,000 signatures. NZ First leader Winston Peters and former National Party official Grant McLachlan said that instead of respectfully incorporating wider public opinion, this inclusion was an ad hoc deference to a trendy but unrepresentative social media campaign. McLachlan demonstrated that online signatures could easily be forged by recording himself signing the petition sixteen times and fraudulently impersonating members of parliament. They accused the campaign of having dubious credibility and chided the government for considering the petition without checking the details sufficiently.[77]


First referendumEdit

If the New Zealand flag changes, which flag would you prefer?[78]

The first referendum started on 20 November 2015 with voting closing three weeks later on 11 December 2015. Preliminary results were released on the night of 11 December; official results were declared on 15 December. Using the preferential voting system,[79] it asked voters to rank the five shortlisted flag alternatives in order of preference. The most popular design would contend with the current national flag in the second referendum.[21][26][4][80][37]

Opponents of flag change encouraged members of the public to abstain from voting, render the voting paper invalid or strategically vote for the worst alternative flag as a protest.[81]

First New Zealand flag referendum, November–December 2015 (final results)[82]
Option First preference Second iteration Third iteration Last iteration
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
  Option A 559,587 40.15 564,660 40.85 613,159 44.77 670,790 50.58
  Option E 580,241 41.64 584,442 42.28 607,070 44.33 655,466 49.42
  Option B 122,152 8.77 134,561 9.73 149,321 10.90 N/A
  Option D 78,925 5.66 98,595 7.13 N/A
  Option C 52,710 3.78 N/A
Total 1,393,615 100.00 1,382,258 100.00 1,369,550 100.00 1,326,256 100.00
Non-transferable votes 11,357 0.73 24,065 1.56 67,359 4.35
Informal votes 149,747 9.68
Invalid votes 3,372 0.22
Total votes cast 1,546,734 100.00
turnout 48.78

Non-transferable votes include voting papers that were not able to be transferred, as all of the preferences given had been exhausted. Informal votes include voting papers in which the voter had not clearly indicated their first preference. Invalid votes include voting papers that were unreadable or cancelled.

The added work of calculating results for individual electorates under preferential voting made no vote breakdown by electorate be available.

Second referendumEdit

What is your choice for the New Zealand flag?[83]

The second referendum started on 3 March 2016 with voting closing three weeks later on 24 March 2016. It asks voters to choose between the existing New Zealand Flag and the preferred alternative design selected in the first referendum.[4][84] On 24 March 2016, the preliminary results of the second referendum were announced with the current flag winning 56.7% compared to 43.3% for the new flag.[85]

Second New Zealand flag referendum, March 2016[1]
Option Votes
Num. %
  Option 1 (alternative flag) 921,876 43.27
  Option 2 (existing flag) 1,208,702 56.73
Total 2,130,578 100.00
Informal votes 5,044 0.21
Invalid votes 5,273 0.23
Total votes cast 2,140,895 100.00
turnout 67.78%

Informal votes include voting papers where the voter had not clearly indicated their preference (e.g. votes returned blank or voting for both options).
Invalid votes include voting papers that were unreadable or cancelled.

Results of the New Zealand flag referendum two, March 2016, by electorate.
  Option 1 (alternative)
  Option 2 (existing)

Result by electorateEdit

Of New Zealand's 71 electorates, only six had a majority vote in favour of the alternative flag: Bay of Plenty, Clutha-Southland, East Coast Bays, Ilam, Selwyn and Tāmaki.[86]

Electorate Option 1   Option 2   Informal Invalid Turnout
Num. % Num %
Auckland Central 9,466 43.37 12,359 56.63 75 91 60.95%
Bay of Plenty 18,288 51.55 17,188 48.45 64 67 74.91%
Botany 13,925 48.40 14,844 51.60 63 37 60.39%
Christchurch Central 12,643 43.45 16,455 56.55 67 65 68.11%
Christchurch East 12,269 41.80 17,080 58.20 46 54 69.83%
Clutha-Southland 16,689 50.52 16,343 49.48 38 54 74.59%
Coromandel 17,074 45.36 20,567 54.64 70 71 76.82%
Dunedin North 10,077 35.74 18,121 64.26 101 61 65.93%
Dunedin South 13,494 38.43 21,618 61.57 73 54 75.83%
East Coast 14,108 42.40 19,163 57.60 66 71 70.90%
East Coast Bays 15,422 51.17 14,714 48.83 57 63 68.44%
Epsom 16,010 49.80 16,140 50.20 67 101 66.95%
Hamilton East 14,035 48.00 15,202 52.00 79 48 64.64%
Hamilton West 13,196 44.70 16,328 55.30 51 60 64.91%
Helensville 13,860 43.35 18,115 56.65 63 63 73.14%
Hunua 15,538 46.52 17,864 53.48 45 55 72.14%
Hutt South 14,531 42.94 19,306 57.06 83 299 70.72%
Ilam 16,226 50.85 15,684 49.15 60 77 72.50%
Invercargill 12,992 39.96 19,521 60.04 48 47 72.42%
Kaikoura 16,979 46.93 19,204 53.07 83 48 77.46%
Kelston 8,450 35.03 15,673 64.97 60 66 57.89%
Mana 13,207 43.23 17,341 56.77 84 67 66.92%
Māngere 5,054 29.00 12,375 71.00 57 54 42.39%
Manukau East 5,337 32.39 11,142 67.61 58 31 41.31%
Manurewa 6,308 34.39 12,032 65.61 66 45 45.19%
Maungakiekie 10,970 40.89 15,861 59.11 67 75 58.95%
Mount Albert 11,144 38.48 17,815 61.52 88 73 63.13%
Mount Roskill 11,240 41.58 15,795 58.42 71 65 59.09%
Napier 14,452 41.75 20,165 58.25 87 94 75.60%
Nelson 17,185 47.96 18,648 52.04 111 80 74.09%
New Lynn 10,664 39.50 16,335 60.50 63 68 60.48%
New Plymouth 17,342 49.18 17,921 50.82 77 81 72.48%
North Shore 17,361 49.50 17,714 50.50 74 91 71.42%
Northcote 13,362 43.72 17,202 56.28 86 52 66.00%
Northland 13,433 39.18 20,848 60.82 89 97 74.12%
Ōhāriu 15,055 46.01 17,669 53.99 79 102 72.79%
Ōtaki 15,316 42.45 20,768 57.55 79 63 76.98%
Pakuranga 14,409 46.78 16,391 53.22 59 59 66.76%
Palmerston North 12,505 41.96 17,295 58.04 67 77 69.48%
Papakura 12,175 40.95 17,557 59.05 42 67 63.61%
Port Hills 16,709 45.91 19,689 54.09 99 61 74.84%
Rangitata 17,095 48.27 18,322 51.73 57 39 75.74%
Rangitīkei 14,672 43.95 18,710 56.05 42 71 76.95%
Rimutaka 13,016 40.11 19,438 59.89 74 63 69.77%
Rodney 18,070 47.45 20,009 52.55 86 56 76.47%
Rongotai 11,382 37.20 19,215 62.80 124 121 66.52%
Rotorua 13,428 43.67 17,324 56.33 65 62 70.82%
Selwyn 18,604 51.73 17,361 48.27 61 45 79.43%
Tāmaki 16,992 51.98 15,697 48.02 75 82 71.40%
Taranaki-King Country 15,477 48.11 16,692 51.89 59 98 75.22%
Taupō 16,312 46.96 18,421 53.04 73 47 73.78%
Tauranga 17,554 49.82 17,683 50.18 76 64 73.79%
Te Atatū 10,280 37.98 16,789 62.02 70 46 61.06%
Tukituki 14,486 43.34 18,939 56.66 63 70 72.93%
Upper Harbour 12,621 44.12 15,984 55.88 55 59 62.86%
Waikato 16,570 47.72 18,150 52.28 59 63 74.81%
Waimakariri 17,337 48.94 18,085 51.06 58 40 78.14%
Wairarapa 15,306 43.16 20,159 56.84 88 66 75.50%
Waitaki 19,092 49.52 19,462 50.48 85 36 77.95%
Wellington Central 12,124 41.05 17,410 58.95 144 136 65.27%
West Coast-Tasman 14,158 41.96 19,582 58.04 101 53 75.17%
Whanganui 13,761 40.90 19,888 59.10 61 71 73.01%
Whangarei 14,671 41.38 20,781 58.62 67 55 73.81%
Wigram 11,679 43.03 15,465 56.97 56 67 67.88%
Hauraki-Waikato 3,996 25.50 11,672 74.50 54 72 45.70%
Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 3,817 22.72 12,985 77.28 76 125 49.01%
Tāmaki Makaurau 3,396 22.11 11,967 77.89 68 100 44.80%
Te Tai Hauāuru 4,190 26.02 11,912 73.98 81 80 50.04%
Te Tai Tokerau 3,755 21.19 13,966 78.81 84 100 51.24%
Te Tai Tonga 5,479 31.95 11,667 68.05 55 73 51.15%
Waiariki 4,056 23.90 12,915 76.10 65 64 48.67%
Not identifiable 195
Total 921,876 43.27 1,208,702 56.73 5,044 5,273 67.78%

Multiple voting reportsEdit

After the first referendum, the Electoral Commission referred seven cases of people apparently voting more than once to police.[87]

On 8 and 9 March, the Electoral Commission referred four more cases of apparent multiple voting to police. This included one case of an Auckland man allegedly voting with 300 ballot papers stolen from other people's mailboxes.[88]

Voting more than once is known as personation and is identified as a corrupt electoral practice under both the Electoral Act 1993 and the Flag Referendums Act. A person convicted of personation is liable to up to two years' imprisonment and a fine up to $40,000, and carries a mandatory disqualification from enrolling or voting for three years.[89]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Second Referendum on the New Zealand Flag Preliminary Result". Electoral Commission. 24 March 2016. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Referendums on the New Zealand flag". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "First steps taken towards flag referendum". New Zealand Government. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  4. ^ "New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill, Part 2, Subpart 4, Clause 20". New Zealand government. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Trevett, Claire (18 July 2015). "Flag show at half mast". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Nippert, Matt (13 November 2015). "Flag process: Was it a spin job?". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  7. ^ Price, Sam (29 December 2015). "Widespread abstention in New Zealand flag referendum". World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  8. ^ Davison, Isaac (30 January 2014). "Key suggests vote on New Zealand flag". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Flag change in the wind". Radio New Zealand News. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  10. ^ Beech, James (4 February 2014). "Opinions vary on changing NZ flag". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  11. ^ Chapman, Paul (11 March 2014). "New Zealand to hold referendum on changing to 'post-colonial' flag". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  12. ^ New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill, sec. 2
  13. ^ New Zealand Flag Referendums Act 2015, sec. 39
  14. ^ a b c d King, David, Regulatory Impact Statement: Considering Changing the New Zealand Flag, New Zealand Ministry of Justice
  15. ^ a b "Flag Consideration Panel answers the six top questions". Scoop Media. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  16. ^ "New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill – amendments". Parliamentary Counsel Office. 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Frequently asked questions" (PDF). New Zealand Government. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  18. ^ "New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill, Part 3, Clause 70". New Zealand government. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  19. ^ "§58 National colours and other flags – Ship Registration Act 1992". New Zealand Government. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  20. ^ a b Bill English (29 October 2014). "Cabinet Paper 451" (PDF). New Zealand Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  21. ^ a b Gulliver, Aimee (17 November 2014). "Flag referendum a 'distraction'". Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Process at a glance" (PDF). New Zealand Government. 29 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  23. ^ Jones, Nicholas (9 March 2015). "Govt budget allows almost $500,000 for a high-profile panel out of $25m cost to decide national symbol". New Zealand. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  24. ^ a b "Open letter from the Panel". New Zealand Government ( 17 December 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  25. ^ a b Trevett, Claire (26 February 2015). "Julie Christie and Beatrice Faumina to help decide NZ's new flag". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  26. ^ a b Trevett, Claire (12 March 2015). "Flag change referendums come one step closer". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  27. ^ Jones, Nicholas (13 April 2015). "NZ First backs 'fight for the flag' campaign". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  28. ^ a b "Flag debate votes a biased process – Mallard". The New Zealand Herald. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
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