Flag Referendum

If you are a NZ citizen or a permanent resident, you can vote in NZ elections. That includes this special referendum on the NZ flag. If you have enrolled, you will have your voting papers by now. You have two choices: you either vote to keep the present NZ flag or you vote to change it to the flag with the silver fern in the top left on a black background and the Southern Cross in the right on a blue background. This is a postal vote. You tick the one you like the best, put the voting paper in the envelope and post it before March 24th. It costs you nothing.

Informal polls seem to show that more people want to keep the old flag. Some say they see no reason to change; others say it shows our history, our links with Britain. Many people who had family members in World War I or II say that their family member fought under that NZ flag. Some other people agree it would be good to change but they don’t like the alternative. Another argument is the cost of printing new flags. Already, the referendum has cost $26m and new flags are very expensive.

People who want a change say our old flag is too similar to Australia’s flag and this has caused confusion sometimes. Another reason given for change is that we no longer feel so close to Britain. The Union Jack on the flag is the symbol of our old links to Britain. When the Queen dies, we might not want a British king as our monarch. The old flag has no Maori symbols on it whereas the silver fern was important in Maori culture to show a pathway at night.

Maybe you have heard some other arguments from people. It has certainly been an interesting topic to talk about. If you have a voting paper, make sure you vote. This shows you believe in your democratic right to give your opinion.

Click here to see the two choices.

Type “flag” in the search box to listen to other posts about the flag referendum.


• referendum (n) – special vote
• alternative (n) – other choice
• informal (adj) – not official
• poll (n) – asking people’s opinions, often by telephone
• argument (n) – reason for their opinion
• confusion (n) – cannot tell the difference between the two flags
• monarch (n) – king or queen


  1. I prefer you use the new design, the silver fern in it suggests the Maori culture and NZ identity. But the old one looks so similar as British and Austrilian flags. National flags should show national culture and identity. How do you think?

  2. Good points. I voted for the new design.

  3. I prefer the original flag.

  4. i don’t like either flag , maybe someone can design some new flag ??

  5. I like the silver fern flag more than the other

  6. I prefer the new one symbol of Maori culture and beautiful silver fern!

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