Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Stand for... Something

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to st ephen,

    surely everyone can see that Italy's flag is completely lacking an eagle attacking a snake above a cactus?

    They Twinked® it out after Garbaldi beat the Mexicans?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Really? How interesting. I would expect that National Party members would be rather torn on the issue. The rural party membership especially. Certainly the ones I know anyway wouldn't have any time for the idea of a change, being quite happy with the current flag and constitutional setup.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1025 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Two questions, one of clear law, the other of unclear politics:

    Is it possible to amend the referendum legislation, so that a minimum turnout is required before it is binding? And assuming it's possible, is there any chance it would happen? (i.e. would National accept such an amendment?).

    If we have a referendum that is both postal AND unwanted, turnout could be chronically low - say, 25%. And if that produces a narrow vote for change and is binding ... cripes. Yes, I know the answer is "Shoulda voted", but still - that is Key buying a whole lot of trouble.

    I really hope they've thought this through (or maybe I don't: "Events, dear boy, events ...").

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Our country has certainly engaged in the flag debate, or maybe not.

    The 25 nationwide roadshow meetings ended last week and figures released by the flag panel showed a total of 739 people attended - an average of 29 per meeting.

    By my calculation, that's 4,599,595 of us who aren't vaguely interested in Key's $27m flag distraction policy. My worry is that the handful of people who are playing Key's game will actually get to decide what happens to our national symbol.

    I was hoping that some form of protest vote would come to the fore -- a flag featuring a ponytail perhaps? If enough of us voted for that option, the Nats would have a real problem on their hands. However their hand-picked panel will never allow cynical designs to make the final cut, so that's not really an option.

    Short of refusing to vote, is there any other way to send a message to the government that this issue is nothing but a huge waste of taxpayers' money? Or do we have to wait for the second referendum to produce a resounding "no"?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Alfie,

    is there any other way to send a message to the government that this issue is nothing but a huge waste of taxpayers’ money?

    There were a few ideas as what to do about this at the (un-named) RSA the other weekend, as we stood around waiting for the hangi fire to do its thing.

    Those old diggers and diggeresses are pretty pissed off about the whole thing.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Alfie,

    Or it shows that these days people don't engage with an issue by attending physical meetings.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Or it shows that these days people don't engage with an issue by attending physical meetings.

    While that's the official line, I suspect Kim Dotcom's Dirty Politics meeting which overflowed the Auckland town hall kinda puts the kibosh on that theory, Lucy. In my experience, public meetings attract an audience when people are interested.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the flag poll

    All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has thrown his support behind the Prime Minister for a flag change.
    Four new flag designs to be pitted against the country's current flag have been chosen and will be revealed on Tuesday. (Today)

    Well that's a done deal then...
    ...what I don't get is why they bothered printing and delivering all those sheets with 40 flags on, we weren't being polled on those - coupla paper ads, sure, so people can have a look, a web site, definitely!
    But why the millions of extra bits of paper printed for no good reason?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I think Rich McCaw put it best himself:

    "Someone said to me, and probably quite right, you end up going from most people enjoying what you do to probably half the country. So you cut your supporters in half. That’s probably not a good idea."

    …. Probably not.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Tracy Watkins sums up the public apathy towards Key's flag diversion.

    With the flag referendum costing $26 million, the last thing he wants on his hands is a flop, a debate remembered more for running gags about some of the more infamous designs, like laser Kiwi, the "boom" flag and sheep in various poses.

    It's not just that he will have failed in his bid to change the flag - it's that the result will also be viewed as a referendum on him and his Government.

    If only that were true.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Attachment

    $26,000,000.00

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I'm afraid they've stuffed it up.

    The top one had to be included, not because I like it, but because the silver fern should be an option. Nos 2 and 4 are committee jobs, which leaves the third. But it's black. So, no.

    None of them can match the Maori flag, but then we'd be talking politics and having a meaningful discussion, oo er!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to chris,

    $26,000,000.00

    I'm underwhelmed. Bastardisations of the classic silver fern, two with overlaid nods to colonialism, and a plagiarised variant of the Hundertwasser flag. What a gross waste of public money.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I am required to use the New Zealand flag from time to time, by law. That is when I want to sail a New Zealand registed boat into a foreign port.

    It is some time helpful for your ship to apair to be protected by the British empire, as apposed to a souvenir retail chain. I will be voting to retain the flag, until we actually get real flag designers on the job and become a republic proper.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Unfortunately we're now going to move from (relatively) positive engagement to negative.

    When there was a blank sheet, with our options limited only by imagination, naturally people had plenty to say, seriously or not. But that's over now, we can't colour in any more flags, or even tweak the ones we've got. It's no good me saying "Yeah, I don't mind number 3 except ... ". There is no "except".

    That was the panel's job, on our behalf, and they failed. Did nobody say "Minimum requirement: 4 distinct options"? If they did, they were outvoted by fools.

    Six months to go.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Alfie,

    I’m underwhelmed.

    I naively assumed they would keep at least one Gordon Walter’s inspired option, or anything at all for those who might wish to vote for something recognizably referencing New Zealand’s rich visual arts tradition.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    I'm following NZ First's recommendation;

    https://nz.news.yahoo.com/top-stories/a/29259114/spoil-ballot-papers-peters-urges-voters/

    I'd be absolutely delighted if the spoiled votes outweighed any vote for a single alternate design.

    That would send the best message ever to John Key.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    One of these flags has its own Twitter account already. Which, by the reasoning of the original blog, makes it the winner. And also, unfortunately, least likely to win the vote.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to chris,

    or anything at all for those who might wish to vote for something recognizably referencing New Zealand’s rich visual arts tradition.

    I am a New Zealand visual arts enthusiast, but I disagree that the flag needs to reference that in any way shape or form. Nice if it does, but that’s someware near the end of what I think is important to flag design.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to simon g,

    Nos 2 and 4 are committee jobs

    All of them look ‘designed by committee’. The koru is the least worst option if a no-confidence vote is unavailable. Or even the spoiled ballot as mentioned above.

    The flag design selection carries the whiff of the Wellywood sign controversy, where a lot of neat designs were passed over by the 'judging panel' in favour of a contrived knockoff of a Los Angeles icon.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to steven crawford,

    Personally I don’t think the flag needs to be changed at this time, but if I’d staked my reputation on campaigning change for change’s sake and was prepared to offer a selection of marked departures that’s an area I’d pursue, all by the by though, I’m more mystified that these options don’t have the same dimensions. I’m interested in your opinion, what’s important to flag design?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I just looked up the history of the South African flag, which they seem to be quite proud of over there.

    Basically they:
    - got rid of an oppressive, alien form of government
    - had a specialist, Fred Brownell, design a flag to mark this

    We should follow this proven process.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Basically they:
    - got rid of an oppressive, alien form of government
    - had a specialist, Fred Brownell, design a flag to mark this

    We should follow this proven process.

    Whatever happens, the chosen design for NZ will invariably be associated with "Brand Key" first and "Brand NZ" second. I predict sales of matches and cigarette lighters will spike up if things turn particularly toxic.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

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