Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Not yet standing upright

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  • Alfie,

    RNZ has published a DIY flag kit which includes lamingtons, gumboots and even a laser kiwi. There are even korus and stars aplenty.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • simon g,

    Add usual caveats about polls, but ... Colmar Brunton (TVNZ) find 66 - 28 against change. That's a rugby thumping.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Refugees? Lyndon Hood’s depictions are very poignant, yours could be too.After all John Key finds the flag more important.

    It’d be interesting to juxtapose the free-spirited bikini with the keffiyeh or hijab which are commonly associated with strait-lacedness (or solidarity with Palestine). Maybe there’s some extra justification, to show the sorts of injuries sustained in the process of escaping Assad.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to simon g,

    66 – 28 against change

    ... to the four proposed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Jane Bowron at Stuff has her opinion on the flag debate

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole,

    I missed this one at the time of publication, but boy is it looking prescient now. One hopes the headline is indicative.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

  • Alfie,

    Gareth Morgan also has strong feelings about the $27m sham flag selection process John Key is overseeing.

    The Flag Consideration Panel's final four is outstanding for offering virtually no diversity of choice for the voting public and that is a tragedy, one the group should have seen would make them the target of ridicule. If the Prime Minister's instructions to the panel had been "pick me the four best silver fern-based designs that you think the public would go for" I doubt whether the Panel's short list would have been any different to that they came up with.

    Therein lies the tragedy - the public have due cause to think that this has been a jack up, that the Panel, whether consciously or otherwise it doesn't matter, has decided to come up with exactly what the Prime Minister wants rather than facilitating a process providing the public genuine choice. As such it has undermined the whole idea of a democratic approach. "Choose which one you like as long as it's one of the Prime Minster's silver fern favourites".

    "Sycophantic" is not too strong a depiction of the approach.

    Incidentally, I hadn't seen the winner of Morgan's flag design competetion until today, and it looks surprisingly similar to the Red Peak design favoured by many people -- only two colours have been transposed. At least he used professional designers and typographers on his judging panel. Gareth says he'll support Red Peak.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Daman Saini, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I like your statement about how the flags have been digitally designed, I believe a flag should not be digitally designed because it’s not original, in my opinion a digitally designed flag portrays laziness. If the prime minister wants to change the flag because it has no identity and people do not respond well to it, then designing it digitally really serves no point. On the other hand, a hand crafted design shows original creativity, it shows hard work which is an important factor if New Zealand wants to be seen as a hard working country which thrives off adversity. A flag represents an idea, or an ideal. To highlight this idea, it’s important to understand that a flag is not an object to be honoured for itself, it is honoured for what it represents. I believe we should not focus on the idea of our flag being aesthetic just for the sake of it, changing the flag could make other countries perceive us as a nation who does not embrace its original symbols. We’ve looked at why not to change the flag but do you think why we should? What is your or anyone’s take on this. I'm open to any suggestions or feedback which can further mine or other peoples ideas

    Since Sep 2015 • 31 posts Report

  • Ryan Postlethwaite,

    Being a third year university student in the field of communications has opened my eyes up to the reasons surrounding the flag debate, and really made me think why it has been so abruptly interwoven into New Zealand’s main media agendas. As a student I wanted to discuss the timing of the flag release and how its distracting media nature has shifted our attention away from key issues. I believe being aware of distraction has halted any desires I had of picking a new and improved flag.

    I personally thought of our flag as a true symbol of New Zealand’s culture and always considered from a very young age that our flag was a sacred item. The debate around changing or not changing in combination with the barrage of designs swallowed up and spewed across our main media has tuned me out of wanting to actively participate in this debate altogether.

    Without astute journalists like John Campbell to debate this issue in the open it has become nothing more than a media circus and a key distraction in order to keep the TPPA details under lock and key. The moment undergraduate education gave me the capabilities of understanding that there was more to this debate than meets the eye it really swayed my thinking from do I want to change the flag? And firmly into the question of is this change really about what we want as the New Zealand public? '

    The designs presented in our final four choices for the new flag are in my opinion an assortment of options in which we really had no say in choosing from the get go, and this is why I want our flag to remain the same. If this referendum ends with our current flag keeping its position, in my mind it will be a victory for the New Zealand public, whilst at the same time leaving us with a lasting sour taste in our mouths as to why all this fuss consumed our lives for the majority of this year in the first place.

    Have we had the insight and input we needed as hard working members of this country to comprehensively make the decision that we want the flag changed? And that we as a nation are clear on which designs we want? In my opinion I think the debate served the purpose it was created for, keeping our heads turned the other way while real issues that have major impacts on all New Zealanders are being addressed behind closed doors.

    I would appreciate your opinion on this, as a university student in his final year I appreciate all comments and ideas you would be willing to add to this discussion.

    Unitec Mt Albert • Since Sep 2015 • 5 posts Report

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Ryan Postlethwaite,

    According to this opinion - you must be a part of the "liberal punditry" and you are displaying the characteristics of "adolescent nihilism";


    I had to laugh. Great alternative point of view if you're doing an essay on it :-).

    I'm with you, there is a sense of realpolitik in the whole consideration, its timing and methodology. But if there was any intention to divert attention away from other more pressing issues (TPPA included) - it hasn't necessarily worked anyway. In fact in many respects from the get-go it had the opposite effect, creating its own unique squabble over government priorities;


    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    There are two groups who will vote against any of the government's new flags: lefties who don't like Key, and conservatives who like the current flag. These two groups don't overlap much, and so it's fairly likely they'll form a plurality and reject change.

    If Key had been a bit smarter, he'd have shut up about his preferred choices, so that it isn't such a big defeat when the referendum votes for the status quo.

    What he should do, and I'm slightly loath to provide this good advice, is to scrap the current process and do this:
    - have an online STV vote for a fairly wide choice of flags, like the original longlist plus a few others
    - make the winner of that an alternate official flag with the current one, just like God of Nations is our alternate anthem.
    - which avoids the need for a second referendum

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic,

    If the flag change thing turns out to be a flop, the silver fern logo will probably be tarred with the brush of commercialistic vapidity for some time.

    After all, isn't a fern basically a maple leaf designed by committee?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Agreed. I think he has misjudged this, if he genuinely wants the flag to change, which I think he does. He has given flag change sympathetic people who don't like him a reason and an excuse to vote against something they'd otherwise be in favour of and this could have easily been avoided whilst still likely getting him what he wants.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,


    Red pique...
    too late for my 'Five Eyelets flag' to fly,
    I guess ...

    Strung up...
    Key is so mighty like a flag
    it's all in the way he
    swings in the wind
    & snaps to the gust
    but mostly it's the way he
    moistly hangs limply at the
    top of the proles polls
    wavering not waving

    Speaking on the Paul Henry show on Monday morning, Key guaranteed the flag, designed by Aaron Dustin, would not be a fifth option for New Zealand.
    "To accept any other flag we would have to change the law and we're not going back to Parliament to change the law," he said.

    ...yet he was happy to 'go back to Parliament to change the law' on pub opening hours for the rugby, mere days ago...

    the 4 'options' are not a selection of diverse choice
    just four options on one idea really - Hobson's Choice...
    3 ferns and a baby fern
    Red Peak is a 'different' choice

    that the 'panel' arrived at 3 iterations of the same idea
    is highly suspicious to me,
    talk about stacking the field to please the leader
    just what was their brief?

    they need to abort this process now
    the outcome will be a farce
    albeit yet another distracting one...


    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ryan Postlethwaite, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I understand that my view is very narrow with respect to this topic, and being a student my simple aim of this discussion is to grasp a better view of what this flag change really means for us as a nation.

    The reason for being so put off this flag referendum is simply because i believe its not their for us.

    I actually liked some of the designs people had created for the new flag, but my view point was stuck in stone in opposing this change.

    Am i taking these theories of media agenda setting, and the TPPA cover up to seriously? Are they halting me from seeing the real opportunity to change our national flag for the better?

    Would appreciate your comments :)

    Unitec Mt Albert • Since Sep 2015 • 5 posts Report

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    too late for my ‘Five Eyelets flag’ to fly

    You might like this one, too.

    installed the guerilla-style artwork around the large telephone pole on Takapuna Beach that marks the landing point of the Southern Cross Cable, which carries most of New Zealand’s internet data to and from the United States and Australia.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3895 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ryan Postlethwaite,

    Am i taking these theories of media agenda setting, and the TPPA cover up to seriously? Are they halting me from seeing the real opportunity to change our national flag for the better?

    I'm not Katherine but I think you are taking it seriously of which I thank you. It is serious. I don't want a flag change because I have a respect for the one I grew up with and I associate our history with that. I find this flag has many lives and stories attached to it and as long as we are part of the Commonwealth and also we used to be a British Colony, our acknowledgement of that with the Union Jack is appropriate. If we want to become a Republic, I see that being a chance to discuss whether we want a Flag change. We haven't even been asked yet if we want to change. That in itself is arse about tit to me with this divisive expensive fiasco. And, why is it that we do away with the historical significance? Our Flag is NZ in all it's glorious history. Why stamp that out?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Ryan Postlethwaite,

    Am i taking these theories of media agenda setting, and the TPPA cover up to seriously?

    It’s not the media setting the agenda, rather it is the government. I haven’t found the coverage by MSM on this one necessarily bias (plenty of different viewpoints have been reported on) and neither do I think the flag consideration has been over-reported at the expense of other pressing issues (such as the TPPA). And I don’t think that John Key necessarily put the initiative forward solely to distract us from TPPA matters.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Am i taking these theories of media agenda setting, and the TPPA cover up to seriously?

    It’s not the media setting the agenda, rather it is the government. I haven’t found the coverage by MSM on this one necessarily bias...

    Reckon you're right. There hasn't been the blunt pushing of an agenda on this one like we've seen with some other issues, though that may be because Key's enablers had become complacent about the need for a media Plan B.

    I'd be surprised if Ryan's media studies don't cover the theories relating to news values. As a minor example of such, here in Chch the Press appears to have at least one staff member on standby to deal with THE burning issue of the moment.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Mr Mark, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    "......and so it's fairly likely they'll form a plurality and reject change".

    Eh ?........ Plurality ?

    Surely there are just two choices in the second referendum (when we decide whether or not to "reject change" ). So a majority is needed, surely ?

    Although most polls (including the latest Colmar Brunton ) suggest a widespread mix of opposition and apathy towards change, it concerns me that the recent UMR had Lockwood's dog's dinner/monstrosities doing very well. Four of his Fern+Southern Cross designs were clearly far more popular than any of the other long-list candidates. Almost 60% of respondents chose one or other of those four Lockwoods as their first choice.

    It's easy, of course, to misinterpret the UMR poll, roughly half of those preferring one of the Lockwoods to other designs would vote to keep the current flag in Ref Two. But the results do suggest that if all those who
    (1) favour change and (2) like one or other of the various long-list Lockwoods agree to support the chosen version in Ref two - then it could be close.

    And, My God, it's gonna be embarrassing if we end up with those amateur, awkwardly-assembled contrivances.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report

  • Katharine Moody,

    The Flag Consideration Panel asked for the 'expert' advice of a Nike sportshoe designer who previously designed washing machines, writes Grant McLachlan.


    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Also,brought up in the House yesterday Jacinda Ardern pushed for more answers on who was in the panel and now David Fisher at Harold weighs in on the Flag Panel Wouldn't ya know it, Julie Christie pops up again!
    Jacinda also noted Maggie Barry is wearing the Flag National wants and it's on the front of her Office.
    Jacinda Ardern, Question 7 10/9

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment Attachment

    Flag flashbacks
    Movie stills from:
    Winston Pitas/Seagal in HypnoHair
    When Loki Met The Oil Tanker

    Proof dat de Debbil finds work for idle hands…
    …gisajob, then , gisajob…

    h/t Steven C
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Katharine Moody,

    What a mess :-).

    Might be a legal challenge over conflict of interest issues;


    And what design advice the panel did get - they look to have ignored;


    Such fun.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • Ryan Postlethwaite, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Yes i do see your point their, Key hasn't been forcing it down our throats as such, Instead simply using it to dance around the truth.

    Thank you for your input on this issue, it has become alot clearer to me now that the flag referendum although not being a TPPA cover up, has still drawn attention away from much larger issues.

    Hope to see our current flag remain in its fastened position for years to come!!!

    Unitec Mt Albert • Since Sep 2015 • 5 posts Report

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