I've been having a healthy 'debate' with Hamish Keith over on twitter if you're keen to see what he thinks of this whole debacle.
But really what it comes down to, is that as New Zealanders we're visually illiterate, David Walker has a great post on the Designers Institute website here:
I know the Designers Institute is going to start voicing its opinion more often in these debates. A design process is not as 'easy' as some might think it is. Hell, I've been doing it for 10 years, and it's still pretty tricky.
And another thing – as has already been mentioned in regards to the truly awful Auckland 'A' identity, and the debatable Telecom rebrand – where design goes wrong is along the decision making process. Design is a two way street, sometimes the designer fails, sometimes the client does. Don't make the design profession the villian all the time – as I know for a fact great ideas end in the bin because the client doesn't like it. Thats fine, it's their project. We are employed to make recommendations that we think will benefit their operation. We can only do our best.