Knowledge is Power

Te Matauranga ko te Kaha


How To Vote To Keep The Flag

Bryan Bruce

If you want to keep our current flag , as I do, here are my thoughts.


There will be two referenda. The first, between 20 November and 11 December 2015 will ask "If the New Zealand flag changes, which flag would you prefer?"

The second, in March 2016, will ask people to choose between the most preferred option from the first referendum and the current flag.

To be eligible to vote you must be on the roll.

You can check that out here:


1, There has been some conspiracy theory nonsense on Facebook that the government has to change the flag in order to sign the TPPA. This is rubbish.

2, The expensive and manipulative process of the two referendums is of great concern.

The latest poll shows that around 64% do not want a flag change.

Of the alternative designs 35% of us want the white fern with the red and blue background , 18% want the Peak flag and the white Koru on the black background is the least popular.

However if you want a fern design ( as the Prime Minister does) the odds are stacked in favour of a fern design alternative because if you choose one fern design as your first choice then you are likely to choose fern designs as your second and third choice. 

So what is the best strategy if you want to keep the current flag design?


1. You could ignore the first referendum, but after reviewing the process, that's not, in my view, the best way to keep our current flag

2. You go take Winston Peters' advice and write Keep Our Flag on the first ballot paper. That might make you feel a bit better but it would simply make your vote "Informal" so it wouldn't count and  again, in my view it's not the best strategy.

So here's what I think.

3. Vote strategically .

As one of the flags will come up against our current flag  so choose the  least popular of the  alternative designs - the white  Koru on the black background and record no other preference -  so it gets to come up against our current flag in the final referendum in  March next year.


Want to join the discussion?


Who is Bryan Bruce?

Bryan Bruce is an award winning documentary maker, and best selling author. Born in Scotland in 1948, his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1956. He grew up in Christchurch and attended the University of Canterbury where he graduated with an M.A.[1] in Sociology and Philosophy and Christchurch Teacher’s College where he earned a Diploma in Teaching.

Bryan is best known for his work on 'The Investigator' documentary series, 'Inside Child Poverty' and 'Mind The Gap'.