New Zealand flag debate
The New Zealand flag debate is a periodic question over whether the national flag should be changed. For several decades, alternative designs have been proposed, with varying degrees of support. There is no consensus among proponents of changing the flag as to which design should replace the current one. Common criticisms of the existing form of the New Zealand flag are its similarity to the Australian flag and the inappropriateness of retaining the Union Jack in the design. A series of polls conducted since the 1970s have shown that a majority of New Zealanders prefer the current flag.
New Zealand's Government held a two-stage binding referendum on a flag change in 2015 and 2016. The four designs chosen as finalists faced criticism for their similarity and reliance on sporting iconography more closely associated with a subset of the population. The referendum was also criticised as an expensive distraction from more important political issues—especially because of the overt endorsement of two silver fern flag designs by Kyle Lockwood (one of which was the flag design at top right) by then-Prime Minister John Key—and for the amateur nature of the crowd-sourced entries. Voters chose to retain the current flag, by a vote of 56.6% to 43.1%. Turnout in the referendum was 67%—relatively low compared to the 74-80% turnout in general elections in the 21st century. The referendum, especially the alternative designs offered, was mocked by commentators in New Zealand and abroad, and John Key named it as one of his main regrets when he announced his retirement from politics in 2016.
Arguments for change
Proponents for change argue that:
- The national flag is very similar to the flag of Australia and the two are often confused. While this is not unique among world flags, it is exacerbated by Australia and New Zealand's close ties and geographic proximity. For instance, in 1984 the Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke was greeted by New Zealand flags when visiting Ottawa, and the former New Zealand prime minister John Key says he has been seated under the Australian flag in several international meetings.
- As a derivative of the British Blue Ensign, it does not represent New Zealand's current status as an independent, sovereign nation. Instead it alludes to New Zealand being a settler colony of the United Kingdom, which is anachronistic. The flag debate is sometimes connected with republicanism in New Zealand (i.e. replacing the 'British' monarch with a New Zealand head of state).
- The national flag exclusively acknowledges those of British heritage whilst ignoring New Zealand's Māori population and other ethnic groups. Some have called this inappropriate because the Treaty of Waitangi and Māori heritage are significant parts of New Zealand's history, and because New Zealand is a multi-ethnic society with increasingly diverse demographics. For example, the 1961 census reported that European New Zealanders made up 92% of the population, overwhelmingly descendants of Anglo-Celtic settlers. However, by the 2018 census the proportion of those identifying with any European ethnic background had dropped to 70.2%, and included a greater diversity of ethnic origins in Europe; in Auckland, Europeans (Pākehā) make up as few as 59.3% of the population.
Arguments against change
Opponents to change argue that:
- The financial cost of a country changing its national flag outweighs any advantages.
- The national flag has not been changed for many years (it has "stood the test of time"). Many New Zealanders feel attached to the flag, because they grew up with it and because it has become part of the country's history; these events are what give the flag its symbolic and emotional value rather than the intrinsic design itself. For example, all poll results from 2014 show that a large majority of the public were opposed to changing the flag or at least did not see it as a pressing issue (see § Opinion polling below).
- The flag is already representative of New Zealand. The Union Jack in the flag represents New Zealand's strong past and present ties to the United Kingdom and its history as a part of the British Empire, and the Southern Cross represents its location in the South Pacific.
- Generations of young men from New Zealand who were drafted into the armies of New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth have fought and died under the Union Jack or the current flag. Removing the Union Jack from the flag would be tantamount to disrespecting the efforts and sacrifice of these soldiers. The first time the current flag was officially flown in battle was from HMS Achilles during the Battle of the River Plate in 1939; however, the New Zealand national Blue Ensign flag was flown at Quinn's Post during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915. Rhys Jones, former chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, noted that the flag had already been changed during New Zealand's history, and a salient legacy of the Gallipoli campaign is representational of the nation's independent identity.
History of debate
World War II
Debate on keeping or changing the New Zealand Flag started before May 1973, when a remit to change the flag, declare New Zealand a republic, and change the national anthem (then only "God Save the Queen") was voted down by the Labour Party at their national conference. At this time, proposals for changing the flag were typically linked with republicanism.
In November 1979, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Allan Highet, suggested that the design of the flag should be changed, and sought an artist to design a new flag with a silver fern on the fly. The proposal attracted little support.
The New Zealand Listener magazine held a flag design contest in 1989, attracting nearly 600 entries. Out of the seven semi-finalists, which included the national flag and the United Tribes Flag, the national flag won with a minority vote of 45.6%.
In February 1992, the former Minister of Māori Affairs, Matiu Rata, called for a flag change "to re-establish our national identity".
In 1998, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley backed Cultural Affairs Minister Marie Hasler's call for the flag to be changed. Shipley, along with the New Zealand Tourism Board, supported the quasi-national silver fern flag, by using a white silver fern on a black background, along the lines of the Canadian Maple Leaf flag.
Both of these events were met with opposition from the Returned Services' Association.
In 2004, the NZ Flag.com Trust was founded by businessman Lloyd Morrison with the aim of bringing about a non-binding referendum on the subject. Under New Zealand law, a referendum may be held on any issue if 10% of electors sign a petition which is presented to Parliament. The Trust launched their petition for such a referendum in 2005. Their campaign used a stylised silver fern flag designed by Cameron Sanders.
In response to the petition, the New Zealand Flag Institute was founded to oppose the referendum campaign and promote the current flag, as well as to offer a more scholarly view of the flag. The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association (RNZRSA), the New Zealand organisation for war veterans, did not openly back the current flag at its annual conference, passing a remit that "It is the view of RNZRSA that any change to the New Zealand Flag should be solely the prerogative of the people of New Zealand as determined by a substantial majority of electors in a referendum. It is also the association's view that this matter should be taken out of the political arena."
The petition attracted 100,000 signatures out of the required approximately 270,000 and was withdrawn in July 2005, well before the general election in September. The NZ Flag.com Trust cited public apathy to change as the main reason for withdrawing the petition.
In January 2014, Prime Minister John Key floated the idea of a referendum on a new flag at the 2014 general election. The proposal was met with mixed response. In March, Key announced that, should the National government be re-elected for a third term, the government would hold a nationwide referendum within the next three years asking whether or not to change the flag design. Following National's re-election later that year, the details of the referendum were announced.
Shortly after the referendum announcement, party leaders reviewed draft legislation and selected candidates for a Flag Consideration Panel. The purpose of this group was to publicise the process, seek flag submissions and suggestions from the public, and decide on a final shortlist of options. Open consultation and design solicitation garnered 10,292 design suggestions from the public, later reduced to a longlist of 40 designs and then a shortlist of 4 designs to contend in the first referendum.
The first referendum took place between 20 November and 11 December 2015 and asked, "If the New Zealand flag changes, which flag would you prefer?" Voters were presented with several options selected by the Flag Consideration Panel. The black, white, and blue silver fern flag by Kyle Lockwood advanced to the second referendum.
The second referendum took place between 3 and 24 March 2016 and asked voters to choose between the selected alternative (the black, white and blue silver fern flag) and the existing New Zealand flag. The final decision was to retain the current flag, by a vote of 56.6% to 43.1%.
Reception of the process and the official options were highly critical, with no great enthusiasm shown among the public. From an aggregation of analyses, the consensus was that the referendum was "a bewildering process that seems to have satisfied few". Political communications professor Claire Robinson labelled the debate an example of groupthink, writing: "I can't figure how the panel can rationalise drawing on old symbols as a way of celebrating us as progressive."
Prime Minister John Key said that he was disappointed by the decision to retain the current flag, while stating he was pleased that the country had a valuable discussion about what it stood for. The failure of the referendum resulted in a loss of political prestige for Key.
|Date||Conducted by||For change||Against change||Undecided||Notes|
|22-26 October 2020||Research New Zealand||19%||56%||26%||This online poll was conducted just after the 2020 general election, approximately four years after the national flag referendum. It did not reference any particular alternative design. Sample size was 1003 respondents and margin of error was 3.1%.|
|10–15 March 2016||UMR||35%||58%||7%||This poll was framed around the second referendum's "Silver Fern with Black, White and Blue" design as the alternative flag. National voters were more likely to vote for change than those affiliated with other political parties. Younger voters were most against change. Sample size was 750 and margin of error was 3.6%.|
|25–29 February 2016||UMR||32%||59%||9%||This poll was framed around the second referendum's "Silver Fern with Black, White and Blue" design as the alternative flag. National voters were more likely to vote for change than those affiliated with other political parties. Women were more likely to be against change than men. Sample was 750 eligible voters and margin of error was 3.6%.|
|February 2016||TV3/Reid Research||30%||70%||0%||16% of those "against change" were in support of change but did not support the proposed flag design of the second referendum.|
|January 2016||UMR||35%||65%||0%||This poll was conducted after the first referendum had been completed and the "Silver Fern with Black, White and Blue" design was selected as the alternative flag design for the second referendum. One in five were in favour of changing the national flag but disliked the proposed design of the second referendum and planned to vote against change. 80% of that group (i.e. 16% of the whole sample) saw the vote as a way to "send a message to John Key". Sample size was 750 and margin of error was 3.6%.|
|8 December 2015||HorizonPoll||34%||58%||7%||The poll identified "Silver Fern with Black, White and Blue" and "Silver Fern with Red, White and Blue" as the most popular designs out of the referendum shortlist. Sample size was 2075 and margin of error was 2.2%.|
|November 2015||TV3/Reid Research||28%||65%||7%||Sample size and margin of error unknown.|
|8–16 September 2015||Reid Research||25%||69%||6%||The question was asked specifically in relation to the referendum shortlist designs. Sample was 1000 eligible voters and margin of error was 3.1%.|
|14–24 August 2015||The New Zealand Herald||23%||53%||24%||This poll was conducted after the referendum shortlist had been revealed. Women were more likely to be against change (61%) compared to men (44%). Sample was 750 eligible voters and margin of error was 3.6%.|
|April 2015||The New Zealand Herald||25%||70%||5%||This poll was conducted after the flag referendum legislation passed in parliament and its details were finalised. 80% agreed that the referendums should first ask if the public wants a change before presenting other designs. When asked about specific design elements, a plurality of 45% preferred the silver fern, followed by the southern cross (18%). Sample was 750 eligible voters and margin of error was 3.6%.|
|September 2014||TVNZ||35%||65%||0%||Sample size was "almost 1000".|
|6–16 March 2014||The New Zealand Herald||40.6%||52.6%||6.8%||When asked about specific design elements, a plurality of 42.9% preferred the silver fern, followed by the koru. Resistance to change was higher amongst women, Aucklanders and those in the youngest and oldest age brackets. Sample was 750 eligible voters and margin of error was 3.5%.|
|February 2014||Colmar Brunton||28%||72%||0%||The poll also found that 85% wanted a change to be decided by the public rather than the government, and that only 2% thought that changing the flag was an important issue in the 2014 general election. Sample size unknown.|
|2012||University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington||29.5%||53.1%||17.4%||Support for a flag change was highest among Green Party voters (49% in favour) and lowest among National Party voters (26% in favour). Sample size was 12182.|
|January/February 2010||The New Zealand Herald||52.3%||44.4%||3.3%||When asked about specific design elements, a majority of 52.5% preferred the silver fern, followed by the kiwi (18%), koru (13%), southern cross (12.5%) and tiki (1%). Aucklanders and those in the youngest and oldest age brackets expressed significantly more resistance to change. Sample size was 600 and margin of error was 4%.|
|2009||The New Zealand Herald||25%||62%||13%||Sample size unknown.|
|2004||Colmar Brunton||42%||58%||0%||Sample size unknown.|
|August 1999||National Business Review||24%||64%||12%||When presented with the silver fern flag, the numbers changed to 33% supporting change and 60% against.|
|Date||Conducted by||For change||Neutral||Against change||Don't know/Refused||Notes|
|October 2015||University of Auckland||12%||27%||61%||0%||The 27% figure represents the response "depends on the design". Support for changing the flag was higher amongst males, Wellingtonians and those with higher income, education and right-wing political affiliation. The youngest and oldest age brackets were most against change. Sample size was 838.|
|September/October 2014||Research New Zealand||19%||37%||43%||1%||Younger respondents were significantly against change compared to older respondents, but no other differences existed between demographic groups (gender, income, location and ethnicity). Sample size was 1001.|
|March 2014||Research New Zealand||18%||43%||37%||2%||Sample size was 500.|
|February 2014||Research New Zealand||22%||39%||37%||1%||Sample size was 500.|
|August 2011||Research New Zealand||19%||30%||52%||1%||Sample size was 1252.|
|Date||Conducted by||Yes, change,
to the silver fern
but to something else
|No, we should not change||Don't know||Notes|
|February 2014||Fairfax Media/Ipsos||17.9%||23.7%||18.7%||38.6%||1.1%||Total 'change vote' was 41.6%. Sample size was 1018 and margin of error was 3.0%.|
Silver fern flag
- The coat of arms of New Zealand
- The artwork on the cover of the New Zealand passport
- The livery on aircraft operated by Air New Zealand
- The visual identity of several government bodies, including the logo of Immigration New Zealand
- The New Zealand one-dollar coin
- The Silver Ferns, New Zealand's national netball team
- The All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby team
- The Black Caps, New Zealand's national cricket team
- New Zealand Army Second Division military insignia
- New Zealand military insignia during the Second Boer War (1899–1902)
- All tombstones of fallen New Zealand soldiers maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission contain a silver fern symbol
- New Zealand athletes competing in the boycotted 1980 Moscow Olympics competed under the NZOC flag, which is the silver fern flag superimposed over the Olympic rings.
- The NZ Flag.com Trust in their 2005 campaign
The proposal of replacing the national flag of New Zealand with the silver fern flag has been supported by then-Cultural Affairs Minister Marie Hasler, then-Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and the New Zealand Tourism Board in 1998, and then-Prime Minister John Key in 2010. Key later changed his preference to Kyle Lockwood's Silver Fern (Red, White & Blue) design, due to the similarity of the silver fern flag with the Jihadist black flag, used by Islamic extremist groups such as ISIL. Amongst the public, polls have shown that the silver fern is the most preferred alternative design for a new national flag.
The New Zealand Flag Institute objects to the silver fern flag, describing it as the logo of some of New Zealand's national sporting teams, and accordingly, not representative of the nation itself. This design originated from the All Blacks. The New Zealand Rugby Union has attempted to copyright claim silver fern flags.
2015 referendum shortlist
On 1 September 2015, the Flag Consideration Panel announced the final four designs to be included in the first referendum. On 23 September, Prime Minister John Key confirmed the Red Peak flag would be added as a fifth option in the flag referendum after growing popular support for the design to be added to the referendum options.
|Alofi Kanter||Silver Fern (Black and White)||A variation of the silver fern flag which included the silver fern and the black and white colour scheme. This design uses counterchanging and the fern design from the New Zealand Government's Masterbrand logo. |
In the referendum, this design was ranked fourth out of the five shortlisted options.
|Kyle Lockwood||Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue)||The silver fern represents the growth of the nation and the Southern Cross represents the location of New Zealand in the antipodes. The blue represents New Zealand's clear atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean. The red represents the country's heritage and sacrifices made.
In the referendum, this design was ranked second out of the five shortlisted options. It was criticised on aesthetic grounds by Hamish Keith, Paul Henry and John Oliver. New Zealand Herald writer Karl Puschmann called it a design for those "sitting on the fence" who didn't want much change and the National Business Review labelled it "amateur" and "dated". Members of the public compared it unfavourably to Weet-Bix packaging, "Kiwi Party Ware" plastic plate packaging, the National Basketball Association logo, or a merger of the Labour and National party logos.
|Kyle Lockwood||Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue)||Variation of the above with black instead of red, and a different shade of blue. This general design was prime minister John Key's preferred proposal.
In the referendum, this design was ranked first out of the five shortlisted options. This flag received similar feedback to the red variation.
|Andrew Fyfe||Koru (Black)||Features a Māori koru pattern depicting an unfurling fern frond, traditionally representing new life, growth, strength and peace. In this flag it is meant to also resemble a wave, cloud and ram's horn.
In the referendum, this design was ranked fifth out of the five shortlisted options. When this design was revealed on the shortlist, the public immediately nicknamed it "Hypnoflag" via social media.
|Aaron Dustin||Red Peak||This design was inspired by the story of Rangi and Papa (a Māori creation myth) and the geography of New Zealand. It is reminiscent of tāniko patterns and tukutuku panelling.
In the referendum, this design was ranked third out of the five shortlisted options. This design was not initially on the official shortlist but a social media campaign to add this design became successful on 23 September 2015. The National Business Review noted that the design community generally preferred this design but it did not resonate with the public at large.
An assortment of historical designs, and formal and informal proposals:
|James Busby||1834||The United Tribes Flag was the national flag of New Zealand when it first declared independence in 1835, until the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.|
|Clark Titman||1967||A simple proposal of a tricolour (red white and blue)|
|D.A. Bale||Early 1980s||Blue with a double koru on a broad white vertical band. The double koru was established as the logo of Air New Zealand in 1973.|
|Friedensreich Hundertwasser||1983||The koru flag represents an uncurling fern frond in the form of a stylised koru, a traditional Māori carving pattern. This flag is occasionally seen around the country.|
|John Ansell, Kenneth Wang, Grant McLachlan||1986, 2015||The Black & Silver flag is based on a stylized version of the original silver ferns used in the emblems of the military and sports representative teams of the 1880s. John Ansell's silver fern flag designs won him a Colenso Scholarship to New York in 1986 and in 1990 came second out of 600 alternative flag designs in The Listener contest to mark New Zealand's sesquicentennial.|
|James Dignan||2002||This proposal was displayed in the New Zealand Herald on 9 May 2002, at the time of the centenary of the current flag. It combines elements from the national flag, the Tino rangatiratanga flag and the silver fern flag. This combination looks to links with both the United Kingdom and Polynesia.|
|Helen Clark||2007||An informal proposal by Prime Minister Helen Clark. She said that deleting the Union Jack from the New Zealand flag was a possibility if people wanted to redesign the flag, leaving it as a "rather attractive Southern Cross."|
|James Bowman||2015||The Koru Fern combines two iconic New Zealand symbols: the silver fern and the koru. It was one design that helped stimulate debate prior to official submissions and was submitted to the Flag Consideration Panel as an alternative design for the flag.|
|Lucy Gray||2015||A submission to the Flag Consideration Panel, the Laser Kiwi flag features a silver fern and a kiwi shooting a laser beam from its eyes. The flag became a large social media phenomenon, and was used in comedy routines by comedians discussing the flag referendum and New Zealand in general, such as John Oliver.|
|Studio Alexander (Grant Alexander, Alice Murray, Thomas Lawlor, Jared McDowell)||2015||The Wā kāinga/Home flag won the $20,000 top prize in the Morgan Foundation's competition.|
Each coloured triangle represents a culture. They coexist around the white space.
- "'Calls for a new flag'". NZ History Online. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- New Zealand Government (29 October 2014). "First steps taken towards flag referendum". beehive.govt.nz. New Zealand Government. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Puschmann, Karl (1 September 2015). "Flag designs a national disgrace". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Little, Andrew (24 March 2016). "Andrew Little: John Key's flag has cost New Zealand $26m". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- "New Zealand votes to keep flag in referendum". BBC News. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- "Five reasons the flag-change campaign failed". The National Business Review. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- "General Elections 1853–2017 – Dates and Turnout". Elections. NZ Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- "NZ flag debate mocked by US show". Stuff.co.nz. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Davison, Isaac (4 December 2016). "John Key resigns as Prime Minister of New Zealand, cites family reasons for leaving". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Sweeney, Brian (February 2004). "Eight Reasons To Change The New Zealand Flag". NZ Flag.com Trust. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- "Monarchists Prove Case for Australian Flag Change". Ausflag.
- "How about a bungee-jumping sheep? John Oliver mocks NZ flag". New Zealand Herald. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "New Zealand Heritage and Identity – Flags". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- King, David (29 October 2014). Regulatory Impact Statement: Considering Changing the New Zealand Flag (PDF) (Report). New Zealand Ministry of Justice. pp. 2–3.
- Hubbard, Anthony (14 January 2018). "Monarchy or republic? The debate for NZ's head of state rages on". Stuff.co.nz. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- Jones, Nicolas (28 March 2016). "Bill English: Flag vote shows republic a ways off". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- Moody, John (2001). "Past Attempts to Change New Zealand's Flag" (PDF). The XIX International Congress of Vexillology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011.
- "Have Your Say". NZ Flag.com Trust. February 2004. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- Collins, Simon (5 October 2010). "Ethnic mix changing rapidly". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "New Zealand's population reflects growing diversity". www.stats.govt.nz. Statistics New Zealand. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
- Statistics New Zealand (15 April 2014). 2013 Census QuickStats about culture and identity. Wellington, New Zealand: Statistics New Zealand. ISBN 978-0-478-40890-4. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Garner, Duncan (9 May 2015). "Duncan Garner: Flag this irrelevant debate and spend $26m on hungry kids". The Dominion Post. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- Thorne, Dylan (10 March 2015). "Editorial: $25.7m flag is wrong legacy". Bay of Plenty Times. NZME Publishing Limited. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "New Zealand considers options to replace its flag". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- Hunt, Elle (10 August 2015). "New Zealand's prime minister John Key wants a new flag. Does anybody else?". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- Chapman, Paul (28 January 2005). "Campaigners want British link removed from New Zealand flag". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
- "What is the importance of a Flag". New Zealand Flag Institute. 2008. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2021.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "The "Diggers' " flag, the New Zealand Ensign, flying at the masthead of Achilles during the naval battle". Auckland Star. 23 February 1940. p. Page 9. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "NZ History – Quinn's Post Flag". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Flag Consideration Panel answers the six top questions". scoop.co.nz. Scoop Media. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- "New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill — First Reading". parliament.nz. New Zealand Parliament. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "New Zealand – Proposals for a new flag". Flags of the World. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- Annual Conference 2005: Remits. Royal New Zealand Returned Services' Association. 16 July 2005.
- "Editorial: Fervour for the flag carries the day". New Zealand Herald. 4 August 2005. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- "Bill advocates consultative debate on new flag". Scoop.co.nz. 5 August 2010.
- Davison, Isaac (30 January 2014). "Key suggests vote on New Zealand flag". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "Flag change in the wind". Radio New Zealand News. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Beech, James (4 February 2014). "Opinions vary on changing NZ flag". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Chapman, Paul (11 March 2014). "New Zealand to hold referendum on changing to 'post-colonial' flag". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Process at a glance" (PDF). beehive.govt.nz. New Zealand Government. 29 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Jones, Nicholas (9 March 2015). "Govt budget allows almost $500,000 for a high-profile panel out of $25m cost to decide national symbol". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Referendums on the New Zealand flag". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 21 December 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Flag design gallery". govt.nz. New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill, Part 2, Subpart 4, Clause 20". legislation.govt.nz. Parliamentary Counsel Office. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- Edwards, Bryce (29 March 2016). "Political roundup: The 20 best analyses of the flag referendum result". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- Trevett, Claire (18 July 2015). "Flag show at half mast". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- Nippert, Matt (13 November 2015). "Flag process: Was it a spin job?". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Price, Sam (29 December 2015). "Widespread abstention in New Zealand flag referendum". World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Morris, Toby (25 March 2016). "Flag failure: Where did it go wrong?". rnz.co.nz. Radio NZ. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- Robinson, Claire (19 August 2015). "Claire Robinson: Flag options an exercise in group think". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- Hunt, Elle (25 March 2016). "Ten months, 10,000 designs, no new flag for New Zealand. What was that about?". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- "Our National Identity" (PDF). Research New Zealand. Research New Zealand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "NZ Flag Referendum Update, March 2016, Quantitative Survey" (PDF). Scoop.co.nz. UMR Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- "Current flag still preferred – poll". The New Zealand Herald. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- "Poll indicates flag unlikely to change – National – NZ Herald News".
- "Close voting result likely between the colourful silver fern flags". HorizonPoll. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016.
- "New Zealand Flag referendum result: Voters choose Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue)". Sunday Morning Herald. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- Trevett, Claire (20 September 2015). "Most Kiwis don't want flag change – poll". www.nzherald.co.nz. The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "NZ flag referendum: The final four designs revealed". www.nzherald.co.nz. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Trevett, Claire (1 May 2015). "Flag Poll Message Clear: Leave it Alone". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Two-thirds against changing flag, poll shows". tvnz.co.nz. Television New Zealand. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Davison, Isaac (19 March 2014). "Kiwis Back Union Jack Flag". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- "Three quarters of Kiwis against changing flag – poll". tvnz.co.nz. Television New Zealand. 25 February 2014. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- "The Vote: The result". 3 News. 16 July 2013. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013.
- Sare, M. H.; Christiansen, S. J.; Matika, C. M.; Kapeli, S. A.; Lindsay, C.; Dutt, S. J.; Steiner-Fox, H. W.; Newton, H. J. (2016). "Attitudes toward changing the New Zealand flag in 2012" (PDF). University of Auckland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Cheng, Derek (12 February 2014). "Flag debate: NZers favour new design – survey". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Chapman, Paul (4 February 2010). "New Zealand debates dropping British flag from national ensign". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- Collins, Simon (23 October 2015). "New flag survey shows solid majority reject change". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- "Should New Zealand's National Flag Be Changed?" (PDF). www.researchnz.com. Research New Zealand. 5 November 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
- "Change of Flag". ipsos.co.nz. IPSOS. Archived from the original on 31 July 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "Coat of arms". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- Bywater, Thomas (29 August 2019). "New Zealand Passport potential design flaw a fern in travellers' side". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- Bradley, Grant (11 June 2013). "Air NZ flies the silver fern". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- "New Zealand Coinage Specifications". Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Silver Ferns". Netball New Zealand. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- Fitzgerald, Michael (6 June 2017). "The significance of the silver fern". tepapa.govt.nz. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- "Digger History: Badges of New Zealand". Diggerhistory.info. 9 November 1915. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- 1980 Moscow Olympics boycott. NZHistory.net.nz.
- "A New Flag". NZ Flag.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Flag debate: John Key favours silver fern". The New Zealand Herald. 8 February 2010.
- "Why the Flag Should Not Change". New Zealand Flag Institute. 2005. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- Barker, Fiona (20 June 2012). "New Zealand Identity". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Trevett, Claire (2 September 2015). "Hands off our silver fern: New Zealand Rugby Union warned off flag committee over its trademarked symbol". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
- Jones, Nicholas (1 September 2015). "NZ flag referendum: The final four designs revealed". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Flag referendum: Red Peak design to be added as fifth option – John Key". The New Zealand Herald. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- Various (1 September 2015). "Four alternatives" (PDF). govt.nz. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "New Zealand Masterbrand Guidelines and Specifications" (PDF). July 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue)". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Press & television coverage featuring our flag from NZ and around the world". Silverfernflag.co.nz. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- Lush, Martin (6 June 2014). "Winning design of new NZ flag contest slammed". radiolive.co.nz. Radio Live. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "Flag critiqued for similarities to political parties' logos". The New Zealand Herald. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Cooke, Henry; Fyers, Andy (1 September 2015). "What Twitter said about the final four New Zealand flag options". Stuff.co.nz. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Red Peak by Aaron Dustin". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "New Zealanders offered flag shortlist ask: can we have this one instead?". The Guardian. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Hundertwasser koru flag". Ministry of Culture and Heritage. 25 May 2011.
- Ansell, John (1 August 2015). "Flag debate is 'an opportunity for New Zealand'". Stuff.co.nz.
- "Flags of the World – Flag of New Zealand". Retrieved 25 May 2011.
- "James Dignan – flag articles". Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
- "Clark stimulates flag debate with call to rub out Union Jack". New Zealand Herald. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
- "Flag signals". North & South. April 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Symbol solution". New Zealand Listener. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Koru Fern". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
- "Laser Kiwi flag | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". nzhistory.govt.nz. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "Morgan Foundation Flag Competition Judging Results". designmyflag.nz. Morgan Foundation. 24 July 2015. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Proposed national flags of New Zealand.|