New flag designs disappoint

Unimpressed with the new flag proposals (clockwise from top left): Jemma Hippolite, Liam Stretch, Katie Harris, Jess Gibson
Stacy Squires

Unimpressed with the new flag proposals (clockwise from top left): Jemma Hippolite, Liam Stretch, Katie Harris, Jess Gibson

Designs vying to replace to the New Zealand flag have been criticised for being uninspiring and lacking variety.

The list of 40 possible future flags chosen from more than 10,000 public submissions was released on Monday. Critics say the selections lack diversity, vision and imagination.

Illustrator Toby Morris said the range of options offered was disappointing and "surprisingly narrow".

"They say there are 40 designs but actually there are only four or five main ideas there that you see repeated in various colour combinations."

These flags have been selected by the flag consideration panel as part of the design review process.

These flags have been selected by the flag consideration panel as part of the design review process.

Otago Polytech design lecturer Matthew Galloway said while there were some good options, the shortlist lacked range.

"There's a clear lack of editing," he said

"If you're going to choose 40 flags, why is there just this massive sea of ferns?"

Of the 40 listed flag designs, 27 feature the silver fern or koru design. A number of the flags were by the same designers, with nine in total from Sven Baker and Kyle Lockwood.

Morris and Galloway were disappointed there were no designers on the selection panel, with Morris comparing it to choosing a new national anthem without musicians.

"When there's not a designer in the room and you have a large group, you get creativity by committee, which tends to produce very safe ideas rather than great ideas. It becomes more about ticking things off a checklist than finding something that really blows people away," he said.

Others took to social media to chip in on the flag debate. 


No black in the new flag: John Key
* Flag referendum 'missing obvious question'
 Backlash overtakes the flag referendum website

A list of 40 possible alternative flags, chosen from 10,000

"The striking thing about the 40 flag designs is how many are complete non-starters. Like: everything with a silver fern," Russell Brown tweeted.

Ad Feedback

"These all look like logo options for a provincial freight company done by the owner's son," Matt Suddain said.

Student Liam Stretch was not impressed with the short-listed designs.

"I think there's too many and they're all a bit too similar. Like all the fern and stars designs," he said.

He did still support the idea of a new banner.

"I feel like we need to find our identity, I don't think we've found that yet – but I think a flag is a good step towards that. It should show what we are – a nod to the colonial history, and the natural environment and the people as a whole."

Galloway also said a good flag needed to go beyond branding and involve a deeper conversation about national identity.

"I think branding is a very hollow way of talking about identity – branding is the shallow stamping of a mark on top of something without considering all the underlying history and viewpoints that make up a place," he said.

"A true identity needs to be considered and talked about in quite challenging ways and that's being glossed over. To say it's too similar to Australia, should never be about other countries or about branding. It needs to be about where we are and who we are and where we've come from or where we want to go."

Morris said it was a "mistake" to think of the flag as a logo.

"It's more permanent and incumbent to our identity as a country than just a sticker on the front," he said.

Biology student Gemma Hippolite said she was in "two minds" about changing the flag. A new design could reflect New Zealand better than the old but would have to be a strong symbol that reflected the country's identity, she said.

Students Katie Harris and Jess Gibson said a new flag was unnecessary and the money could be better spent elsewhere.

"Why spend $25 million on a flag change, when we could be funding food in schools?" Harris asked.

Gibson said some of the new options did represent New Zealand better than the existing flag.

 - Stuff


Ad Feedback
special offers

Girls rule at graffiti festival

Auckland-based muralist Adore (aka Emily Gardener) prepares for three days of painting at the Graffiato festival in ...

Seven of the 10 graffiti artists this year are women.

Council should butt out on smoking

The Auckland Council has signed on to a government plan to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025.

OPINION: Damien Grant does not want local government telling him what he can do to his own body.

Battle over Cissy's estate video

Cissy Chen was known for her caring and strong-willed nature.

Cissy Chen's husband, who was acquitted of her murder, is heading back to court over a multimillion-dollar estate.

800 Words' Michelle Langstone and her best mate

'At one point Caroline would refer to my relationship problems with men I was dating as "The Troubles."'

Actress Michelle Langstone and director Caroline Bell-Booth met as Drama School students.


'Reluctant' motor-racing champion

Denny Hulme developed his love of cars as a youngster working at the one and only garage in Motueka.

Our only F1 champion, Denny Hulme, took his fame in his stride.

Cop car rammed 

The driver did not stop for flashing lights.

Teen driver refused to stop for close to 35km, leading police on a lengthy chase.

Assault victim critical

A scene guard is in place at the site where a 49-year-old Napier man was assaulted early on Sunday morning.

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 49-year-old man was assaulted on Sunday morning in Hastings.

'Change' for all NZ video

Labour's immigration policy survived coalition negotiations, Jacinda Ardern says.

Jacinda Ardern has revealed the new government's stance on migration, capitalism and "meaningful change".


Wanaka's rich, white growing pains

The growing Central Otago town of Wanaka, seen from Mt Roy.

Long-known as Queenstown's quieter cousin, Wanaka is experiencing huge growth. Can its charm survive the boom?

East frame re-jig looms

New Labour cabinet minister Megan Woods: "One of the things that we would do is have a look at that [east frame] ...

Christchurch's east frame anchor project could be reviewed under the new Labour-New Zealand First coalition.

'Devoted to caring for others' video

Jaimey Leigh Fellows, who was killed in a car crash overnight, has been remembered as a funny and genuine woman who ...

Mum of woman who died in crash near Burnham says her daughter was "funny, lovely".

Arson suspected at Chch school

A fire at a hall being built for Linwood North School was suspected to be arson.

Fire at Linwood North School "absolutely devastating", being treated as suspicious.


Boy exhibits trains at first show

Jonathan Siddapur, 11, spent two years building his first layout.

The 11 year old is the youngest exhibitor at the Model Railway Exhibition at Hamilton Gardens.

Life changed forever

Tayla Holmes had a look at what was left of her car once she got out of hospital.

Tayla Holmes survived the crash, but she'll never be the same.

SH5 still closed

Traffic was being diverted on State Highway 5 at 11am, more than three hours after the accident.

Logs spilled all over the road after a logging truck rolled.

Stalker's decade of cyber terror video

Alice, left, and Harriet Campbell, right, have been stalked obsessively over the internet by a man in the United States ...

Harriet Campbell was 14 when she attracted the attention of the teen who would terrorise her.


Thwarted by the Makos again video

Taranaki captain Charlie Ngatai is targeted by Tasman's Mitchell Hunt after scoring.

The Makos win a one-point thriller to set up an all-South Island final in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership.

Crash victims assessed

Emergency services are at the scene of a two car crash on the intersection of Main Rd North and Princess St in Waitara, ...

Police, fire and ambulance sent to crash scene in Waitara.

Here comes the model railway video

One of the trains pulls into the New Plymouth station at the New Plymouth Model Railway Club.

One of the tracks is a real life simulation of a train journey from New Plymouth to Palmerston North.

From trio of crashes to triathlons

Steve Webber and wife Louisa are off to the World Xterra Championships later this month.

He's broken his back, collarbone and his ribs twice, but now he's back on his bike at a world championship level.


Fireworks and your furry friends

Fireworks are great to look at, but the noise and lights can be terrifying for pets.

PAWS AND CLAWS: Guy Fawkes can be a terrifying experience for our pets.

Practical magic video

The tools of furniture maker Rowan Dicks' trade.

Rowan Dicks makes furniture that isn't just run-of-the-mill.

Men, money and moving on

Inbar Lavi plays serial con artist Maddie in Imposters.

OPINION: I have this vivid memory of Basil Fawlty angrily attacking his car with a tree branch.

Principal's full-time siren sounds

Retired Manchester St School principal Rex Wheeler has more time to spend reconditioning his 1937 Studebaker Gran ...

After 43 years in the district, principal Rex Wheeler has more time for tinkering.


'Extreme pain' after sting ray attack

A fisherman was taken by air ambulance to Nelson hospital after he reported being stung by a sting ray on Boulder Bank ...

Fisherman airlifted off Nelson's Boulder Bank after reports he was stung.

Tasman upset Taranaki

Tasman winger James Lowe shows plenty of commitment on defence against Taranaki's Declan O'Donnell.

A 25-point haul from Mitch Hunt secures Tasman a place in next week's final.

Canadian tramper found

Canadian national, Owen Thurston, was last seen near Mt Rintoul in Mt Richmond Forest Park.

Nelson police locate Canadian tramper.

Man seriously injured by machinery

A man aged "in his 40s" was trapped in timber yard machinery at a Tasman saw mill and flown to hospital with serious ...

Worker trapped in a timber machine at a Tasman saw mill for more than 30 minutes.


All access

NZ Access technician Tim Newton lowers himself into a wine tank during a training exercise.

The thought of confined spaces can drive some people up the walls. Not these guys.

Men 'fell like a pack of cards'

Four men were on the deck outside the Portage Resort Hotel's restaurant and bar in the Marlborough Sounds when a rail ...

A group of men fell off a Marlborough hotel deck "like a pack of cards" after a railing collapsed, a witness says.

Think outside the ball

Jemma Funnell shows off a kokedama ball, on display at Thomas's Department Store in Blenheim.

The latest gardening trend to come out of Japan, dubbed the "poor man's bonsai", is bouncing its way to Marlborough.

Cafe starts cup-swap scheme

SwappaCups are made from glass and non-toxic plastic.

BV Gourmet hopes to soon have a revolving door of glass coffee cups, with none going to waste.

South Canterbury

It's coming down

Owner of the Hydro Grand, Allan Booth.

Timaru's Hydro Grand Hotel could be reduced to rubble by the end of November.

Disease 'contained'

22092017 News Photo: TOM LEE/STUFF - Dairy Cow, Farming, Fonterra, Cattle. Milking, Dawn Morning.

Ministry for Primary Industries confident Mycoplasma bovis is contained.

'Cautious optimism'

Federated Farmers South Canterbury chairman Mark Adams.

Hopes and fears have been raised by prominent South Canterbury figures now our new Government has been revealed.

Farewell to commissioner

Fairlie Primary School commissioner Terri Johnstone has said farewell to the school.

Fairlie Primary School is in a state of self-governence once more.


Ex-convict in compo bid

Rex Haig, of Dunedin, is hoping to lodge a compensation claim with the Government.

Rex Haig's murder conviction was quashed, but his fight for justice is far from over.

Location scout's extraordinary life video

Dave Comer was considered New Zealand's first professional film location scout.

From Barry Crump commercials to Peter Jackson blockbusters, Dave Comer connected NZ's landscapes with its people.

Fire rages near Te Anau

A large scrub fire covering more than 1300 hectares started at Mt Prospect Station near Te Anau.

Six helicopters are helping fight an out-of-control Southland blaze that's spread to more than 1300 hectares.

Boy seriously hurt in crash

A rescue helicopter lands at the crash site.

The long weekend is off to a bad start in the South Island, with a three-vehicle crash leaving a boy with serious injuries.


Fire rages near Te Anau

A large scrub fire covering more than 1300 hectares started at Mt Prospect Station near Te Anau.

Six helicopters helping fight out-of-control blaze that's spread to more than 1300 hectares.

Fishing for all

Greg Sheppard, from Te Anau's, Trout Observatory releases a rainbow trout into McGregor's Pond near Te Anau, under the ...

Southerners are spoilt for choice this weekend in terms of things to do.

Southland fraudster sentenced

The Invercargill District Court.

A Southland fraudster who admitted 16 dishonesty charges has been sentenced to community detention.

A passion for the immortal Mustang

Wayne Fabish, of the Taranaki Mustang Club, spent four years building up his 67 Mustang, which he is showing for the ...

The 38th National Mustang Convention taking place in Invercargill this weekend.

Ad Feedback