Official New Zealand flag referendum results confirm current design as winner
The official flag results have been released, and there are no surprises.
The British ensign proved to be the victor with no real change in votes from the preliminary results: 1,208,702 (56.6 per cent) voted for the current flag and 921,876 (43.2%) voted for the silver fern contender.
The total votes received were 2,140,895 - but about 10,000 of those were either invalid or it was unclear which flag the voter had selected.
Turnout for the referendum was at 67.78 per cent of the total number of people on the electoral roll as at 3 March - about 3.1 million Kiwis.
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A total of of 1,200,003 people (56.6 per cent) voted to retain the ensign, with 915,008 (43.2 per cent) in favour of the silver fern design.
Some 8,000 more votes were counted since then in favour of sticking with the current flag, and about 6,000 for the new design.
The two flag referendums cost the taxpayer $26 million.
The first referendum whittled the choices down to four but this time around more people exercised their right to vote.
Voter turnout first time around was 48.78 per cent, with a total of 1,546,734 votes cast. This included 149,747 informal votes and 3372 invalid votes.
Flag Consideration Panel chair John Burrows said the country was lucky to have had a democratic and inclusive process to think about.
"Kiwis have had an opportunity to really consider what our flag means, what it represents to them, and for the first time in history, choose a flag," he said.
43,000 people shared what they stood for on the flag panel's online board, over 6,000 people visited the public seminars and information stands, and more than 10,000 flag designs were submitted.
Many critics have been vocal about the politicisation of the referendum process.
Prime Minister John Key has been calling for a flag change since the choice was put to the public.
However, Opposition leader Andrew Little says the time to decide on a change of flag will happen when New Zealand decides whether it wants to become a republic.