Final result a win for Kyle Lockwood, but not for a new flag video

FAIRFAX MEDIA AUSTRALIA

After a $26 million referendum, the majority of Kiwis have decided not to change the current flag, though John Key admits he's "a little bit disappointed" in the result.

Kyle Lockwood is taking the flag referendum as a win, despite losing to the current flag.

The final tally, released on Wednesday afternoon, put Lockwood's silver fern flag at 43.2 per cent (921,876 votes), well behind the 56.6 per cent (1,208,702) for the current flag. 

 However, prior to the official count being released, Lockwood said having almost a million people vote for his design was amazing. 

Kyle Lockwood with his silver fern flag ahead of the final result of the flag referendum.
ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Kyle Lockwood with his silver fern flag ahead of the final result of the flag referendum.

"There were polls that came out saying it would only get 25 to 30 per cent. To get 43 per cent, I was quite ecstatic about it," he said.

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Stuff.co.nz

The vote is in and we have gone with the New Zealand flag, which has been the official New Zealand emblem since 1902.

"It got very close, closer than any one was expecting and it shows that there were a million people that wanted the conversation about changing the flag."

The budget for the process was $25.7 million and the final costs will be confirmed in May.

A handful of countries have changed their flag in recent decades, most notably South Africa in 1994 and Canada in 1965.

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Various national icons featured prominently among the 10,000-plus rejected flag designs, which have never been seen publicly before.

New Zealand's relationship with the United States was another common theme.

Swastikas were common, but Confederate flags less so.

Proof that laser kiwi was not as outlandish as many thought.

At least no-one could accuse this one of being dull.

The contrast between child poverty and the $26 million spent on the flag project popped up several times.

How we see ourselves?

Lord of the Rings was a popular theme.

"It's quite an interesting glimpse into the New Zealand psyche," said Ben Moore, who lodged the Official Information Act request to see the rejected designs.

Variations on the tino rangatiratanga flag abounded.

The silver fern was a popular choice, but this one was never going to fly.

Another product of a fruitful imagination.

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In the past 18 months many have criticised the process, and arguments have become heated and often personal. 

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That hadn't affected Lockwood, though. He said he had enjoyed the process and didn't take any notice of personal criticism.

"Obviously there have been all sorts of reasons people have been talking about it and criticising the design, but all of that is subjective.

"People have been passionate about it - the silver fern and the existing flag - we've had a good discussion on it."

The design was born when Lockwood doodled it in a university class in 2000. In September, two versions of that doodle were short-listed for the first referendum, with the blue-black one coming out top.

After the final results the Crown will relinquish the copyright of the silver fern flag back to Lockwood. He hasn't received any money from the process or from the sale of his design on pins, bumper stickers or as a flag.

However, flag consideration project spokeswoman Suzanne Stephenson said any one now wanting to reproduce any of the flags submitted during the process would need to be in touch with the designers and it was up to them what arrangements were made.

So did he vote for it? 

He was an old-fashioned kind of guy, he said. Not the kind to vote and tell. But in this case he makes an exception - of course he voted for his design.

"It would have been funny if I didn't!"

 - Stuff

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