Flag debate an opportunity to develop voting system

Last updated 14:26 22/09/2015

Using paper votes for elections and referendums like the upcoming flag one seems archaic, says Dennis Fong.

Final five New Zealand flags: Which is your favourite?

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Which is your favourite flag?

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For a long time I've harnessed thoughts around a system that is connected to every New Zealander, and it seems completely archaic that the flag referendum be done by paper.

I say this referendum be about information systems that streamline this country in areas such as censuses, elections and referendums.

To date, the flag consultation with the public has been a complete farce, and the fact that a panel is culling options and leaving you with their view of a selection, likened to a pick and mix, seems ridiculous.

We need to adopt the kaizen method in constantly improving the flag designs we have until we are left with something epic.

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New Zealand is screaming out about how bad the final four designs are and I don't blame them. For starters, the Kyle Lockwood blue/black flag has the colours around the wrong way around, leaving blue (UK) the majority colour.

We need to keep going, we are by no way there yet. We've found the base ingredients but the implementation is far from perfect.

Through the use of information systems, decisions such as whether to feature a koro or fern, and the colours most identifiably New Zealand can be decided.

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Moving on from the flag and on to the system, you could manage expensive manual-based surveys, such as elections and the census, as well as referendums on contentious issues, really moving forward in the realm of eDemocracy.

It's an opportunity, but it has to happen pronto. The flag tangent has been a failure and I'm actually embarrassed with what has come out at a $26million price tag.

At least by developing a system there is a tangible outcome.

READ MORE: Full coverage of the flag debate     

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