The final winning flag is the blue and black silver fern. Although this is the winning flag option it may not be selected for use. New Zealander’s will vote in March as to if they will begin using the winning design or continue to use the established flag.
Kyle Lockwood is the lucky winning designer and now has a painstaking wait to discover if his flag will become the new register flag of New Zealand. Kyle’s design received 552,827 first preference votes, which was impressively 50.53% of all the votes placed.
1,527,042 votes were received in total, including 148,022 informal votes, where the voter did not clearly indicate a preference, and 2,476 invalid votes. Turnout was an underwhelming 48.16% of the total number of enrolments at 19 November. This is likely to be a result of the mixed reaction New Zealander’s have had with the entire campaign. Largely, as the campaign to change the flag has by some been deemed a waste of public money, time and effort. A point which I think most of us could agree with on varying degrees.
Prof John Burrows, a former member of the New Zealand law commission and the chair of the 12-person Flag consideration panel, said that there was a slim margin between the two top-ranked flags.
“We’ve currently got a very close race between the two frontrunners. The red one was ahead on the first-preference [votes], but the black one’s overtaken on the second. When we reach the final result, they might switch back again, so it’s too close to call.” He said it was “fairly clear” that the final preferred alternative design would be one by Lockwood.
The attempt to change the flag, led by the Prime Minister, John Key, began seven months ago when the government put out a message for alternative designs. Nearly 10,300 were submitted for consideration by the 12-person panel. In September, the panel announced its shortlist of four designs. The final twist was the addition of a fifth flag, Red Peak in response to public pressure, sparked in part by disappointment with the shortlisted designs.