We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

the union jack remains

New Zealanders vote to keep current flag in €15.7 million referendum

The country’s prime minister had backed an alternative design.

NEW ZEALAND HAS voted to keep to keep its current flag, preliminary results released in the last hour show.

A proposal to ditch Britain’s Union Jack from the flag was rejected by 56.61% of voters in referendum, while 43.16% backed the alternative design, a silver fern on a black-and-blue background.

Prime Minister John Key had led the push for change, saying the existing flag is a colonial relic that bears too strong a resemblance to Australia’s flag.

He had previously nominated the fern design as his favourite alternative, describing it as an instantly recognisable symbol of New Zealand.

The proposed flag beat four other options in a preliminary referendum last December.


After today’s referendum result, Key encouraged New Zealanders to “embrace [the current flag] and, more importantly, be proud of it”.

The referendum was the culmination of an 18-month debate costing €15.7 million, including the preliminary vote to choose the preferred alternative flag.

Additional reporting by AFP

Read: New Zealand has narrowed its choices for a new flag to one

Read: New Zealand could have chosen itself a pretty crazy flag design

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.