If New Zealand decides to change its flag next year, it will most likely be to a design incorporating a silver fern with black, white and blue background.
The country’s electoral commission announced on Friday that Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue) by Kyle Lockwood was the “preferred alternative” to the current flag from preliminary results.
The design received 552,827 first-preference votes, and 50.53% of the total received, suggesting it will likely be pitted against New Zealand’s current flag in a second referendum in March next year.
It finished just ahead of Lockwood’s second shortlisted design, Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue), which received 574,364 first-preference votes and 49.47% – making the margin between the two top-ranked flags less than one percentage point. Aaron Dustin’s Red Peak, a late addition to the shortlist, came in third, some way ahead of Alofi Kanter’s Silver Fern (Black and White). Andrew Fyfe’s Koru, also known as the “hypnoflag”, was the least favourite, with just under 52,000 first-preference votes.
1,527,042 votes were received in total, including 148,022 informal votes, where the voter did not clearly indicate a first preference, and 2,476 invalid votes. Turnout was 48.16% of the total number of enrolments at 19 November. The result is only preliminary. All papers postmarked or date stamped before Friday 11 December that arrive before Tuesday will be counted. The official, binding result will be announced that afternoon.
NEO Monitoring Report