Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Not yet standing upright

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  • Matthew Poole,

    One of the fern designs will win the first round of the public voting

    I bloody hope not. Insipid, the lot. I'm a big fan of the "Vote hypnoflag!" plan, and fully intend to promote it at every opportunity.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I wanted a new flag. But I don't want any of the final four. So I'll vote against them, in the hope that maybe in 20 years we'll get another crack at it, and a better option.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Good summation of how I feel too Russell. Part of me even suspects that the one koru-based design chosen was intentionally the most stark, to reduce its chances.

    Mr Slack pointed out another of the oddities of this whole mess yesterday on Twitter: this government invests millions in NZTE's 'Better by Design' programme to show businesses why design expertise matters; yet when it comes to our flag they left design expertise completely out of the conversation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I’m a big fan of the “Vote hypnoflag!” plan, and fully intend to promote it at every opportunity

    The alternative is the RSA’s "old man yells at cloud" plan to influence the process, which seems somewhat self-defeating. Voting hypnoflag fnord is probably the best way to help avoid any of the four winning (it helps that it’s the one of the four that I prefer, although I really wanted Wā kāinga).

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Bradford,

    'bleak clipart' is perfect.
    Although I've been suspicious of the whole exercise, I still want to vote for an alternative, because I don't like the current flag.
    But the options we've been given... who are these people? What are they scared of?
    (and yes -- with all the quite beautiful, simple Maori-referencing designs submitted, why did they choose one of the worst?)

    New Zealand • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Otis Frizzell's not being in the final 4 is a mystery to me.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to James Butler,

    The alternative is the RSA’s “old man yells at cloud” plan to influence the process, which seems somewhat self-defeating.

    All the more so since we don’t actually record spoiled ballots as anything other than “informal”. It’s a useless protest because it demonstrates nothing when reported as part of the final count.

    I really wanted Wā kāinga

    I've not actually paid very much attention to the various designs proposed, but that one is seriously classy. I like the explained symbolism, too.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to James Butler,

    Voting hypnoflag fnord is probably the best way to help avoid any of the four winning

    Yep. If the 'anti-change', the 'anti-fern', the 'I love te koru', the 'I don't like JK', and the 'I don't like any of them' interests voted together, hypnoflag will easily beat the fern vote, which is likely to be split between the sporting symbol and the colourful red-and-blue version.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    That I think is the Trevor Mallard suggestion? I'm a bit nervous about whether it will work in terms of a spoiler - as it actually participates in what has been a shocker of a process. It only 'works' in the event hypnoflag wins the first round and fails at the second vote.

    So I'm toying between that and Winston's Peters' spoil the first vote altogether - as that gets recognised in the voting as a protest about the whole shambles.

    Andrew Little's no vote at all option is really the worst - we have more than enough apathy to go around.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Ferndale: a Clip Art Nation…
    all four look digitally designed,
    there is no humanity to any of them…

    and how hard would it be to have a one step, two question referendum?

    <Picture of current flag:>
    Q1; Do you wish to change the current NZ flag?
    _ No. Thank you for your time.*
    _ Yes. Go to Q2

    Q2: Which of the following four would you like to replace the current flag.
    <pictures of the Ferndale Four>
    (Tick or circle one: A B C D )

    all you’d need would be over 50% of Q1 answers to be Yes to activate choices from Q2

    *or it could give people who vote No the chance to still indicate a preference – (Q2: If change is inevitable, which of the following four would you prefer to replace the current flag.) – which would be nicer, and the right thing to do
    (just as putting No first on Q1 for those lazy ‘first option fillers’..

    Why the two-step?
    …unless it is the Entropy Waltz…?
    …take your partners
    dose a dose
    d0s-a-dos

    ‘bleak clipart’

    Snap, Sam...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    All the more so since we don’t actually record spoiled ballots as anything other than “informal”.

    But surely media will report it for what it is - a protest vote.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    bleak clip-art

    Oh yes, that's the one.

    But I do feel sad about what this all says about us as a country.

    We seem to lack courage when faced with design on a national basis. This whole schmozzle reminds me a little of the Te Papa build. Some amazing designs (including one by Frank Gehry) were submitted but we ended up with a government department office.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    All the more so since we don’t actually record spoiled ballots as anything other than “informal”.

    But surely media will report it for what it is – a protest vote.

    "Informal" includes people who bugger it up, and since it's an STV vote buggering-up is entirely possible. With there being no actual recording of spoiled ballots as spoiled, the media cannot report anything except the percentage of votes that have been declared "informal" and how that compares to the percentages in other elections; probably local-body since we have no postal voting or STV at the national level.

    Speaking of STV, I hope the papers will have randomised ordering.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Next: A $26 million panel, comprising neither poets nor musicians, to select a short list for a new national anthem.

    The National Party has managed to stuff up even this diversion from their other stuff ups.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Next: A $26 million panel, comprising neither poets nor musicians, to select a short list for a new national anthem.

    I'm eagerly waiting to be called up to a panel on sports or business policy.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Dickson,

    No mention of the fact two of the final four are in fact copyrighted. I'm sure the owner will sell them to us, but the question is why didn't the panel even pick that up???

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    That video showing the 5 elements of design resonates with me but why didn't Mr Key's mates on the pseudo Panel watch it?
    I guess those of us who are not impressed with the infamous 4, will have to vote for the Koru. If say 40% vote Koru, that would put it in the final with a sure bet to loose the race against the existing flag.
    Or would Mr Key run true to his form and just make a unilateral decision and negate the referendum?

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    Am I cynical or is the PM? When the 2 Lockwood designs were 'found' by the PM's pollster in March 2014 and here they are in the final four along with another fern and, to me, an ugly koru, I am wondering whether this $26m process was just a show for a pre-determined outcome.
    Mind you, you cannot expect too much more these days.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Chapman,

    I had expected this flag vote to get more interesting as it progressed.

    The submission process was kind of fun. Hopefully everyone had their favourite after that (mine was Hei Matau).

    Then the long list should have raised expectations and prompted some debate. And the short list should have led to heated arguments about the deeper meanings of the designs.

    Instead it has just got increasingly discouraging as it has gone along. It is pretty much hopeless now, if it wasn't so at the long list stage.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Stephen Dickson,

    No mention of the fact two of the final four are in fact copyrighted.

    They're all copyrighted! They have been expressed on paper, ergo copyrighted. The number of people who don't understand this is staggering.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I'm happy that Hypnoflag has come out of this. (Credit to whoever is running that account.)

    However like many I'm generally disappointed with both the process and its inevitable outcome. One of the key men in the process is Drury - who prominently hangs a white silver fern on a black background on a flagpole above his Wellington business. It's a logo, for a corporation.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    The other thing that TV3 reported last night is that the "Flag Consideration panel" of which was appointed by "a cross Party" group of MP's (who we still don't actually know) had to then submit their final choices to Cabinet to approve. So Cabinet decision for a Cabinet decision. How democratic, not.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • lprent, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    It’s a useless protest because it demonstrates nothing when reported as part of the final count.

    The 'Informal' votes are usually just couple of percent even in the most casual local body STV elections. With a good strong campaign behind it, I suspect that an informal vote in this idiotic referendum and with these mundane and mindless flags, we'll get close to or above the highest first count flag. All of those things are usually reported by elections.org.nz.

    Having a high informal count will probably send a pretty good signal about this silly process, and more importantly it'd stop more people just not voting. Intentionally or unintentionally, this first referendum with these flags seems to designed to do exactly that - get people used to not voting.

    Are you against voting?

    Since May 2008 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Clearly the committee of designed-by-committee people built the shortlist not on any kind of representation, but on what the corporate gangleaders in their midst personally prefer.

    One of them said on radio yesterday words to the effect of: "well you have to have something that all New Zealanders can relate to, and that's the fern". Fern or koru, same thing, right. Bullshit.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to lprent,

    Having a high informal count will probably send a pretty good signal about this silly process, and more importantly it’d stop more people just not voting.

    But it also means that the votes which are actually considered will contain a higher proportion of votes by people who actually like one of the alternatives, therefore raising the chances of having an alternative in the final runoff which those people will vote for.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

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