When New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced a proposal to change the flag, a government-appointed panel whittled down more than 10,000 design submissions to a shortlist of four designs to go to a public referendum.
But New Zealanders weren’t happy with the choices laid out for them by their government, and took to social media to lobby for a fifth to be included—the Aaron Dustin “Red Peak” design. And just a few days ago, the New Zealand government “…bowed to public pressure…” and added Red Peak, which has “…generated a groundswell of support…”
More than 50,000 people petitioned to include Red Peak in the new flag ballot, and whilst the government initially refused to budge, the intense social media campaign has paved way for the the first time in history that all New Zealanders will have a say in the design of their flag, integral to their identity and causing immense debate across the ditch.
Interestingly, an opinion poll this week showed 69 per cent of people still actually want to keep their current flag, with the total cost of deciding whether to change the flag estimated to be as high as $26 million.
Kiwis will vote for their favourite design in a referendum to be held between November 20 and December 11 with the winning design going head-to-head against the existing flag in a second vote in March.
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