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Controversial poll shows 71% want NZ flag changed

A recent poll has created some strong chatter after asking New Zealanders if they believed it was time to change our national flag.  The question was raised during the Rugby World Cup when New Zealand flags were hard to spot with most choosing the black flag with silver fern to flap in the wind.

Clearly this was in support of the All Blacks but for such a rugby mad nation is it really such a big leap to suggest the black flag or silver fern could become part of our national flag?  Those who believe the flag should not change are passionately not wanting a change, but our unscientific poll has shown a significant majority of 48% want the New Zealand flag changed to a black flag with silver fern in the centre.

Opponents say a black flag would look negative but supporters questioned how it could be negative when during the Rugby World Cup black was seen as the colour that identified who we were as a nation.

29% want the flag to remain as it is while the rest wanted something different that perhaps also blended the iconic Maori Tino Rangitiratanga flag, the Union Jack and the Southern Cross.

In other words, 71% do not like the flag in its current form. reader “Dan” says New Zealand is similar to Canada in wanting a change.  “A few decades ago Canada were in the same situation as we are now – they had a flag with the union jack and a symbol said to represent Canada. When it was changed, their country was more split than we are here. Now, you would be hard pressed to find someone who wants the old flag back!! For the record, I’m all for the black background with the silver fern flag”.

But not everyone agrees.  “I think it’s wonderful that Australia and New Zealand flags are so close to each other. Many Americans see the Australian and New Zealand flags so close to each other as being a sign of unity in Oceania. A partnership of sovereign nations who share a very unique place on this globe” Steve Howard, an American now living in New Zealand, wrote on’s Poll page.

Another reader, who didn’t leave a name, disagreed – “In terms of similarity, it’s like saying Canada and America should have similar flags as they are neighbours. I would prefer to have a flag that distinguishes us more from Australia, as we are our own nation. Personally I’ve had enough trouble in the past remembering which flag is ours and which is Aussie, let alone people from other countries distinguishing us”.

“Paul”, a supporter of the black flag with silver fern wrote “The black flag/silver fern is the de-facto national flag anyway, let’s just make it official”.

“I’d love a new flag (and a better anthem if it came to that) I think the fact that we have all been flying the Silver Fern lately shows that NZ is ready for change. I actually quite like the official Maori flag but it is far to political to ever be universally adopted” wrote another reader called “Debbie”.

The Poll:   “Is it time we changed the NZ Flag?”

The Results:

  • Something else 11%

*524 people took part in the poll



kolene on 31/10/2011 1:51am

I think its time for a change, black background and silver fern, I think its time for a change.

Guest on 31/10/2011 12:53am

Can WeatherWatch please confirm whether the results of this poll are statistically significant based on the sample of people surveyed?

In addition, can you please provide a degree of error or error margin at least?

To me it seems polls such as these are a waste of time and may actually misrepresent public view without having a level of verification.


WW Forecast Team on 31/10/2011 1:40am

Hi there – as the story states at the beginning it is unscientific, so there is no margin or error.  This is simply a representation of those who took part in the poll on our website.  It may not represent all New Zealanders but it certainly seems to represent those that want change.  We promoted the poll across a variety of radio stations from young stations to the more mature NewstalkZB and audiences…so we feel it’s been promoted to a fair slice of New Zealanders and accurately represents what the cross section of our readers feel at least.


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