2 Sep 2015

World media in a flap over NZ flag designs

7:42 am on 2 September 2015

The debate on the New Zealand flag is unfurling in the global media, with many taking note of locals' lack of interest in the new designs.

no caption

Photo: flag.govt.nz

A government-appointed panel whittled down more than 10,000 design submissions to a longlist of 40, which was made public in August, and the final four choices were revealed yesterday.

A referendum will be held between 20 November and 11 December to decide which of the four designs will run against the current flag in a second referendum in March 2016. The second referendum will decide which flag will represent New Zealand in the future.

The flag debate has generated headlines around the world.

The BBC said the response had been muted, with many viewers dismissing the four remaining designs as too conservative, and even boring.

The Guardian took the same angle, saying the reaction was by and large disparaging, reflecting a general sense of fatigue with the process and disgruntlement at the lack of transparency.

US TV network CNN said anguish was expressed at the defeat of fan-favourite designs, including a crude Kiwi with a rainbow trail, a Kiwi bird shooting green lasers out of its eyes, and a stick drawing of a "deranged cat raking its garden."

And the Sydney Morning Herald couldn't resist trying to claim the flag for themselves - pointing out that Wellington-born Kyle Lockwood, who has two designs in the top four - was a Melbourne-based architect.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs