The Flag Consideration Panel reminded the public today that Thursday 16 July 2015 11:59pm New Zealand time (or 7:59am eastern daylight time, EDT), is the final deadline to suggest a flag design and share values about what is important about New Zealand to consider when reviewing all the designs.
Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the deadline for designs will coincide with ten weeks of public consultation as part of an inclusive, community-driven process to provide as many ways as possible for people to participate in the discussion.
Professor Burrows noted over 5,200 designs had been published and there has been a high engagement with the process online with 700,000 visits so far. Over 6,000 people had visited information stands in busy local community areas including shopping malls, libraries and markets across New Zealand, or had attended a workshop or engagement hui. The road show ends this Sunday with the hui at Te Tii Waitangi Marae from 9am to 1pm.
Professor Burrows said the independent Panel had heard a wide range of views about the flag, from those who like the current flag, those who want an ‘updated’ version (for example “put a kiwi, fern or the letters ‘NZ’ on it”), as well as those who want to consider a different design. He reiterated that the values shared were very important to the Panel who will utilise these values and themes to evaluate the thousands of flag designs suggested as the Panel starts the rigorous process to select the four alternative designs for eligible voters to rank in the first referendum.
“Some of the values that we have heard most often so far include history and heritage, freedom, equality, being a kiwi, independent, culture, environment, tradition, unity and being a Pacific nation.
This is a unique opportunity in our lifetimes and I encourage everyone to take part before 16 July. From there, the Panel will start the next steps in our rigorous process to determine the four alternative flag designs. We will announce a preliminary long list of approximately 50- 75 flag designs by mid-August and the final four alternatives by mid-September,” said Professor Burrows.
Timeline:• 17 July to mid-August – Design review
The Panel will undertake a rigorous design review process to consider every design. Each design will be reviewed by the twelve Flag Consideration Panel members on an
independent basis using the Flag Design Guidelines and information received in person from the Herald of Arms Extraordinary, the Designer’s Institute of New Zealand and feedback from the road show to make their preliminary decisions.
While final decisions are ultimately the responsibility of the Panel, a number of cultural, vexillology, art and design experts will be invited to provide confidential technical feedback on designs under consideration. These advisors will focus on ensuring that any proposed designs are workable and that there are no impediments in the choice of proposed designs.
• €Mid-August – Announcement of preliminary long list of approx. 50-75 flag designs A preliminary long list will be announced. Each of these flags will then be subject to robust checks and verification, including intensive intellectual property review.
• €Mid-August to mid-September – Final design reviewThe Panel will further refine the criteria and undertake a further assessment process to determine the final four alternative designs selected for eligible voters to rank in the first referendum. These will be announced before mid September 2015.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took the opportunity to learn about the process, among the many, busy commuters at Britomart, those at the Otara market and at the other end of the country, at the famous Bluff Oyster and Food Festival, said Professor Burrows.
“The meetings have provided an opportunity for members of the public to share their views, as well as hear the views of others. The Panel has also heard from many schools who have been exploring what they stand for as individuals, groups, and ultimately as New Zealanders.”
Professor Burrows said that students have been exploring these values through design and discussion and some will even hold their own referendums that replicate the official process.
“Thank you to all the schools who invited us to visit, listen and participate in their discussions about the future of our flag. It was good to see the students of Manurewa East School at an evening workshop in Otahuhu recently, along with their teacher, a great example of all generations sharing their views.
Whether you want the flag to change or not, what unites everyone in this process is that this is the only time in our lives, or even our children’s lives, that we have the chance to discuss, suggest alternatives and then decide the future of our flag,” said Professor Burrows.
Updated on 23rd July 2015