When you haven’t done something for a hundred-or-so years, you’re unlikely to get it right the first time. So, we might disagree over our favourite designs, or whether the flag should be changed at all, but I’m sure we can all agree that the process has not been a success.
Over 9000 designs were submitted online as part of the government’s $27 million flag consideration campaign (and many of them were ‘avin’ a laff). But businessman and philanthropist Gareth Morgan, who is a big proponent of changing the flag—”to bury this artefact that tells a lie and is an insult to Maoridom”—didn’t feel the brief was adequate, didn’t feel people understood the history of the existing flag and didn’t feel the Treaty of Waitangi was being placed at the core of the process. So he decided to stump up $20k for an alternative competition and incentivise designers to come up with something that would tell the story of New Zealand. And Auckland design agency Studio Alexander beat out around 1000 entries for the prize with ‘Wā kāinga / Home’.