2015 and 2016 Referendums on the New Zealand Flag Overview

From
20 November 2015
To
24 March 2016
Find results, reports and statistics for the referendums on the future of the New Zealand flag.

In 2015 and 2016, New Zealanders voted in two postal referendums on the future of the New Zealand flag.

Through the referendums, New Zealanders chose to keep the current flag.

Learn more about how referendums work

The first referendum chose an alternative flag

Between 20 November and 11 December 2015, New Zealanders voted on the question ‘If the New Zealand flag changes, which flag would you prefer?’

Read the full results of the first referendum in 2015

On the voting paper, voters ranked the alternative flags in the order they preferred them. Voters wrote ‘1’ in the box of the flag they preferred most. Then they could write ‘2’ in the box of the flag they preferred next, and so on.

The voting paper looked like this:

First flag referendum voting paper

Voters could rank as many or as few flags as they wanted, but couldn’t skip a number or use the same number more than once.

The first referendum used preferential voting

If one flag got 50 percent or more of all the ‘1’ votes, it would win the referendum.

If no flag got 50 percent or more of all the ‘1’ votes, the flag with the least ‘1’ votes would be dropped and its votes would go to the flag each voter ranked next. This would continue until one flag got 50 percent or more of the valid votes.

The second referendum chose between the current flag and the alternative flag

Between 3 March and 24 March 2016, New Zealanders voted in a final binding referendum on the New Zealand flag. Voters chose between the current New Zealand flag and the alternative flag that won the first referendum.

The current flag got the most votes and stayed as the official flag of New Zealand.

Read the full results of the second referendum in 2016

The voting paper looked like this:

Second flag referendum voting paper

Read our report on the referendums

We published a report on the referendums, highlighting key features and setting out our recommendations for future referendums.

Read a summary and download our full report on the flag referendums

See voting statistics from the referendums

See how many votes we got on each day of the referendums, and comparisons with previous referendums.

See voting statistics from the flag referendums