Flag debate run up resort flagpole


Five alternatives to the New Zealand flag are being pole-tested in Queenstown.

The five designs, which Kiwis will be asked to rank in a referendum starting November 20, were unfurled yesterday on a downtown Queenstown building and at the council-owned Events Centre in Frankton.

The downtown flags have been hoisted as an initiative by lobby group Downtown QT.

“It is just an initiative to let people see what they look like ‘cos I think it’s better to see what they look like up a pole than from a piece of paper,” general manager Steve Wilde says.

“Some people will be happy, some won’t be, but I think that people need to make an informed decision.”


Wilde says local landlord John Martin, who owns the Real Journeys building at the bottom of Shotover Street, was happy to accommodate the flags as a service to the community.

Queenstown’s Catalyst Trust is behind the flags flying at the Events Centre.

“We thought the Events Centre was the natural place in terms of an uncluttered background for clearest viewing,” chair Cath Gilmour says.

She says the fifth flag pole has been cleverly attached to an adjacent bin.

The flags have been provided by the government’s Flag Consideration Panel, and will be flown till the referendum finishes on December 11.

NZers will then be asked at a second referendum in March to decide between the preferred alternative flag and the current NZ ensign.