Support for Red Peak, but mayor wants silver fern


Atawhai’s Paul Willis likes it so much he flies it above his house. City councillor Matt Lawrey thinks it’s so great he is planning a community event in support of it.

But the “red peak” flag hasn’t won support from the city’s mayor who says she’d like to see a silver fern on our national flag.

“If I think about what we do with the flag, how we use it, if I’m going to stand at a rugby game and I’m going to wave a flag, I know what I’d feel more passionate about waving.”

There are now five options for a new flag that will go to a national referendum next month. The winner will then go head-to-head with the current flag in another referendum early next year.

Of the five options, three have a silver fern, one has a koru while the fifth option, that was only added after a petition to the government, is known as red peak.
Rachel says if she was judging a graphic design competition red peak would win, but she says she “doesn’t get it”.

“Do I think Red Peak is the answer? No, I don’t actually. I just go, what is it about? I can see the symbolism around it but is it memorable in identifying New Zealand? Will it be memorable? Will it have that longevity as something that I identify with New Zealand and I don’t think it will.”

Rachel’s view isn’t shared by all of her council colleagues though. Councillor Matt Lawrey is a fan of red peak and is even organising a community event this Saturday to help win it support.

“One of the most exciting things about Red Peak is the way it’s triggering people’s imaginations and prompting them to put their own spin on the design, using everything from bush-shirts and the faces of rock stars to native flora and fauna,” Matt said.

At the event, which will be at the church steps on Saturday at 10am, a locally crafted and “ingenious” version of the red peak flag will be unveiled.
The first referendum of the flag debate is at the end of November.

Another Red Peak fan is Atawhai man Paul Wills, who flies it above his home. The former diplomat says he served under the current flag around the world for decades. But he feels it’s time to move on and pick a new flag.

“I think the current flag has served us well but I do support a new one. I didn’t think the first four flags would capture the spirit of the nation and when I saw the Red Peak flag I though it suits where were are at in the 21st century and is a good, modern alternative.”

The first postal referendum of the flag debate is at the end of November.