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Red Peak flag


Red Peak, designed by Aaron Dustin.

The panel’s four short-listed four designs were:

  • Alofi Kanter Silver Fern (Black and White)
  • Kyle Lockwood Silver Fern (Red, White and Blue)
  • Kyle Lockwood Silver Fern (Black, White and Blue)
  • Andrew Fyfe Koru (Black)

The selection was criticised because of the similarity between the designs, especially the two Kyle Lockwood silver ferns. In an open letter to John Key after the announcement of the shortlist, Trade Me co-founder Rowan Simpson said that he was ‘saddened and disappointed’.

I know you want this to be a democratic process, but frankly, given those choices it feels like no choice at all, since three of the designs are so similar and two are identical except for substituted colours. At the moment it’s like being asked to choose between a Carl Jr, a Big Mac, a Whopper and … actually I don’t know the burger equivalent of the hypnoflag, so I’ll leave that to your imagination. [1]

Simpson called on the prime minister to replace one of the Lockwood silver fern designs with Aaron Dustin’s ‘Red Peak’. The idea got traction on social media, with an online petition organised by Simpson gathering more than 50,000 signatures. Eventually the government responded to the campaign and adopted a bill by Green Party MP Gareth Hughes which added ‘Red Peak’ as a fifth option in the referendum.

[1] 'Dear John' (

See also: 'Red Peak' (New Zealand Government); Red Peak Tumblr page

How to cite this page

Red Peak flag, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated