New Zealand

Flag referendum 2016 - March 17 update

17 Mar 2016

In Field Dates: 

25 Feb 2016 to 29 Mar 2016
10 Mar 2016 to 15 Mar 2016

There was no significant change in flag preference from the previous survey conducted in Late February.
Younger New Zealanders are the keenest to retain the flag.
Political polarisation is again very evident. A narrow majority of National voters now intend to vote for change but big majorities of other voters are voting for retention.


Flag referendum update - February 2016

16 Feb 2016

In Field Dates: 

29 Jan 2016 to 15 Feb 2016

Two-thirds of New Zealanders are still planning to back the current flag in the upcoming referendum, according to a poll - and just as many say the whole process was a waste of money.

Figures from UMR Research's flag referendum update released on Monday have found of those polled, 65 per cent preferred the union-jack-emblazoned flag to its ferned alternative.


Malcolm Turnbull shouldn’t look to John Key for tips on managing reform (Sydney Morning Herald 12/11/15)

12 Nov 2015

Despite the Prime Minister's comments it is unlikely that Malcolm Turnbull would be satisfied with John Key's limited policy ambitions.

Malcolm Turnbull said his New Zealand counterpart John Key was a role model in his first press conference as Prime Minister. He described Key as "achieving very significant economic reforms in New Zealand … by taking on and explaining complex issues and then making the case for them".

Turnbull has got this completely wrong.


Flag referendum update - November 2015

10 Nov 2015

In Field Dates: 

27 Oct 2015 to 9 Nov 2015

On first preferences the red and blue Lockwood fern design (on 35%) is ahead of the blue and black fern (on 33%).
Red Peak sits in third with 17% of respondents giving it their first preference – the proportion similar to the October survey.
Applying the preferential voting system the red and blue fern edges out the blue and black fern, but this result is within the margin of error.


Flag referendum update - October 2015

19 Oct 2015

In Field Dates: 

2 Oct 2015 to 15 Oct 2015
  • The red and blue Lockwood fern is ahead of the blue and black fern as first preference.
  • Through the single transferable vote system the red and blue fern edges the blue and black fern, but it is within margin of error.
  • None of the proposed designs seriously challenge the current flag in a head-to-head choice.

Click here or below to see the full results



Flag panel not far away from public choice

1 Sep 2015

In Field Dates: 

25 Aug 2015 to 31 Aug 2015

A UMR online survey shows that the top two public choices were picked by the panel.

According to UMR Research Director David Talbot, it also shows early indications that it will be a hard battle for the preferred option to beat the current flag in the second referendum.

The combination of the Silver Fern and the Southern Cross seems to have caught the public mood.


The Politics of Terrorism

9 Apr 2015

UMR Research Director Stephen Mills describes how terrorism has influenced politics – both in New Zealand and in Australia (Dominion Post April 9 2015)

The impact of terrorism has played a part in many Western elections since 9/11.

In 2001 Australian Prime Minister John Howard was heading for likely election defeat.

He instead secured a comfortable victory by taking full advantage of the tense and fearful political climate that developed when the issue of (mainly Muslim) asylum seekers combined with the aftermath of 9/11.


The problem with democracy

27 Nov 2013

In 1947 Winston Churchill famously declared "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried''. It would take a brave person to disagree with him.

But then he had not seen how hard it is for elected Governments now to undertake even the most necessary reforms if those challenge major business interests or impose any significant cost or inconvenience on voters generally.

It is unlikely Winston Churchill would have imagined that one day there would be a salary packaging industry.



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