Referendum Two - March 2016

The second referendum on the New Zealand flag is now complete, and results are available at

Between 3 March and 24 March 2016, New Zealand voted in the final binding referendum on the future of the New Zealand flag, choosing between the current New Zealand flag and the preferred alternative design chosen in the first referendum at the end of 2015.

The flag that received the most votes in this referendum would be the official flag of New Zealand.

The voting paper looked like this:

The flag order was determined by random draw as required by law. The QR code enables voters’ names to be marked off the electoral roll when their voting papers are returned, while at the same time protecting the secrecy of the ballot. This is required by law to identify any cases of dual voting. 

The results

As a result of the referendum process, the current New Zealand flag was retained. Final results are available at

Informal and Invalid Votes

Under section 32 of the New Zealand Flag Referendum Act, an informal vote is recorded when for the first referendum, the voting paper does not clearly indicate the voter’s first preference and for the second flag referendum, where the voting paper does not clearly indicate the option for which the elector wished to vote.  This can be because the voter leaves the paper blank, the voter takes deliberate action to spoil the paper, or an error by the voter means that their intention is not clear. Informal votes are included in the overall turnout, but do not count towards the result.

Under Section 33 of the Act, a vote is recorded as invalid for a number of reasons including being a forgery or a copy, being received after the voting period has closed, where a person has voted more than once, or the voting paper is damaged in such a way that it cannot be processed.

The official results record turnout as percentage of enrolled electors, and how many informal votes and invalid votes were received in total. 

Last updated: 31 March 2016