Preliminary result of the second referendum on the New Zealand Flag

Media releases Referendums on the New Zealand Flag

The Electoral Commission has released the preliminary result for the second referendum on the New Zealand Flag.  The referendum asked the question:

“What is your choice for the New Zealand flag?”

Based on the preliminary result, the option with the most votes was Option B: Current New Zealand Flag.

The votes were cast as follows:


Number of Votes Received

Percentage of Total Valid Votes

Option A: Silver Fern Flag




Option B: Current New Zealand Flag




Informal Votes



Total Valid Votes



The total votes received were 2,124,507, which includes 4,942 informal votes (0.23%) and 4,554 invalid votes (0.21%).

Voter turnout is 67.3%.  Turnout is calculated by taking the total votes received as a percentage of the total number of voters enrolled as at 3 March 2016 (3,158,576). 

Informal votes are those where the voter has not clearly indicated the option they wish to vote for.  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.

Invalid votes are excluded from the count and include, for example, voting papers that cannot be processed because the voter has made the QR code unreadable, or voting papers that have been cancelled as a result of replacement voting papers being issued.

The preliminary result is available from This includes a breakdown of votes by electorate.

The official result will be announced on Wednesday 30 March (target 5pm). The official result will include those votes date-stamped by NZ Post before voting closed on Thursday 24 March and received by the Electoral Commission by noon on Wednesday 30 March. The official result will also be notified by media release and at


NOTE: This media release will be the Commission’s only comment on the preliminary result.  No further comment will be made.