Flag voters defy stereotypes

By Anna Whyte

1 comment

Tauranga is stuck between a Union Jack and a fern.

With the final flag vote now open, the city remains close in their preference of keeping the current New Zealand flag or bringing in the Silver Fern flag.

Bayfair resident Ross Crow, 73, wants to change it for his father, a WWII veteran. Photo/Ruth Keber
Bayfair resident Ross Crow, 73, wants to change it for his father, a WWII veteran. Photo/Ruth Keber

Stereotypes of typical flag supporters are being broken by Tauranga residents, with younger generations supporting the current flag and older generations keen for change.

Seventeen-year-old Riley Maguire of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic has given his allegiance to the current flag, even though he cannot vote.

Scroll below to see what flag Tauranga people prefer

"It's something I've grown up with," Mr Maguire said.

As a keen judo sportsperson, Mr Maguire had always aspired to represent New Zealand under the flag.

"That's always been the goal, to see that flag flying," he said.

"I don't mind the new option but why are we changing something that has worked for so long?

"I think it's a bit of a waste of money."

However, 73-year-old Ross Crow wanted to change it for his father, a World War I veteran.

"The reason I really want it, my father was a life member of the RSA and he never fought under the flag.

"Dad never saw a New Zealand flag at all, and he fought at the Somme, Passchendaele and caught the tail end of Ypres," Mr Crow said.

Instead, Mr Crow said due to being subservient to the British, they were fighting under the Union Jack.

"He said, 'one day son, you might be able to have a say and to get a new flag'. And I'm having my change," Mr Crow said.

"I'm thinking of the future, I want my two grandchildren to look up at it."

Julian Paul, 28-year-old board member of New Zealand First, has been touring tertiary campuses taking photos of people who want to keep the flag.

They went to Bay of Plenty Polytechnic this week to see what the students of Tauranga were wanting their flag to be.

"There were way more people in favour of the status quo," Mr Paul said.

However he found from his visit around the country that university campuses were closer in the amount of people who wanted to change the flag and who wanted to keep it.

However, "in the polytechs, a huge amount of people want to keep it as is".

Mr Maguire said a lot of his friends "didn't really care" about what would happen to the flag, just as Mr Crow said a lot of his friends "don't want to rock the boat".

Both would be disappointed if their preferred flag was not chosen, with Mr Crow saying "I've just got to wear it", and Mr Maguire saying there would be "not much one can do" if it changed.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 23 Oct 2016 15:52:54 Processing Time: 574ms