I hope you've voted.
The first of the flag polls closes tomorrow.
I note there's a bit of scuttlebutt about, suggesting if the turnover isn't that high, then the pressure will go on the Prime Minister to call off the second vote in March.
I will countenance no such nonsense.
I think the turnout will be low. Why wouldn't it be?
Getting people to drag mail in from the box, open envelopes, read instructions, sign forms and stick them back in envelopes and go find a post box is from 1992 if not earlier.
All voting should be electronic, at your leisure via phone, tablet or computer.
Your vote should be a click.
The only winner out of all this paperwork is New Zealand Post which is probably very grateful given the state of its company. It's one of the ironies of the vote: people who complained about the cost mostly didn't realise it's virtually all stamps.
Actually changing the flag, if we do, will cost a couple of million bucks. The meetings they held, the advertising and so on is actually pocket change compared with the post bill which is about $17 million of the $26 million budget.
Further, for those who want to argue turnout represents interest, that is the true beauty of democracy. All the Government can do is offer the chance. If you choose not to take part, that's your free choice and as such you've just lost the right to complain.
It's probably pertinent to point out that the vast majority who want to argue lack of turnout fail to remember the vast majority of councils, health boards, and community boards are elected with a tragic turnout. If you scrape past 30 per cent it's a miracle. The country's biggest city is run by people unelected by the vast majority of us. But the same rules apply: if you can't be bothered don't whinge.
So to the flag itself.
I've voted for the Blue and Black, the black is us, it's got the stars and the fern, it's perfect.
If not that, I'd take the blue and red.
If perchance any of the other three pop up - which they won't, but if they do - I'll be sticking with the status quo.
I have never wanted change for change's sake, I've wanted change because we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a statement about who we are and where we're going.
If I have regrets about the process, the committee was a mistake, the meetings were a joke. I would have lined up half a dozen top designers and instructed them to design flags, proper recognisable flags.
What we got out of the committee was a colouring contest that was high on participation, low on creativity.
But that's all done with now and here's why the debate gets exciting.
After tomorrow we'll have the contender, the new flag on the block.
The beauty of that is that for the first time, we have choice, proper choice, win and lose choice.
Ranking options is choice, but nothing fundamentally changes. Once we have the two go head to head that's when it really starts to count.
That's when we're going to see people really get engaged, because it actually matters.
Polling suggests up till this point the "no change" brigade is winning.
That's not surprising given we don't get exercised about matters until it really means something. And if potentially changing a flag doesn't count, you're asleep at the wheel.
So here's my prediction: As March draws close, you'll get more and more headlines.
As March draws closer more and more well-known people will come out and take a stand.
As March draws closer more and more polls will be published.
And as the numbers get closer and closer - and they will - it will take on a life of its own.
My great hope is we can keep it civil. If you spend any time on Twitter - and I personally wouldn't recommend it given it's a place of general misery, negativity and hand-wringing - you get a lot of abuse for taking a stand.
Intelligence is out the window and replaced with 140 characters of narcissism.
That's the sort of debate we want to avoid.
You want to retain our flag?
Good on you, I respect that, and hopefully for those of us that want to change it, we have some decent arguments as well.
I have one reservation. My guess is the result will be tight. I'm picking a result for change, and ask yourself this.
What if it's 51 per cent for change and 49 per cent for no change? You can see the fallout from here.
There will be point-scoring galore about lack of mandates and moral high ground and history being trodden on.
So hopefully we can enter the second stage of this process with some maturity and a simple understanding of the rules.
It would be nice to see one side win by a good margin given that would settle it, but my gut says that's not going to be the way it shakes down.
But for now, if you haven't voted in the first part of this, do it, and once those results are out, spend some time on it.
Think about it, don't dismiss it with the superficiality some have. Don't write it off as a vanity project or a waste of money. Give it the kudos it deserves.
Come to any conclusion you want, but come to it having exercised the brain a bit.
After all, even if you've been dragged into this reluctantly or even kicking and screaming, whinging won't change it or make it go away.
It's happening, and it'll happen whether you're part of it or not.
So given that ... why miss the boat?