There is little to no confusion between the Australian and New Zealand Flags in Wairarapa, a Times-Age street survey reveals.

The similarity between the flags is held up as one reason to change the design.

Of the 50 people who were asked to pick the New Zealand flag over the Australian one in Masterton yesterday, 47 were successful, one was incorrect, one person couldn't decide, and another refused to choose as it "did not represent New Zealand".

Ann McNamara chose the correct flag without hesitation.


She said there were "obvious differences between them".

They both represent each nation in their own right, she said.

"Australia's stars are white and it has the Federation star for the states.

"New Zealand only has four stars in their Southern Cross and they're red.

"On the flag debate, I'm inclined to say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I can clearly see the difference but then again I lived in Australia before coming here, so I know the two very well."

Waireka Casuell, who also identified New Zealand's flag, said the issue was not in how similar Australia's flag is to ours, but rather that the current flag does not accurately represent contemporary New Zealand.

"That flag for me personally doesn't represent what I think New Zealand is as a nation. I don't connect with anything on that flag.

"Most people connect more with the silver fern and the Matariki and those are what should represent New Zealand on the flag.


Joyce Blatchford agreed that New Zealand's flag should represent our national identity, but said that the current flag already "does just that".

"For a lot of us, the flag you are holding is our identity.

"If they change it, they'll probably change the national anthem too. This flag represents our identity and I don't want our nation to lose that.

Other people who responded to the street survey said they would support a flag change if New Zealand become a republic.

Everyone agreed too much money was being spent on the process.

As a nation under the Commonwealth, New Zealand has borne the Union Jack and red Southern Cross on blue for more than 100 years.

The New Zealand Flag was designed and adopted for use on Colonial ships in 1869.

The Australian Flag was adopted in 1901 after a flag design competition was announced in 1900.

The estimated costs of a New Zealand Flag change sits at $26 million.

The current flag is the fourth official flag New Zealand has had.

A long list of 40 flag alternatives will be shortlisted mid-September for referendum in November.

The most popular flag alternative, and the current New Zealand flag will go to referendum March 2016.