Gareth Morgan reveals $20K flag competition winner

Entrepreneur over-rules his own judges.

Gareth Morgan has revealed the winner of his $20,000 competition to design a new flag: "Wā kāinga" (Home), created by Auckland design business Studio Alexander. 

The winner (pictured right) in turn becomes the entrepreneur's entry into the crowdsourced design process run by the Flag Consideration Panel.

Mr Morgan told Breakfast his competition was spurred by the fact "the design community has been a bit offside with the panel."

But he also admitted his panel of judges, drawn from the design community, "came up with their preferred list and I didn’t like any of them ... it took me a week to calm down."

In the end the winner was selected as a compromise between Mr Morgan and the panel. He says it was "sixth or seventh" in the original selection (see the judging panel's top pics here).

The entrepreneur's competition drew around 1000 entries. Each was entered, as it arrived, in the Flag Consideration Panel's crowdsourced design process (which closed on July 16 with approximately 8000 entries).

Mr Morgan called the current design "a flag of convenience invented by the colonising power, a flag to enable it to avoid liability for the Maori or New Zealand Wars of the 1860s."

The red in the winning design represents New Zealand's Maori heritage, the blue its pakeha heritage, the white the front of a marae or meeting house, and the black New Zealand's emerging multiculturalism, Mr Morgan said.

On social media, the most common meme was that it looked somehow African.

The Flag Consideration Panel must choose a shortlist of four possible flag designs ahead of two postal referenda.

The first, on November 20 to December 11 this year, will ask voters to rank the four alternative flags selected by the Flag Consideration Panel from most to least-preferred.

The second, on March 3 to March 24, 2016, will ask voters to choose between the current New Zealand flag and the preferred alternative design selected in the first referendum. The results of both referendums are binding.

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