New Zealand accepts new-old flag

New Zealand accepts new-old flag

Prime Minister John Key appeared yesterday to give his speech of defeat, he came out without his signature lapel badge, accepting his flag change dreams were over.

"Obviously I'm naturally a little bit disappointed the flag didn't change," Mr Key said.

"You can't be a sore loser about these things."

The fern flag at his house -- there all summer -- gone aswell.

It's still hanging inside his Kumeu office, but it wasn't enough to swing his Helensville voters.

In his electorate, loyal John Key supporters defied his push for a change -- but that doesn't mean he's lost personal support.

Helensville was just one of 65 seats across the country that didn't want a change to the fern design.

Just six electorates did-- all of them staunch National seats: East Coast Bays, Tamaki, Bay of Plenty, Ilam, Selwyn, and Clutha-Southland.

Opposed to the idea all along was New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. His reaction: I told you so.

"Change didn't honour our history. A lot of people thought it was an enormous waste of money," Mr Peters said.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little agreed.

"The process was flawed from the outset and I think that's got under people's skin," Mr Little said.

In the safe blue seat of Invercargill, 60 percent of people voted to keep the Union Jack.

"We're all overjoyed. The whole streets excited," resident David Stockwell said.

Further North in Auckland's plush Mission Bay, it couldn't be more different -- the highest percentage of pro-change votes in the country live here. They just wanted change.

But it's not the case this time.

The fern flags that have ended up tattered by wind will be destroyed and the others destined as a historic footnote in the archives at Te Papa.