New Zealand begins voting in flag referendum

Wellington: Voting began in New Zealand on Friday in a referendum for a new national flag design.

New Zealanders can now vote for the flag they prefer from five potential designs.

Three flags feature silver ferns, one has the ‘koru’ (spiral shape based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern) and the fifth – a late addition – is the Red Peak design, Radio New Zealand reported.

The vote will be a postal referendums, with voting papers sent in the mail.

The next round of voting will begin in March 2016, when people will choose between the most popular new design, as decided by the first referendum, and the current flag.

The first round of voting will end on December 11.

The Flag Consideration Panel received 10,292 entrants to its nationwide design competition.

To help people make a decision, the five flags are being put on display across the country.