Aoteroa & Vexillology

If you’re someone who watches the news (or not, I don’t), then you’ll have heard a bit over the past couple of months about a potential redesign of the New Zealand flag. While I personally believe it’s a waste of time & money to consider changing our flag unless it accompanies a simultaneous republic referendum for New Zealand. I still feel passionately that if we are to move forward with what effectively could be John Key’s (and New Zealand’s) legacy, then we may as well do it right. I’m going to start by demonstrating our current flag, and some ideas floating about the internet and media waves at the moment.












From left to right, top to bottom, I’m going to give a quick review.

  1. Awful
  2. Awful (Post-publishing edit: I actually like this the more I look at it)
  3. Awful
  4. Awful
  5. Awful
  6. Awful

Now I don’t mean to dismiss the symbolic importance or aesthetic pleasure of a few of these designs (I think 2, 3, 6 are quite lovely in this sense), however great flag design is all about a few fundamental design theories: meaningful symbolism, recognition, and ease of replication. While it’s important that our flag be a representation as Kiwis as a people (diverse as they may be), if you’re expecting a child to realistically draw any of the above (except 2, maybe…) they’re going to struggle as the flag designs are simply too complex. If a child can’t draw it, then that emotional association with the flag is never developed. Additionally, when designing for flags you’re effectively limited to drawing a sleek design that must be recognisable at 40-50m, but still have all the elements be relevant (it’ll basically look like a postcard at this distance, which is how flags are primarily viewed) – this is where I think 4 through 6 all fall down, they’re simply too complex.

While I don’t think I could design a masterpiece of flag design, I’m no vexillologist (flag expert), I think we need to take a look at implementing serious design principles into effect, rather than just “oh it’s so symbolic of <X>”. I’ll love New Zealand no matter what happens, whether we stay with the flag, or whether we change it to another, however I do not believe such important things as the design of a nations flag should be left to the committee.

p.s. here’s my design, it’s rough, but simple, and would be easily recognisable.






p.p.s you can learn more about Vexillology over at the amazing 99% Invisible podcast, through the following episodes:

Update, another small design I’ve put together:
Tomorrows Flag

This Week in Music #28 – La Femme Fatale

For the past few years now I’ve clearly been in a jazz, hip-hop, or chill vibe. And in spite of female artists being clearly present in these genres, I find my playlist being rather male-dominated. However, this past week I’ve been in a clearly female oriented music space, which isn’t something I can say often. It’s mostly revolved around me playing the Azealia Banks album on repeat every day this week, but it’s extended to the likes of Nicki Minaj, and Taylor Swift. Artists, prior to a few months ago, I would’ve sworn I couldn’t stand. I’m not going to be one to turn my nose up at something I enjoy, so I’ll share them with you too!

Now Azealia Banks has already appeared twice on my music posts, including the very first This Week in Music, and the eleventh. What can I say, she kicks so much ass that I’d even consider posting some of her earlier songs again (however I have a strict no re-post policy on my music blog posts). Anyway, if you haven’t listened to her album yet, I highly recommend you give it a go – it actually took me a couple listens to warm to it, but now that I have, the last 3 or 4 tracks just play endlessly on my phone.

Azealia Banks – Miss Amor

Azealia Banks – Miss Camaraderie

Those tracks actually fall in that order on the album as well, they’re both high BPM psuedo-dance tracks, which I think is really where her strengths lie, tight, sharp lyrics, over a fast but beautiful beat.

Nicki Minaj – Anaconda

So this track originally started as one of those tracks I just couldn’t avoid hearing. The frequency of which I heard this track eventually allowed the song to ingrain itself into my psyche, and what can I say, now I’m kind of a Nicki Minaj fan… whatever.

Finally I’m going to close things out with Taylor Swift.. not that I’d have expected to ever say that in my life, I’m not actually listening to pop music any more, so I think this was just a brief fascination with that world, regardless this song is just the most ridiculous summer tune ever, how can you not love it?

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

Year of Firsts

I returned to New Zealand 14 months ago after spending a year abroad in the UK, and while I’ve certainly enjoyed being back, the lifestyle just isn’t for me at this time, so I’m making my way back overseas for a few years.

I’ll eventually be settling into London again, but before I settle into work I plan on travelling through Europe a bit, eventually meeting up with some friends in Istanbul.

And this leads me to the point of this post, fellow NZ Blogger Elise, over at the confetti room, recently posted her #YearOfFirsts, it’s basically a list of goals for 2015, and travelling through several countries I’ve never been to seems like a great way to achieve some life firsts. It’s also a great way to also achieve some of my 101 things in 1001 days list.

So here we go!



  • Make a list of at least 20 – 30 ‘firsts’ you want to experience this year – make them detailed & juicy!
  • Document those experiences by taking photos & blogging about them, linking back to your list
  • Post your URL in the comment section. I will add your link to the list of participants below
  • Leave a comment on the other participants #YearOfFirsts posts!



  1. Dive/Jump off Stari Most
  2. Find out my blood type
  3. Cycle somewhere in continental Europe
  4. Go to Comic Con in costume
  5. Visit five countries I’ve never been to
  6. Start & complete a book in one sitting
  7. Make a curry from scratch
  8. Visit the Hagia Sophia
  9. Buy a road bike
  10. Lose contact with the world for 7 days
  11. Attend a European music festival
  12. Participate in a 10km run (i.e. a group run)
  13. Learn some Javascript
  14. Write and post letters to five friends
  15. Design and make a piece of clothing
  16. Learn the capitals and locations of all countries
  17. Tip someone 100%
  18. Write a list of 20 places I want to visit and why
  19. Do some volunteer work
  20. Complete the Probability and statistics module on Khan Academy
  21. Join a social sports team in London
  22. Enter a country by foot
  23. Attend a student play
  24. Become a member of the Tate Modern
  25. Have a beer (or two) in Prague
  26. Catch a train to another country in Europe
  27. Learn to sew
  28. Travel to Scotland
  29. Perform at an open mic five times (did 1 set in 2013)
  30. Bake fortune cookies

Participating blogs: