mattwnz: I don't think people should be given a choice. I think the design should be designed and selected by professionals who specialise in design. The fact is that many NZers have poor taste, as can be evidenced by going into many peoples homes. So can those people be trusted to choose the best flag design? I mean you don't design a building by getting the country to come up with a design.
The existing 1902 design was not the work of a design professional.
Admiral Albert Hastings Markham was an interesting character:
To quote from his wiki entry:
"Albert was often moody, irritable and defensive. He had a strong sense of duty as a naval officer, which compelled him to serve with a strict adherence to rules and established practices, and strong religious convictions. He did not smoke, allowing that a gentleman might have an occasional cigar, but believing that cigarettes were for effeminate weaklings and that a black pipe ruined mind and body. He did not drink and disapproved of those who did. He found it difficult to socialise with other officers. ...
"Markham's family emigrated to the United States and John Markham bought a farm at La Crosse in Wisconsin. Albert visited them twice and he was unimpressed. He found the trains slow, the hotels disreputable, and traveling companions murderous. He was impressed by the wild grandeur and wildlife of the Mississippi Valley and was invited to hunt with General Mackenzie in Indian territory. ...
"In 1869 he submitted a design to the Governor of New Zealand for a national ensign for the fledgling nation. His proposal, incorporating the Southern Cross, was approved and remains in use to this day."