Here’s no surprise: John Key will vote for a Kyle Lockwood flag


Prime Minister John Key says he will be voting for Kyle Lockwood’s black and blue version to be the alternative national flag.

The Silver Fern (Black, white and blue) was Mr Key’s personal preference over the similar red, blue and white version by Mr Lockwood, he told reporters today.

A Melbourne-based architectural designer, Mr Lockwood has two of his flags in the final five flags heading for a showdown with the incumbent ensign.

The postal ballot to rate the five options takes place between November 20 and December 11. … Read more »

Why the RSA must vote for the Koru instead of deface their ballots


The RSA is encouraging people to invalidate their votes by writing “we support the current flag” on their ballot paper.

That’s despite several RSA branches coming out against it.

Devonport RSA president Chris Mullane said he’s disappointed to see the RSA promoting a boycott that no one will notice.

“And that’s based on payback not only from members, but also from other members o[f] the public.”

He said it’s not a good look for the RSA to encourage voters to undermine the democratic process.

“Invalidating your vote in the first referendum achieves nothing, it does not send a message to anybody because you don’t know why people invalidated their their votes.”

Read more »

Make sure you carry some cash this week


Twice now I have been wanting to get my family their poppies, as well as my own, but I rarely if ever carry cash on me.

It’s the way things are going. ? So, just like me, make sure you put some gold coins or an orange or blue note in your pocket before you head out this weekend.


– Pete




Are the RSA turning Anzac Day into a cash cow?

The Royal Returned and Services Association (RSA) needs to be wary of marketers hijacking Anzac Day for commercial gain, marketing experts say.

The 100th anniversary of Anzac Day on April 25 has seen many companies trying to earn some goodwill from the commemorations.

Things went awry for Woolworths in Australia after the Minister for Veteran Affairs there demanded the company remove its unauthorised “fresh in our memories” Anzac social media campaign following widespread derision on social media.

In New Zealand companies have chosen various ways to mark the event – many with the approval of the RSA.

Fonterra said its drivers had requested sticking poppies on the front of its milk trucks. The companies said it would give free milk to all 180 RSAs nationwide.

ANZ has partnered with the RSA for a number of years, particularly around a speech competition.

Countdown said it would take donations in its stores and sell special Anzac biscuits, while many restaurants offered “veterans dine free” evenings.

German-owned shipping company DHL said it was helping to return old ammunition from World War I battlegrounds to Australia.

I think the test is really quite simple: ?unless the RSA is the major beneficiary of ‘corporate kindness’, then the whole deal is probably dodgy. ? Proper supporters will just flick the RSA some coin or material support, but they do not then shout it from the roof tops that they have done so. ? Read more »


59,000 killed or wounded

Lest we forget the sacrifices made for us.

Rusty Vail, a member of New Zealand’s first SAS squad, helped to illuminate a giant 13m poppy in Auckland last night, to mark Poppy Day and the upcoming World War I centennial.

Alongside Auckland’s youngest army soldier, 17-year-old Private Tala Ellender-Nottage, the 86-year-old veteran projected the poppy on to the Sky Tower from the roof of the SkyCity Grand Hotel.

A poppy display will take place today down Federal St, with members of the Blues and Vodafone Warriors collecting money beneath the Sky Tower from 1pm to 3pm. Several Defence Force personnel and army vehicles will also be on site.

If you’re there, go say hi. ? Read more »


Brazen profiteering off ANZAC gets Woolworths smacked up with memes

It should be no surprise to Countdown suppliers that their parent company Woolworths in Australia has been slammed for their ANZAC promotion.

Woolworths tribute to the Anzac legend backfired spectacularly on Tuesday night with its “fresh in our memories” social media campaign launching a barrage of memes.

In anticipation of the centenary of the WWI Gallipoli campaign this April, the supermarket giant asked Australians to share a memory of someone affected by war by changing their social media profile pictures to an image of that person using its?profile picture generator – which has now been taken down from the internet.

The generator branded the uploaded images with the Woolworths logo and the text “Lest We Forget Anzac 1915-2015. Fresh in our memories”. But the attempt to tie the Anzac story and loss in war to the “fresh food people” brand was swiftly met with derision and laughter.

It quickly became embarrassingly clear how easily the campaign could be hijacked. Twitter users got creative with their choice of profile pictures, tweeting the results with the hashtags ?#freshinourmemories and #brandzacday.

Some used the generator to criticise crassness of a marketing campaign that cashed in on Anzac.

Read more »

Winston picks another winner: Why are we having a flag referendum?

Winston Peters said his party was backing a “fight for the flag” campaign by the Returned and Services Association (RSA).

“New Zealand First backs the RSA’s call for the first referendum to simply ask, ‘Do you want to change the flag?’ If the majority say ‘no’ then that should be it,” Mr Peters said.

“We challenge all other Members of Parliament to publicly declare if they will back the RSA’s call.

“Kiwis fought, died and were buried under this flag. That has to count for something since there are some things that are beyond politics and our flag is one of them.”

It’s a fair question. ?It wasn’t an issue until John Key made it one of his personal projects.

Everyone can foresee ?time when we may choose to change the flag. ?Perhaps when we declare ourselves independent of Mother Britain. ?And certainly not at the same time as the Gallipoli Centenary. ?? Read more »

As predicted, the RSA lines up against John Key’s stupid flag referendum

I said a few weeks back that John Key was mad to die int eh ditch over the flag, to cash in his political capital for a flag.

People aren’t marching in the streets demanding a flag change. So why bother…all it is going to do is attract negative attention and damage his political capital.

Predictably the RSA has weighed in against the process and the change.

The RSA says the process involved in changing the flag is unnecessarily complicated and costly.

Over the next few weeks Parliament’s justice and electoral committee will consider the New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill, reporting back to Parliament by July 19.

RSA chief executive David Moger said the association would take its support for the country’s flag to the committee.

He said the RSA’s main concern was the process of the decision, which would cost around $26 million. ? Read more »


Bloody NIMBYs work to wreck plans for new RSA

Only the most miserable person would object to the construction of a new RSA, but that is what has happened in Christchurch.

Christchurch war veterans are battling to drink at their new RSA because neighbours believe they could be a “noise nuisance”.

The Returned Services’ Association, due to re-open on Armagh St next month, applied for a liquor on-licence to serve alcohol from 8am to 1am, seven days a week. Proceeds from drink sales would supplement their veterans’ welfare trust.

Several neighbours opposed the application, including two apartment building body corporates.

RSA president Pete Dawson said neighbours had the right to object, but it was frustrating after 95 years of “exemplary” behaviour on the site. About 75 per cent of the RSA’s 1100 members were war veterans. More than 200 were more than 90 years old.? Read more »

Increasing business by kicking the RSA in the shins? I don’t think so

Mohamed Hassan reports on a business running derogatory radio ads about the RSA

A “tongue-in-cheek” radio advertisement about RSA food has prompted anger at an Auckland bar.

The Ponsonby Social Club was accused of making “untrue and defamatory statements”, following an ad campaign claiming the food provided at Returned Serviceman’s Associations was less than desirable.

The ad, which ended its run six weeks ago, said food at the venue was “kinda like the RSA, but without the chewy meat and overboiled veges”.

A listener filed a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) defending the quality of the food served at RSA establishments, and saying the advertisement was offensive.

Ponsonby Social Club said it was “surprised” by the complaint, because it intended the ad to be “tongue-in-cheek”and did not expect anyone to be offended.

It had moved on to a different campaign, and would not be running the ad again, it said.

What next? ?Picking on kindergartens and Age Concern socials? ?What’s wrong with these people? ? Read more »