Could Air New Zealand's Boeing 787 livery become the new NZ flag?

Could Air New Zealand's Boeing 787 livery become the new NZ flag?

Air New Zealand could quite literally become the Kiwi flag carrier if moves to change the New Zealand flag to the iconic 'silver fern' are successful.

The country is gearing up for a national referendum in March 2016 to pit one new design – narrowed down from 40 options – against the current flag (below), which is often criticised for both being beholden to Great Britain (courtesy of the Union Jack) but also often being mistaken for the Australian flag.

And the NZ fern is considered a front-runner, appearing in five of the 40 designs under consideration.

"Like the maple leaf to Canada, the silver fern screams New Zealand, and it's not just a mere sports symbol," says Kyle Lockwood, spokesman for the Silver Fern Flag group.

"The silver fern is on our army and navy logos, our firefighter, police and sportspersons uniforms, it's on our money, it's on our passports, it's on our national airliners, and soon our fern will be on New Zealand rockets sending satellites into space, it's our national symbol and it's time we put it on our flag."

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has previously voiced his own support for the flag to pair a silver fern against a black background.

That of course neatly mirrors the livery of Air New Zealand, especially the new-look designs of the airline's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which come in a special-edition 'all black' paintjob...

... along with a more standard white-and-black treatment.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • undertheradar


    11 Aug, 2015 12:46 pm

    whatever happens...the end result still won't please/appease everyone 

    No member give thanks

  • Hugo


    11 Aug, 2015 01:38 pm

    Union jack plus white fern seems like a good compromise. 

    No member give thanks

  • Jason Bird


    11 Aug, 2015 02:29 pm

    BBC have a cute video on this subject: 

    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER


    11 Aug, 2015 03:02 pm

    I'm sorry, but it's ridiculous to consider a sporting (mostly) image as a national flag.

    No member give thanks

  • riley


    11 Aug, 2015 04:10 pm

    I've just been click baited....

    No member give thanks

  • StudiodeKadent


    11 Aug, 2015 07:27 pm

    Considering how NZers get annoyed that their flag often gets mistaken for Australia's flag, I don't blame them.

    The silver fern is an extremely common national symbol over in NZ so it seems like using that as the new NZ flag is reasonable from a "brand identity" perspective. Of course that's a decision for the citizens of NZ to make.

    I agree with undertheradar that the end result won't please/appease everyone. Basically nothing in politics ever does.

    No member give thanks

  • henrus


    11 Aug, 2015 09:42 pm

    Don't worry David your not the only one to think that

    Some of the other flags also look like the NZ Doc, NZ Roads and some russian sport team

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka


    12 Aug, 2015 07:54 am

    A change of flags is an excellent propostion but it would be a shame if it was the starting salvo of further constitutional changes.

    The two must not be mixed up, intentionally or otherwise by vested interest.

    Canada would be a fantastic example, whereby a change of flag did not result in a move towards republicanism. 

    No member give thanks


18 Jul, 2019 07:47 pm


Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.


Resend activation email

If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.