The new design, officially known as Silver Fern, is the brainchild of architect Kyle Lockwood, who incorporated the black-and-white fern that New Zealand is already famous for onto the same background, with the same stars, keeping most of the old, but creating something that reflects New Zealand itself.
It won the runoff voting system against four other candidates. The only other design that even came close was a similar design by Lockwood, but with a red patch in the top left.
The final stage of the referendum is a ballot in March, which will see the new design go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all match against the old flag. Provided the new version wins, the new flag will be gradually rolled out, until the tiny Union Flag is nothing but a distant memory. [Elections NZ]