Flag virtues are simplicity and links to heritage.
Flag has green, white and blue colours of our beautiful country, from bush to mountain to sky, from farm to beach to sea. Also the colours of paua-shell (NZ icon) found mostly green, white and blue, but sometimes with splashes of red.
Green and white are the top and bottom colours of a silver fern, and instead of a complicated shape the leaf is simply represented by a triangle for each side. The silver fern is a native plant, and symbolic of all things native. In that sense it references one treaty partner, Maori who were here first. The native side is honoured by being closer to the flagpole.
The other side has stars of the Southern Cross. The red-white-and-blue colours hint at the British heritage of our country but are not ruled over by the Union Flag. Southern Cross references our location, and our fimbrillated stars are unique among national flags. Four stars also reference directions north-south-east-west: after the Treaty people came to NZ from all parts of the world. The two sides have equal size reflecting equality and partnership.