Final four flag finalists announced tomorrow

Kiwis will know tomorrow which flags they can vote for in the first referendum that will help decide if New Zealand adopts a fresh design.

The Flag Consideration Panel will name the four alternatives tomorrow at 10am from Te Papa in Wellington, which will then be subjected to the first referendum later this year.

Prime Minister John Key said the "four were a good reflection on what was over 10,000 designs, distilled down to 40".

"I think there’s two or three there that could be a new New Zealand flag. It will be for New Zealanders to decide.

"My sense is that there’s quite a bit of movement happening. People who initially thought they would stay with the old flag are now starting to think they’ll move over and go with a new one."

Mr Key reiterated his preference for a silver fern flag.

"The story of New Zealand is based around that. It’s been used in all sorts of way by New Zealanders for a very long time. In my mind a flag that’s going to be successful is one that’s instantly recognisible."

The $26 million campaign allowing Kiwis to decide if they want a new flag, and if so which one, has been met with feverous debate.

Voters will decide which flag from the four choices will go head-to-head with the current New Zealand flag in a second referendum next March.

Both referendums are binding. No date has yet been set for the first referendum, which is expected to take place in November or December.

The flag consideration panel selected 40 designs from more than 10,000 submitted by the public. Source: 1 NEWS

'I think they had a plan to kill me' - Christchurch liquor store owner recalls horrific attack

A Christchurch liquor store owner, badly beaten across the head with full bottles of booze, believed his attackers had "a plan to kill" him.

Gursharan Singh told ONE News the attackers smashed full bottles across his head, including two bottles of cider and a bottle of bourbon.

"You can see how hard the glass is," he said explaining Saturday night's brazen robbery at the Woolston Tavern.

Just before closing Mr Singh said he asked some suspicious looking customers for their IDs, and when they refused he locked the front door and asked them to return the alcohol.

“One of the guys took the bottle of cider and smashed it over my head … and while I ran they smash me four or five times more.

“I thought ‘if I fell down they were going to kill me’ and I try to save myself and the other staff to a safe place.”

The three teens, aged 15, 16, and 17 all appeared today in court charged with aggravated robbery, while the 17-year-old also faced an additional charge of serious assault as police allege he knocked out a 48-year-old man and stole his car for the getaway.

“We could easily have been dealing with a homicide here,” police said.

Mr Singh said he thought "the guys had a plan to kill me, but I'm lucky I ran away from them and saved my life".

“Sunday morning I wake up and pray thanks to God … I’m lucky I’m still alive.”

He said he loved his job and planned to return to work, but would always have the faces of attackers etched in his memory.

Police are also hoping to speak to a customer who was in the liquor store at the time of the robbery.

A South Island liquor store owner tells ONE News how he survived the horrifying ordeal. Source: 1 NEWS


Adult website users become victims of extortion by overseas criminals

Internet users surfing online adult sites are being warned by police to be wary after some users became victims of extortion by overseas based criminals.

Waikato Police have dealt with two victims but suspect there may be several more who haven't come forward.

"It appears overseas based fraudsters are preying on New Zealanders who engage in online sexual activity and once they have made contact with the person, cash is demanded," Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson of the Hamilton CIB said.

The victims are also threatened that video of them using the website will be posted on social media if the money is not paid.

Mr Patterson said one of the main challenges for investigators is that the complaints of extortion are difficult to pursue as the offenders are based overseas.

"We are issuing a broad warning to users of internet based adult websites to be aware, it appears users are being watched and they may become a victim of attempted extortion."

computer user
Victims were threatened that video of them using the website will be posted on social media Source: