News World Comedian John Oliver sticks boot into ‘boring’ Kiwis
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Comedian John Oliver sticks boot into ‘boring’ Kiwis

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British comedian John Oliver has made a mockery of New Zealand’s search for a new national flag, labelling the government’s final shortlist of 40 designs as “boring”.

The sarcastic yet scathing Oliver didn’t miss during the three-minute rant, chiding everyone from the nation’s general public, politicians and even its national symbol, the Kiwi bird.

On his American comedy show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, he described the animal as resembling: “A dumb fat mouse who got his face stuck on a straw.”

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Photo: Shutterstock
The Kiwi bird. Or “A dumb fat mouse who got his face stuck on a straw”. Photo: Shutterstock

Last year, New Zealand launched a design competition for a new national flag, deemed to be too similar to Australia’s.

On the similarities, Oliver observed the flags look like one another “in the same way that ‘Ice Ice Baby’ is different from ‘Under Pressure'”.

“Which is to say they are basically the same but one is clearly worse.”

The comedian was particularly incensed at the banal nature of the 40 flags on the shortlist.

“The 40 flags on the shortlist are pretty boring. Which is ridiculous,” he said.

“The government put all of the flag designs online they rejected, and some of them are incredible.”

The flags John Oliver preferred

The comedian observed: “It’s actual title is ‘New Zealand’s True Nature’ and it looks like a very confused child’s depiction of where they think babies come from.”

Photo: Dominic Geddys-Cook
Photo: Dominic Geddys-Cook

He said the Kiwi bird got a new lease of life in this design: “If you ever saw that flag (below) it would be impossible not to pledge allegiance to it.”

Photo: James Gray
Photo: James Gray

But his favourite was: “This one, titled ‘Eggsplosion’. And the artist explanation for his design is: ‘Because New Zealanders like eggs and explosions are cool'”. 

Photo: Jeong Hyuk Fidan
Photo: Jeong Hyuk Fidan

“Please New Zealand, I am begging you. When it comes time to vote for your new flag, write ‘Eggsplosion’ down, because that’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.”

It’s not the first time Oliver has weighed into the debate about New Zealand’s new flag, nor is it the only time he has passed comment on our eastern neighbours.

He previously joked about Prime Minister John Key’s penchant for pulling the hair of little girls.

Check out the comedian’s full takedown on New Zealand and the flag shortlist below:

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