The Flag Consideration Project Panel have reviewed all 10,292 suggested flag designs and recently announced an official long list of 40 flag designs.
In an open letter to all New Zealanders, the Panel has explained how the designs were chosen, and what happens next. They highlighted that "The message was clear, and the Panel agreed. A potential new flag should unmistakably be from New Zealand and celebrate us as a progressive, inclusive nation that is connected to its environment, and has a sense of its past and a vision for its future."
The designs included in the official long list will go forward for further investigation as part of the official design review process. You can view the long list of flag designs here.
Here is how the flag consideration process works:
In mid-September the Panel will announce the 4 alternatives which eligible voters will rank in the first binding referendum. The Panel encourages people to make sure they are enrolled to vote so that they can take part in this nationally significant process.
In March next year, New Zealand will vote between the current flag and the preferred alternative.
Here's a video on the history of NZ's flag: