Our flag is not a reaction to Australia's flag
Some people, without investigating the facts, assume we have red stars just so that our flag will be different to Australia's flag. The fact that we used the colour red even before we used the Southern Cross, and stuck with that colour right through to now, proves the Australia theory wrong. In fact the first Australian flag as such was chosen in 1901 (32 years after the proclamation of the Southern Cross version of the New Zealand flag by Governor Bowen in 1869). Bowen's flag also precedes the use of the Southern Cross in the 1870 flags of Victoria and New South Wales.