(flag has been omitted until anyone more knowledgable in New Zealand's flag and ensign history is able to inform me of what the flag may have been in 1883/1884)
The quote from the New Zealand Gazette is as follows:
|New Zealand Gazette: Saturday October 23 1869 wrote:|
Whereas by a Proclamation bearing date the 10th day of January One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty Seven the letters NZ were temporarily appointed as the badge of New Zealand; And whereas it is expedient to adopt a permanent device; Now therefore I Sir George Ferguson Bowen, the Governor of the colony of New Zealand, do hereby appoint that the seal and badge in future to be worn, in accordance with the Queen's Regulations, as the distinctive badge of the colony, by all vessels belonging to or permanently employed in the service of the Colonial Government of New Zealand, shall be the Southern Cross, as represented in the Blue Ensign by four five-pointed red stars in the fly, with white borders to correspond to the colouring of the Jack; in the Jack by four five-pointed white stars on the red ground of the St George's Cross; and in the pendant by four stars near the staff similar to those in the Ensign. And I do further order that the temporary badge consisting of letters NZ at present in use in colonial vessels shall from and after this date be discontinued.
Wellington. 23rd October 1869. W.Gisborne.
This was not altered until the Ensign and Code Signals Bill 1902. There is apparently an image dated 1875 in the Colonial Office file of General Despatches which has the ensign as being akin to the current national flag, but with the stars grouped together fairly tightly, roughly as in this image
. Hope this helps.