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Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Peter Arnett, was today announced as one of the high profile speakers in the Southern Lakes Festival of Colour. This is a sneak preview glimpse of the programme that is to be officially launched next Thursday (27 January).

Arnett is just one of a number of high profile New Zealanders taking part in the Writers and Artists Programme during the Festival and will talk about the job of a war correspondent, reporting from the battle zone.

“Having Peter at the Festival is a tremendous opportunity for people to hear first hand from one of the greatest war correspondents of all time,” said festival director, Philip Tremewan. “Because the Festival falls just after ANZAC Day, we wanted to acknowledge this by including relevant elements within the programme. We’re delighted Peter is flying in from either Iraq or the USA (depending on his duties) for the Festival to deliver what is sure to be an utterly compelling talk.”

A true Southlander, Arnett was born in Riverton, raised in Bluff and started his career on the Southland Times newspaper in Invercargill. In 1961 he moved to Associated Press to cover the Vietnam War and it was this reporting that won him the Pulitzer Prize as well as many other awards.

In 1981 he switched print for TV and moved to the then little-known CNN. Arnett is best known for his live television coverage from Baghdad during the first Gulf War in 1991. His coverage is credited with making CNN a household name as millions of viewers tuned in to watch his dramatic accounts of the intense bombing campaign and his interview with President Saddam Hussein. This work earned him an Emmy, adding to the 57 major journalism awards for his reporting over the years. He was also the first western journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladan, a meeting that took place in a cave in the stronghold of Tora Bora.

*Writer at War* by Peter Arnett will take place in the Infinity Pacific Crystal Palace at 12 noon on Thursday 28 April. Tickets are $5 available on the door. The Festival of Colour runs from 27 April – 1 May in Lake Wanaka. For more information visit

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