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Service for Rt Hon David Lange

19 August 2005 Media Statement

Service for Rt Hon David Lange

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced details of the public memorial service to celebrate the life of David Lange.

"The service at the Big Top at Ericsson Stadium, Mt Smart, Auckland, has been organised in conjunction with David Lange's family by the Visits and Ceremonial Office and Gary McCormick, a long-time family friend," Helen Clark said.

"The service is designed to be a celebration of David's life, with tributes from a wide range of family, friends, and contributions from groups David spent his life working with.

"The service starts at 11.00 am, but members of the public are encouraged to arrive by 10.30 am, at the Maurice Rd entrance. There is limited public seating available inside the Big Top but there is standing room for several thousand people. There is also standing room for many thousands outside, where a large screen will broadcast proceedings.

"The service will begin with a mihimihi and karakia by a Tainui kaumatua, and an introduction by Gary McCormick.

"Speakers will include Sir Edmund Hillary; David's sister Margaret, brother Peter, and son Roy; close friends and colleagues including representatives of the Samoan and Indian communities, Gerald Ryan on behalf of NZ Rugby League, David's law tutor Bernard Brown, Morrie Chandler representing the sport of rallying, and Maungakiekie MP Mark Gosche. I will also speak as Prime Minister and as a former colleague.

"Many musicians have also offered their services. There will be songs and performances by Ben Makisi, the De la Salle choir, Hammond Gamble, Midge Marsden, Dave Dobbyn, Adease, Nesian Mystic, and the Auckland Pacific Island Gospel Choir.

"Archival film has been supplied by TVNZ and will be played as part of the ceremony. The service will conclude with a prayer and Grace from the Reverend Keith Rowe.

"It is expected that the formal part of the service will take approximately two hours and it will be followed by a public barbecue.

"David's death has touched many New Zealanders. This memorial gathering enables us to celebrate his life and achievements," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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