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Lindsey Dawson, Pauline Gillespie & John Psathas

For immediate release
Attention: Chief Reporter
www.NZFlag.com

7 September 2004

Lindsey Dawson, Pauline Gillespie & John Psathas join the NZflag.com debate

Editor and author Lindsey Dawson, Radio personality Pauline Gillespie and Composer John Psathas have joined over 60 New Zealand leaders from a broad cross section of New Zealand society in endorsing the NZflag.com debate about changing New Zealand's flag.

Lindsey Dawson, the founding editor of More, Next and Grace magazines, and now an author (four books), noted "The Union Jack on our flag indicates a country clinging to old England. It's time, now, for our own iconic symbols . Our flag looks like it flies over some junior outpost of empire from a musty old school atlas" and challenged all Kiwis "Where's our pride? Where's our independence? Let's find a new image. Soon."

Pauline Gillespie, prominent radio personality stated "I have always been a fan of our country, but never a fan of our current flag ... We are a land of diverse people from every corner of the earth. We are New Zealand. Bold as night, as silver as the ocean. No man ever fought for our flag. He fought for the spirit and soul of our unique land and our unique people. Let's be the bold and interesting individuals that we are!"

Composer John Psathas gave New Zealand music its largest audience ever when about 30 minutes of music he has composed and arranged was heard at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens. His music was heard at key moments such as when the flag was raised and the Olympic flame was lit. Of the New Zealand flag Psathas stated "The New Zealand team walking into the stadium of the Athens 2004 Opening Ceremony represented a country which has long since defined itself as unique and independent. Our successes (and our failures) are now ours to own; this is borne out every day in our individual and collective endeavours. It is high time we had a unique, born-of-New Zealand flag - a flag which represents our extraordinary heritage."

Over sixty prominent Kiwis across a range of disciplines including sports, the arts, education, religion and business are pushing for a referendum on a new national flag. The NZflag.com Trust has sought the support of such a broad range of New Zealand leaders to show, by their support and widely differing backgrounds, that the campaign has engagement with all sectors of New Zealand society.

Their names, photographs and endorsements appear on the www.nzflag.com website (http://www.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm) and include Olympic gold medallist, Barbara Kendall; world champion squash player, Susan Devoy; musician, Neil Finn, and businessmen Stephen Tindall, Dick Hubbard and Chris Liddell.

The www.NZflag.com Trust, established in April seeks to gather around 300,000 signatures early next year to hold a referendum asking New Zealanders to have their say on whether New Zealand should change its flag.

Ends.

www.NZFlag.com Trust has been established to inspire and stimulate debate about whether New Zealand should change its flag.

The Trust believes in three guiding principles:

1.. The debate must be apolitical

2.. Change can only happen if New Zealanders agree to change ie by a referendum

3.. The campaign must respect the current flag

Over 60 high profile New Zealanders representing a broad cross section of New Zealand society have currently endorsed the debate to change the flag, with more joining each week.

Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop: "New Zealand, Aotearoa, the land of inspiration, innovation and original thought. Our culture is special, our people unique. From our pacificana home we can proudly stamp our cultural reference and wave our uniquely New Zealand flag above the world stage. I endorse the concept of celebrating our land, our people with a national flag that respects and appreciates the wonderful country that we have become."

For endorsements from over 60 other high profile New Zealanders go to www.nzflag.com

Eds.Don't forget the Schools design a flag and essay writing competition launched at Avondale College 25 May. Have you contacted a school near you to see what the students think?


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