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Dame Cath Tizard heads new group of NZFlag.com

Dame Cath Tizard heads new group of NZFlag.com Trust endorsers

Dame Cath Tizard, New Zealand's Governor General from 1990-96, heads a list of new endorsers joining the www.nzflag.com campaign to change New Zealand's flag.

In her endorsement, Dame Cath noted "We don't wear the clothes of a century ago or drive around today in Model T Fords. Our present flag served a young post-colonial country well, but the time has come to consider a change which more appropriately recognises our changed identity and confidence in ourselves. Let's find out what the country thinks of the idea of a change."

The Mayor of Waimakariri, Jim Gerard, and the Mayor of Horowhenua, Brendan Duffy, join the Mayors of Waitakere, Bob Harvey; Auckland, Dick Hubbard; New Plymouth, Peter Tennent; Wellington, Kerry Prendegast; and Christchurch, Garry Moore; as endorsers of the campaign. In addition the former Mayors of Dunedin, Sukhi Turner, and Tauranga, Jan Beange, remain endorsers.

Opera singer Paul Whelan has also endorsed the campaign. Whelan, a singer with a major international career says "Being from New Zealand is a badge that brings a lot of admiration around the world. We are increasingly known not just for the beauty and culture, but also for our independent political position. The current flag implies that we are an extension of the UK and Australia, and despite our strong and continuing connections with those countries, it is time for a flag that reflects how we stand now."

Over seventy prominent Kiwis across a range of disciplines including local government, sports, the arts, education, religion and business are pushing for a referendum on a new national flag. The www.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 website ww.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm and include Olympic gold medallist, Barbara Kendall; world champion squash player Dame Susan Devoy; musician Neil Finn; businessman Stephen Tindall, and Richard Taylor of Weta.

The www.NZflag.com Trust, established in February 2004 seeks to gather around 300,000 signatures in early 2005 to hold a referendum asking New Zealanders to have their say on whether New Zealand should change its flag.

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 70 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."

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