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"It's time for New Zealand to get a new flag"

10 January 2005

Great NZ Multi-sporter Steve Gurney says
"It's time for New Zealand to get a new flag"

The Trust behind the www.nzflag.com campaign to change New Zealand's flag has gained the support of champion multi and adventure sporter Steve Gurney.

In his endorsement, Gurney states "Our flag design based on the Union Jack, is very significant for some, especially those who have risked their lives in war under that banner. My sincere appeal and suggestion to those friends is to transfer that same fervour and dedication to a symbol that can engender an even deeper passion. Think of the generations to come that will proudly take their inspiration from a symbol that is distinctly New Zealand.

Watching our athletes win medals at Athens brought a proud tingle down my spine and a tearful smile. However, at the flag-raising ceremony, the euphoria was curiously incomplete. Eventually I realised that subconsciously I was fearful that our flag might not be recognised as Kiwi because it was so similar to many others. It was not proudly distinctive. Indeed, as if to confirm my fears, I hear that the flag-raising officials were somewhat confused in their choice between the NZ and Australian flags!

I believe it is high time we changed to a flag that stands out as distinctly and proudly Kiwi. It makes good sense to have the new design based on the sliver fern as it is already widely accepted as representative of New Zealand, and besides it is very eye-catching!

On a personal level, I frequently represent New Zealand internationally in sport. On my clothing I've never used the Union Jack New Zealand flag. I always use the silver fern as it is infinitely more meaningful to me and also instantly recognisable.

I suggest we set a goal to have our new flag before the Beijing Olympics."

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 http:// http://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 www.nzflag.com website http:// http://www.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.

ENDS

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