Flag campaign brings more high profile support
18 January 2005
NZFlag.com Campaign brings more high profile support
The www.nzflag.com campaign to change New Zealand's flag has gained the support of four high profile New Zealanders. The latest endorsers are one of New Zealand's foremost writers C.K. Stead; former Silver Ferns Captain Bernice Mene; former Black Cap Dion Nash and Caffe L'affare coffee supremo Jeff Kennedy. With the latest additions, the number of prominent New Zealanders calling for a change in the flag now exceeds eighty!
In her endorsement Mene states "The significance of our flag never occurred to me until I had retired from international netball and was a spectator at the last World Champs. Seeing the participating teams' flags all in a row flying outside the main arena I struggled to differentiate New Zealand's from Australia's and many of the other Commonwealth countries…." www.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm
Waitakere based writer, poet, critic and academic, C.K. Stead notes "I am keen that we retain our historical connections with what used to be the Mother Country; but it's important that it should be on a basis of equality. For that reason I think we need our own symbols of identity, without colonial overtones..." www.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm
Former black cap Dion Nash states " …I understand the background to our existing flag and come from Irish and Scottish ancestry myself, yet, if you asked me do I identify with the Union Jack I would have to say no. I am a proud Kiwi and one who wants to see our country flourish but, if I can't identify with our current flag it makes me wonder how people with Maori, Samoan, Tongan, Indian, Chinese or any other ancestry might feel towards it..." www.nzflag.com/endorsements.cfm
Jeff Kennedy is one of the leaders of New Zealand's 'coffee renaissance'. In addition to being one of the largest roasters and distributors of coffee in the country he also runs the iconic Wellington based Caffe L'affare. In his endorsement Kennedy states "Our flag must represent and symbolise our status as a young, free, strong, proud and independent nation" and then colourfully suggests "...A Don Binney painting incorporating sea, hills and sky with a chirpy chubby bird? A kiwi that is shy, uncompetitive and halfway to extinction? A plant that wins and loses The Americas Cup? wins and loses the Rugby World Cup? and is emblazoned on the shirts of all our national sporting winners and losers? What characteristics make us as New Zealanders unique? Let's find out what we all have in common, what distinguishes our brand against all others…" www.nzflag.com/endorsements
Over eighty 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 www.nzflag.com website 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.