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Helen Clark urges Kiwis to take part in Earth Hour

Helen Clark urges all Kiwis to take part in Earth Hour 2010

New Zealand joins the global lights-out event in March

WWF has today announced Earth Hour will take place on Saturday 27 March 2010 from 8.30 – 9.30pm. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has joined the conservation organisation in calling on all New Zealanders to take part in the global event that “recognises the importance of personal action in the movement to stop dangerous climate change”.

Earth Hour shows that a simple energy-saving act repeated by many can make a difference, and symbolises the massive public support for continued action on climate change. Since it began in Sydney in 2007, the campaign has grown to become the largest mass-environmental action in history. In 2009, Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people in more than 4,000 cities - including 1.5 million New Zealanders [1] - turn off lights for one hour in a graphic demonstration of support for determined international action on climate change.

Earth Hour ambassador Helen Clark said: "In 2008 I launched WWF-New Zealand's first ever Earth Hour in Christchurch . Its message was simple but powerful: that our individual actions may be small, but together we can make a difference.

"Since then I've seen the Earth Hour message grow as increasing numbers of people - in New Zealand and around the world - recognise the importance of personal action in the movement to stop dangerous climate change.

"The support of local councils across New Zealand has played an important role in helping WWF create a successful campaign for long-term behavioural change.

"I am pleased to support WWF's Earth Hour once again, and I encourage all New Zealanders to participate on 27 March 2010. Through our personal actions on this hour, and every hour, we can demonstrate our commitment to living in better balance with our ecosystems and saving our planet from disastrous climate change."

Earth Hour already has the support of 37 councils across New Zealand , and official partners include TV3, MoreFM, Trade Me and Good magazine. In addition to Helen Clark, more than a dozen high profile Kiwis from many walks of life are already signed up as Earth Hour ambassadors, including 3 News reporter and presenter Samantha Hayes, TV and radio host Wallace Chapman, financial journalist and commentator Rod Oram, Sustainable Business Network head Rachel Brown, and World Champion Trans-Atlantic rower Rob Hamill.

Chris Howe, Executive Director of WWF- New Zealand said: “Earth Hour provides Kiwis with a chance to demonstrate their commitment to protecting New Zealand ’s, and the planet’s, environment. Take part and add your voice to the growing number of people who are prepared to their bit. Climate change may be bigger than each of us, but it is not bigger than all of us.”

Individuals, businesses and organisations wanting to take part in WWF’s Earth Hour can register today at www.earthhour.org.nz . Open-source materials including campaign badges and posters will be available to enable people to show their support.

ENDS

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