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Hadlee, Doig and Meads Join Trust

24 June 2005

Sir Richard Hadlee, Colin Meads, Christopher Doig and Dick Tayler join the Trust endorsers

Cricketer Sir Richard Hadlee, All Black great Colin Meads, Opera singer and former CEO of NZ Cricket Christopher Doig and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dick Tayler have joined the campaign to change New Zealand's flag.

In his endorsement, Sir Richard noted "The time is right for New Zealand to make changes to our flag. There has been a lot of talk and much debate but there needs to be decisive action to do something that clearly identifies New Zealanders from other people around the world. Too many people confuse our flag with the Australian one and it also becomes embarrassing when New Zealanders cannot tell the difference either."

All Black legend Colin Meads is a big supporter of New Zealanders choosing a new flag which better represents our country as it is today. "Symbols like the kiwi or the silver fern seem the most likely choices. When representing New Zealand as an All Black and in subsequent experiences internationally, I've noticed the confusion of our current flag with that of Australia. Like many countries, New Zealand has changed. I like the unity of patriotic support which the South African flag has brought that country. I think New Zealand needs the same".

Christopher Doig, former international opera singer and former CEO NZ Cricket has also endorsed the campaign. "I am a strong supporter of a change in our flag, not because I am anti-establishment, or anti-royalty, but because our traditional flag does not define our uniqueness or a defined New Zealand characteristic for me personally. It is far too derivative of a past era and is for many indistinguishable from the Australian flag and others."

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Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dick Tayler says "representing your country is something special for all sports people. It is a time which you never forget. Interestingly, when I won the 10,000m athletics gold medal at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games, it was not seeing the nation's flag hoisted high that inspired me. I was a proud Kiwi, and I was proud to wear the silver fern. In my view the silver fern we wore captured our nation's identity perfectly - it has strong historic meaning for this country and also could take us proudly into the future."

Over ninety 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 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 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 Trust, established in February 2004 seeks to gather around 300,000 signatures this year to hold a referendum asking New Zealanders to have their say on whether New Zealand should change its flag.


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