$250,000 raised for Kidz First

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Time for a new flag?

The ques­tion splits a room full of cor­po­rate high fliers and guests dur­ing a black tie din­ner with the Prime Min­is­ter at SkyCity on Fri­day night.

But guest speaker John Key isn’t let­ting it go.

‘‘Give me three min­utes,’’ he says. ‘‘ And then let’s see an­other show of hands.’’

A hardy few stick to their guns af­ter a com­pelling call for change but the ma­jor­ity swings to­ward a new look.

One thing’s for sure, the PM says four months ahead of a gen­eral elec­tion and on the back of prom­ise to de­bate the is­sue fur­ther in a new par­lia­men­tary term – say no and you’ll prob­a­bly be stuck with what you’ve got for an­other 50 years.

The speech, hinged on na­tional pride and pros­per­ity, came in the midst of a fundraiser or­gan­ised by the Mad Butcher and Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers Com­mu­nity Trust.

And it may well have been what in­spired some of Auck­land’s wealth­i­est res­i­dents to dig deep through the re­main­der of the evening as pro­ceeds from an auc­tion, pledges, do­na­tions and ticket sales amounted to a mas­sive $250,000. The money will go to the Kidz First Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal for the treat­ment of pre­ma­ture ba­bies.

‘‘We’re ab­so­lutely thrilled with what the team man­aged to raise for such a wor­thy cause,’’ trust chair­man and Fair­fax Me­dia north­ern re­gion gen­eral man­ager David Penny says. ‘‘It’s a great re­sult and a fan­tas­tic ex­am­ple of what you can achieve with the sup­port of so many good spon­sors.’’

Star guest, left: Guest speaker Prime Min­is­ter John Key with Jac­qui and David Penny.

Pho­tos: PHOTOTEK.CO.NZ

Fam­ily out­ing: From left: Lady Janice Leitch, Julie Leitch, Sir Peter Leitch, MC Paula Ben­nett and An­gela Leitch.

Ra­dio per­son­al­ity: Leighton Smith and Carolyn Leaney.

Go to auck­land­now.co.nz for more pho­tos.

Sell­ing power: Char­ity auc­tion­eer Dar­ren Brady from Har­veys in Pa­pakura and Mike Mahoney.

Dy­namic duo: Michael Mor­ton and MC Paula Ben­nett.

Glammed up: Rory and Jennifer Glass.

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