Kiwis love a bargain

Hemi Te Hipkins Senior Cultural Policy Analyst Cultural Policy Section Ministry of Internal Affairs Wellington has found a good reason why few of us are agitating to become a republic.

In a confidential de-briefing to Prince William he writes:

Ignore the gloomy republicans, Sir. Most of us are happy to maintain 1000 years of tradition (or whakapapa as we usually call it here), especially since we basically get the lot on the cheap.

Kiwis love a bargain, Sir, and what we’ve got is a bit like belonging to a library rather than buying the book. We get a Governor General, a couple of posh houses, nice visits (like yours), the odd Speech from the Throne, your Gran’s message at Christmas, and it all costs us about the same as the French pay for Mrs Sarkozy’s posh frocks – and a lot less than the Yanks cough up to run Obama’s chopper!

Apropos of William and our constitutional relationships, Chris Trotter at Bowalley Road has found historical precedents for not following strict rules of succession and has come up with a cunning plan:

WHY NOT KING BILLY? Seriously. It would make the monarchy interesting again – and God knows it needs it!
The alternative is Keith Locke’s worthy (but dull) Head-of-State Referenda Bill, which, if it becomes law, will almost certainly deliver some worthy (but dull) former judge or prime minister (Dame Sylvia Cartwright. Jim Bolger? Helen Clark!) as New Zealand’s first president.
No, if the monarchists are serious about preserving our current constitutional monarchy, HRH Prince William is their best bet. . .
. . .  So come on Prime Minister, introduce your own “Royal Succession Bill” and turn HRH Prince William into our very own “King Billy”.
If he refuses his antipodean subjects, he’ll be effectively declaring the New Zealand Republic.
President Helen Clark – anyone?

Now there’s a thought to turn some republicans back into monarchists, but it might also strengthen the resolve of some republicans.


One Response to Kiwis love a bargain

  1. Lewis Holden says:

    The argument that the Royal tour was a bargain is nonsense, as is the claim that an alternative republican head of state would be more expensive.

    For starters, the $200,000 spend on William’s tour was a waste of taxpayers’ money considering both the Gov-Gen or Chief Justice could’ve done the job of opening our Supreme Court. Symbolically it would’ve been more fitting as well.

    Secondly, the Gov-Gen costs NZ taxpayers between $8m – $11m per year. In contrast, the President of Ireland (a country of similar size, unlike France and the US as cited by Jim Hopkins) costs their taxpayers about $9m p.a. The claim a republic would be more expensive is bullshit.

    “Now there’s a thought to turn some republicans back into monarchists, but it might also strengthen the resolve of some republicans.”

    The President Helen Clark claim is nonsense also – does anyone really think a three-quarters majority of parliament would vote for it? Moreover, does anyone think Clark could win a majority in a direct STV election? Of course not – the polling shows her getting more than Goff but far less than everyone else. The contention is meant to frighten the general public into supporting the useless, irrelevant monarchy.


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