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.