Republic inevitable – McKinnon

April 7, 2014

Sir Don McKinnon, former deputy Prime Minister and Commonwealth Secretary General, says it’s inevitable that New Zealand will become a republic.

“I think it’s inevitable. I don’t know when and I’m not going to campaign actively one way or the other. I have a great respect for Her Majesty the Queen. I had so many meetings with her, and I have respect for Prince Charles. We had him here a little over a year ago and he proved very popular with the people. But it’s a debate that will continue, it’s important we have a good debate about this and about the flag.

“I think we have been for a long time, and I’m quite certain the Royal Family understands that completely. Look, 54 countries in the Commonwealth, only 16 are realms, and I can tell you now, one Caribbean publicly and three Caribbean privately are probably going to give up that relationship with the monarchy when the Queen dies. So it is a diminishing group of countries, and the important thing is for us to openly and candidly debate the issue.”

I think he’s right that it’s inevitable but unless there’s a big change of opinion it won’t be happening soon,

Recent polls show no burning desire for change.

I am agnostic on the issue.

I don’t like the idea that someone has power, albeit titular, and prestige through an accident of birth rather than their own efforts.

However, what we have works, is stable and relatively inexpensive.

Sir Don’s comments were made during an interview on Q & A.


Kiwis love a bargain

January 23, 2010

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.

 


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