NZ still long way off becoming republic - PM -

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September 26th, 2007   #1

NZ still long way off becoming republic - PM info

New Zealand has made great strides in the 100 years since it became a "dominion", but it is still a long way off becoming a republic, Prime Minister Helen Clark says.
Happy birthday to New Zealand

Academics, politicians and other public figures gathered for a symposium at Parliament today marking 100 years since then prime minister Joseph Ward symbolically proclaimed the country was no longer a colony of the British Empire.
The country eventually became fully independent in 1947.
Miss Clark today told delegates New Zealand had made great progress in the 100 years since it had become a dominion embracing diversity and forging a unique identity.
But she later told reporters that she believed the next step moving to a republic was a long way off.
"I think New Zealanders generally take the view, `if it aint broke then don't fix it', and things tend to work as they are," she said.
" So the debate about republicanism is not one that people are seized of at the moment."
Asked if she would run for president in the event New Zealand became a republic, Miss Clark said it was "likely to be so far in the future that probably won't be a consideration".
In her speech to delegates Miss Clark said the most significant change over the past 100 years in terms of the country's identity was the willingness of New Zealanders to acknowledge the place of Maori and to embrace growing cultural diversity.
Much of the country's identity was shaped by its actions on the world stage including its anti-nuclear policy, its peacekeeping operations and foreign aid.
It was also shaped by its rich natural heritage, which it was important to preserve through sustainable environmental policies.
"The importance of being sustainable may well come to be seen as a core New Zealand value this century."
United Future leader Peter Dunne, who has campaigned for a nationally themed public holiday for years, said Dominion Day would be a good choice for a "New Zealand Day".
But Miss Clark scotched the idea, saying Waitangi Day and Anzac Day were already defacto national days and another was not needed.
New Zealand became a dominion just six years after it decided not to join the Australian federation across the Tasman.
The change was symbolic and did not affect the way it was governed. It had already been self governing since the 1850s and officially it remained a colony.
To celebrate the day in 1907, Parliament's buildings were decorated with lights using the then novel electricity, spelling out an "Advance New Zealand" slogan and all public servants were given the day off.
To mark the 100 year anniversary the front of the Parliamentary Library will again be lit up.
In 1945, NZ joined the United Nations, without using the prefix "Dominion of" , and dropped the term from its official letterheads in 1946. Sixty years ago, on November 25, 1947, Parliament formalised the nation's independence by adopting Britain's Statute of Westminster, and two weeks later, on December 10, the British Parliament ratified NZ's power to amend its own constitution.
September 26th, 2007   #2
Personally I hope we are closer to becoming a republic than she thinks, while I have no real issues with the monarchy other than thinking they have become irrelevant outside the UK I do believe that a move away from our colonial past would facilitate a "One People" mentality or at least remove the road blocks preventing the mentality.

In the end though I am prepared to bet that we will follow Australia on this issue.

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. - Voltaire 1694-1778
September 26th, 2007   #3
think New Zealanders generally take the view, `if it aint broke then don't fix it'
100% agree, we are under the crown and should stay that way. There is no point becoming a republic, if you want that go live in the US, and see how wonderful it is.

I was born under the crown, and my loyality is to the Queen not some wannabe king.

And that Clarke woman and bite her a** too.
September 26th, 2007   #4
So um, what's the big deal with this anyway?? Storm in a teacup is it?

"The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." - John Steinbeck
September 26th, 2007   #5
Originally Posted by Kiwi

100% agree, we are under the crown and should stay that way. There is no point becoming a republic, if you want that go live in the US, and see how wonderful it is.

I was born under the crown, and my loyality is to the Queen not some wannabe king.

And that Clarke woman and bite her a** too.
Just out of interest why do you have loyalty to the queen?

I have no beef with the monarchy and would not lead a republican campaign because I just don't care enough but whether I am saluting a king/queen or president makes no difference to me they are all just figureheads.
September 26th, 2007   #6
Originally Posted by MontyB
Just out of interest why do you have loyalty to the queen?.
Because I am a commonwealth citizen and I swore an oath to the Queen, I am one of her subjects.

Of course I am loyal to her.

Or have people forgotten the oath they swear to when joining the forces.

Queen and country.

@ Bulldog, to some, maybe those who have lost the sense of who they are.

Last edited by Kiwi; September 26th, 2007 at 04:11..
September 26th, 2007   #7
Serious question. If she dies and is replaced by a king must you retake the oath? Legal contractual language and all that an oath implies makes me wonder.

I've often thought, not implying you Kiwi, that people who prefer monarchies over republican forms of government do so because the way in which the crown is passed on relieves the common citizen of a sense of responsibility should the king or queen stuff things up. Whereas in a republican government the electorate bears the responsibility for their elected leaders faux pas.
September 26th, 2007   #8
Nope, the oath is "to serve her sovereign lady the queen, her heirs and successors".

However to answer Kiwi's question about remembering the armed forces oath I would also like to point out that the oath has an out clause, the last part of the oath states "and that I will loyally observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors, and of the officers set over me, until I shall be lawfully discharged" I left the "so help me god" part out as I signed the non-religious version.

But I guess this is splitting hairs as I am relatively certain that the oath is less important than the wishes of the nation therefore if New Zealand chooses to become a republic I strongly doubt the military will defend the crowns interests.

Last edited by MontyB; September 26th, 2007 at 05:03..
September 26th, 2007   #9
I think being a republic will come in time to both New Zealand and Australia, but like Monty don't give a fig either way. I'm already proud of my country and don't see what difference having a Queen or a President will make. For me the only deciding factor would be cost, if it is cheaper to remain as we are, stay that way, if a republic offers financial savings, let's consider it.

As for the Monarchy, I figure Liz hasn't done too badly, she doesn't interfere too much and costs us nothing except for visits as does any other visiting dignitary. The rest of them are somewhat lesser mortals, with the exception of Princess Anne, she has more "balls" than all of the Royal males put together. I learned to really like "Annie" many years ago when she was observed at some polo match with her children. It appears that one was playing up, so,... after a warning, she ups and grabs him by the arm and delivered several good hard whacks around the bum, then gave him a talking to. Problem solved.

When we do become a Republic, one thing I do not want to see is a President with any obvious political connections.

"I am totally responsible for what I write,... however I cannot be held responsible for your complete inability to understand"

September 26th, 2007   #10
I agree completely.

Although if she kicked Charles for touch I think I would be a little more supportive of the monarchy I have a fair amount of respect for Andrew.

Last edited by MontyB; September 26th, 2007 at 05:07..

100, day, dominion, years, zealand

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