Republic good for NZ – Goff
Becoming a republic would be the “making of New Zealand as a country” and we need to start talking about it now, according to Labour leader Phil Goff.
In the most direct call for change from any senior politician yet, Goff said the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign was the logical transition point. “Succession of the monarchy is the time to have a head of state who is a New Zealander,” said Goff. “We need to start the conversation now. Don’t rush it. Fully consult the people of New Zealand. It’s a major change and needs a reasonable consensus.”
Prime Minister John Key has previously said it was “inevitable” New Zealand would become a republic but has ruled out the move coming during his time as prime minister.
Editorial: Goff right to call for debate on a republic
Hats off to the Labour Party leader, Phil Goff. In suggesting that New Zealanders should start talking about our country becoming a republic, he has gone where influential sitting politicians have feared to tread.
Most, including the current Prime Minister, talk about the inevitability of a republic but are unwilling to do anything to create it.
Time to talk republic, says Labour president
Labour president Andrew Little has called for a fresh debate about republicanism following a speech at the party’s conference by former Wallaby Peter Fitzsimons, an outspoken advocate of ditching the monarchy. Mr Little said that he backed Fitzsimons’ views, and it was time for New Zealand to engage in the debate.
“It’s a cop-out to say, ‘Yes, I’m a republican, but it’s not time’, that it be left up to somebody else. “That’s a failure of leadership, in my view,” said Mr Little.
This is smart thinking from Labour. It’s a clear, logical policy with broad popular appeal. It positions Labour as leaders, nation builders, on an issue where Key and the Nats have painted themselves into a conservative corner. And besides, it’s just damn time.
I’m sure that we all wish Queen many more years of happy and productive life. But let’s as a country decide once and for all that when she does go, it is time for us to cut the last of the apron strings.
If this is any indication of the bold new thinking that I hope is going to come out of the Labour conference – I like it!
[Image from Prodesign.]