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Time to become a republic

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, December 5th, 2019 - 85 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, Parliament, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags:

There has been recent speculation that Queen Elisabeth may be calling it a day and handing over the monarchy to Prince Philip Charles.

From the Daily Express:

Queen Elizabeth II is supposedly giving serious thought of stepping down and handing over the reign to Prince Charles, when she turns 95 in two years time.

At 95 she will be the same age as her husband Prince Philip, when he retired from official duties. In an interview with royal correspondent Robert Jobson a former senior member of the Royal Household said: ”Her Majesty is mindful of her age and wants to make sure when the time comes, the transition of the Crown is seamless. “I understand the Queen has given the matter considerable thought and believes that, if she is still alive at 95, she will seriously consider passing the reign to Charles.”

If this does occur then it is a perfect time for New Zealand to reconsider its constitutional arrangements.  And in my view it will be time for us to cut the Apron Strings to the UK and form our own unique way of doing things.

Although Lizzie has been a careful and conscientious leader and Charles has strong Green credentials the same cannot be said about other members of the Royal Family.  Prince Philip is capable of saying the most racist things, and there has been this weird war waged through the media on Meghan Markle.

Prince Andrew has had a bad few weeks.  He has been accused of an inappropriate bordering on coercive relationship with a 17 year old woman and forced to apologise for his links to Jeffrey Epstein.  And it appears that he has been using his office for the pursuit of personal financial gain.  From the Herald:

Prince Andrew has been plunged deeper into crisis with a just-published exposé of his business activities by Britain’s Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper has revealed how the Duke of York repeatedly “exploited” his taxpayer-funded role as Britain’s trade envoy to work behind the scenes for his close friend, the controversial multi-millionaire financier David Rowland.

Emails reveal that while on official trade missions meant to promote UK business, Andrew was quietly plugging a private Luxembourg-based bank for the super-rich, owned by Rowland and his family.

In an astonishing conflict of interests, the Prince allowed the Rowlands to shoehorn meetings into his official trade tours so they could expand their bank and woo powerful and wealthy clients.

He also passed them private government documents they had no right to see. It can also be revealed that, at the time, Andrew co-owned a business with the Rowlands in a secretive Caribbean tax haven.

It was to be used to lure the Prince’s wealthy Royal contacts to invest in a tax-free offshore fund. One email exchange reveals that when Andrew was facing the sack from his envoy role because of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, Rowland’s son and business lieutenant, Jonathan, suggested their commercial activities could continue “under the radar”. Andrew responded: “I like your thinking.”

The Royal Family is already independently wealthy.  The only possible response for Andrew’s actions is greed.

Things are that bad that Donald Trump is denying that he knows Andrew, despite having met him numerous times.

Let us put to one side the criticisms and think of the principle.  Why should being born into a family guarantee constitutional privilege?  Shouldn’t appointment to this most important of office be based on merit as determined by a democratic process?

It seems that the date that Lizzie stands down as Queen is fast approaching.  This is the perfect time to have a discussion about the potential for New Zealand to become truly constitutionally independent.

85 comments on “Time to become a republic ”

  1. Clive Macann 1

    Agreed.

    Can't imagine Charles would or could get any credibility or loyalty from the masses.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    "…From the Daily Express:…"

    Jeez, did you have a long shower and try to scrub yourself clean with a steelo pad after reading that rag?

  3. Booker 3

    handing over the monarchy to Prince Philip

    Typo in first paragraph.

    [Bugger I thought I had fixed that. Now corrected thanks – MS]

  4. Climaction 4

    So we can have a president? Be careful what you wish for

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      President Helen Clark has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

      • cleangreen 4.1.1

        Don't we wish.

        • greywarshark 4.1.1.1

          Let's cut the cost of elections. Let candidates for Presidency fight for domination each say four years. Aspiring President Helen Clark against Aspiring President John Key. Choice of weapons to be agreed.

          Perhaps tongue lashing with invective for multiple rounds each of 10 minutes until one collapses, or surrenders. Or physical prowess to show fitness of body and agility of mind, say fencing with epees with no guards, which would allow wounding, though safety vests would be worn to protect the heart, in case the candidates have one.

          • Sanctuary 4.1.1.1.1

            There are numerous Tory fan bois who would stand proudly erect for a tongue lashing from their hero John Key, so you might be on to something.

      • Climaction 4.1.2

        It does, but what about President John Key?

        The saving grace of this monarchy is that it realises it has to work somewhat in step with public sentiment as a whole, the whole time. so prince andrew will no longer be a prince shortly.

        Whereas a president will only need 50% of public approval and then won't be accountable until the next election, if it even makes to a next election. I can't see someone like Simon or Winston relinquishing power if it it ever (<i>Shudder</i>) made it into their hands

    • Red Blooded One 4.2

      If we leave the Commonwealth, would we HAVE to have a President? Could we not just have our MMP system where we vote for who we want to run our country? Head of State is generally symbolic anyway isn't it?

      • Kevin 4.2.1

        No need to leave the Commonwealth.

        Plenty of countries within it do not have QE2 as head of state.

    • Roy Cartland 4.3

      Surely we could come up with a better title than "president"? That term has been disgraced several times over, and there's no international necessity to follow it on (hence Chancellor, Chairman, Governor and all the wacky religious ones).

      How about a distinctive Māori term?

      • greywarshark 4.3.1

        A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Or as fetid.

        "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a popular reference to William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family's rival house of Montague, that is, that he is named "Montague". Wikipedia

    • JanM 4.4

      Exactly!

    • mickysavage 4.5

      So we can have a president? Be careful what you wish for

      I think we should leave it up to the President of the Supreme Court. Apart from tehre being residual ability to not give the royal assent to laws the GG's main job is to work out who has a Parliamentary majority and all you need for this is a calculator.

      • Climaction 4.5.1

        but it's not an appointment that is made by someone who has a vested interest in only making sure the person is appropriate.

        Who appoints the president of the supreme court? what is the check on their power in the event they sign a presidential decree that goes against the interests of democracy?

        I'm no fan of a monarchy, but i love the fact it is the last unbiased constitutional check we have. that it's never once been used is strangely a testament to it's usefulness.

    • woodart 4.6

      two things I have learnt from building and racing cars ..if it aint broke, dont fix it,, and ,,keep it simple, stupid..Personally Im not a royalist, but it works, its a handsoff arangement, which is good. just need to change the flag.

  5. WeekendWarrior 5

    With everything else going on, do you really think this should be a priority right now? This is surely at the very bottom of the list of priorities.

    [Corrected typo in e-mail address]

    • alwyn 5.1

      Best time to discuss it. we need a distraction, and distraction from the fetid smell that is coming from the CoL at the moment.

      What would you rather people talked about? The apparently corrupt behaviour by NZF and the "nothing to see here" from the Labour Party. Or whether we should have a different HOS?

      I am personally quite happy with the status quo. We don't have to pay for them. They don't bother us. And some of the ceremonies they turn on are truly spectacular.

      I think we made a mistake when we changed the system of having Governors; General from being British Peers to being locals. After all the peers gave us things, such as the Plunket Shield, the Ranfurly Shield, the Bledisloe Cup and the Treaty House and Grounds.

      Then at the end of their terms the buggered off and din't bother us again.

      The current lot never give us anything and then, after they have completed their term they all hang around and sup at the trough of taxpayer's money for decades. There must be at least half a dozen of them, plust as many spouses, still hanging, and swanning, around.

      We would also have years of wrangling about whether they should be appointed or elected. Current Politicians would claim appointed. The public would say elected. Do we really want old has-beens like Helen Clark and Winston Peters fighting over the job?

  6. greywarshark 6

    Succinct warning Climaction. Exactly the sort of caution we should have about this idea that has been brewing for the latter part of the 20th century. The brew has gone stale, throw it out.

    Prince Charles is a man for the times, he has tried to be good, environmentally concerned, has been through problematic personal upheavals and tragedy, appears to have remained sane, is very well off but doesn't seem to have abandoned realationships with the hoi polloi, and makes Trump look like the worst sort of clown that could come out of a Stephen King story. He has business sense as well as an interest in conservation and organics, and not everyone is happy on an offshore island from Cornwall with how his business trust? has developed old buildings for tourism. So he doesn't please everybody but then as those who come on this blog regularly know, that is impossible.

    • solkta 6.1

      But do we really want a tampon for head of state?

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Do we really want such irrelevant, coarse gossip arising from leaks from private communications entering into reasoned political discussion is another question?

        • solkta 6.1.1.1

          The guy is a dork, you really can't get around that.

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1

            But, but you must not discriminate against people who might be called dorks. It isn't fair, it isn't PC, and you and I have no idea of what pressures and limitations he has lived under since birth.

            He went to Gordonstoun School in Scotland where they put young males through ascetic training with cold showers etc. It was established in 1934 by German Kurt Hahn. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordonstoun#Ethos

            The School's ethos:
            Hahn believed that "The Platonic view of education is that a nation must do all it can to make the individual citizen discover his own power and further more that the individual becomes a cripple in his or her point of view if he is not qualified by education to serve the community."[29] The idea of service at the school is thought to encourage students to gain a feeling of responsibility to aid other people and is implemented in creating an array of services to the community in which every student becomes involved (see below).

            He has emerged sane and admirable after all the pumelling of circumstances and the predatory pecks from media. That he appears dorkish to you is neither here nor there. He appears dukeish to me, and shines compared to the pretenders who would like to step into his shoes.

            • solkta 6.1.1.1.1.1

              It should be here nor there if he is to be my head of state. Why should it be him just because he was born into a certain inbred family?

              • woodart

                why should anybody be entitled because of birth? pretty stupid statement solkta, if you think about it. being born , male white and wealthy ,is a huge step up fom being born ,poor and not white, or male. just think, being princess anne, kept her nose powderfree and clean, but just because she wasnt born the first male, just royal wallpaper,

              • Sacha

                Something about cold showers, apparently.

                • greywarshark

                  solkta, sacha – you aren't the same person I suppose? Or perhaps worked together and have formed a similar channel of thought.

              • greywarshark

                Edit
                How do I know if your comments are of any value, as I don't know if you are from an inbred family? I guess the most important thing we need to know about someone is if they come from an in-bread family who always managed their lives so they had healthy and sufficient food, learned good and kind values and had a wide education. Not everyone in the public eye has had the advantage of those three features.

  7. cleangreen 7

    Yes greywarshark'

    Prince Charles has a strong – long – devoted pedigree, and has demonstrated he is a stable proponent advocate for ‘climate change’ exactly what is what we need now.

    Not a bunch of click bait glamour oust pundits.

    • solkta 7.1

      His views on CC are irrelevant. As head of state he can't act politically. The point of a head of state in our system is just to ensure that the gummint acts constitutionally.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        The sort of person at the head of any entity has an affect on the way that it is viewed. His views on CC are not irrelevant. Much political sway is done behind the scenes as we know even here in little NZ.

        By example and by funding certain far-thinking organisations, and through speeches and support to organisations working for advancement that is good for the planet and the UK people he can help and encourage people to make changes for the better.

  8. Paaparakauta 8

    I agree, but I think you will have a hard time struggling with the legacy of northern Maori signing a treaty with the Crown at Waitangi.

    Constitutional change in Britain could enable such options in former colonies. Brexit may yet have many unforeseen consequences.

  9. Phil 9

    My sense is that the British royal family has largely kept its nose clean of the worst excesses of power entirely due to the strength of Elizabeth's personality as monarch. But her age is now catching up to her and cracks are starting to show in the facade. I think everyone can tell that Charles doesn't have the same clout within the family – in no small part because his mother has clung on this long.

    I'm an ardent republican (ref: royalty, not american politics) and would happily be rid of the royal family from New Zealand, but I do think Charles could make a pretty good King and, with some luck, drive Britain forward to lead on global environmental efforts.

  10. esoteric pineapples 10

    I think for the most part, the British monarchy has produced outstanding personalities over the past 120 years. King George V and Queen Mary, King George VI Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret (unfairly maligned), Prince Harry and Prince William, Princess Anne, Princess Diana, and Prince Charles (a victim of being hounded into a bad marriage by the British press and others), plus all the quieter ones.

    If you compared these personalities to your average New Zealand family’s lineage over the same period, I would consider the royal family as being an outstanding success. It has had a couple of black sheep in King Edward XIII and Prince Andrew but which family hasn't.

    As long as their power is limited, I don't see the problem with having an independent family as head of state for New Zealand. Especially when compared to so many Presidents who are chosen by whoever is in power at the time.

    • Anne 10.1

      Every family has a black sheep. It's obligatory, whether you're royal or common garden… 👿

      Apologies to all the fluffy black lambs currently romping in our paddocks.

  11. Paaparakauta 11

    I think quality of governance is key.

  12. Ad 12

    How much power for the President?

    • bwaghorn 12.1

      The same as the current governor general.

      Because that's who they would replace

    • Andre 12.2

      Just the power to make small talk with stuffed shirts while wearing bizarre clothing at long boring pointless ceremonies? Like we have now? Then it doesn't really matter whether it's someone we elect, or allow the government of the day to choose, or just a name drawn out of a hat containing the name of everyone eligible that's interested in the job.

      But if we're interested in having a head of state with real actual power, then I'd like it to be someone chosen directly by us citizens of New Zealand. Using a method like single transferable voting with a supermajority of 60% or greater to win, to ensure the final choice is palatable to more than just a simple majority.

      And I'd like the head of state's powers to be restricted to just the ability to refuse assent to government actions, but that the head of state be expected to actually use that power when appropriate. To prevent travesties such as passing legislation that the government's own attorney general advises is against the bill of rights act, but then votes for it anyway.

  13. Stuart Munro. 13

    We're better off with what we've got – the British royal family are generally speaking a mature act, benign, non-political, and they don't cost us anything.

    Had we a president, chances are we'd get some horrid pile of ambulant dog-tucker like Gerry Brownlee – bugger that.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Hear, hear. +100

    • riffer 13.2

      Indeed. I do fear that, like many things in this country, we would get the best head of state that money could buy…

    • Sanctuary 13.3

      I find this argument utterly and depressingly condescending, a form of colonial cultural cringe that posits we are incapable of governing ourselves without relying on a foreigner to protect us from ourselves.

      It discounts the dignity of our sovereignty and the the reality that if we want to stand on our own two feet then we have to stop relying on the crutch of our colonial past that the monarchy provides.

      Sooner or later we will become a republic. We can't be a proudly independent country if we keep thinking a bunch of English aristocrats on the other side of the world are vital to good governance in our islands.

      • Stuart Munro. 13.3.1

        One glance at the unevolved morons making up half our house of representatives shows that, although NZ may produce good people, they don't make it through the crude processes of selection, resulting in a crowd of epic plonkers. My national pride could not accommodate a degenerate president, and, as the US is finding out, they can be extremely costly failures.

        The Frogs were tired of governing themselves. So they sent a petition to Jupiter asking for a king.

        Jupiter saw what simple and foolish creatures they were, but to keep them quiet and make them think they had a king he threw down a huge log, which fell into the water with a great splash. The Frogs hid themselves among the reeds and grasses, thinking the new king to be some fearful giant. But they soon discovered how tame and peaceable King Log was. In a short time the younger Frogs were using him for a diving platform, while the older Frogs made him a meeting place, where they complained loudly to Jupiter about the government.

        To teach the Frogs a lesson the ruler of the gods now sent a Crane to be king of Frogland. The Crane proved to be a very different sort of king from old King Log. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. In mournful croaks they begged Jupiter to take away the cruel tyrant before they should all be destroyed.

        “How now!” cried Jupiter “Are you not yet content? You have what you asked for and so you have only yourselves to blame for your misfortunes.” ~ Aesop

        • SPC 13.3.1.1

          Would any GG we have had made you less proud to be a New Zealander, if they had been called Crown Governor or President?

          • Stuart Munro. 13.3.1.1.1

            It really comes down to what actions they think they're entitled to take in office. Although historically president used to mean a person presiding over a quorum of people, it has come to mean an executive enjoying considerable power.

            Crown Governor is a better title because, thus far at least, it doesn't include presumptions of being commander in chief of armed forces, having the right to pardon or to declare war or any of the other powers that have mysteriously attached themselves to presidency.

            As for pride, I can’t recall one that recommended themself to me by their actions, personifying the kind of enlightened leadership to which democracies naturally aspire.

            • SPC 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Sure none were born royal, nor could aspire to be so, thus had no magical claims to be enlightened.

              Only in countries where the head of government is also head of state are Presidents all powerful and prone to be claiming royal like powers and authority. Whereas in nations such as Ireland, they have little problem with their head of state being without any power or royal status – and no less pride in being Irish.

              Here we have found of late our PM's Clark, Key and now Ardern acting as a head of state – and our own GG diminishing standing accordingly. And of course there is there more diminished status whenever they do represent Enzed abroad (but at least they do – our current head of state has never represented us abroad)

              • Stuart Munro.

                no magical claims to be enlightened

                It's not magic, it's discipline, and Liz's slipped during her visit to Korea, but that's another story. Like the editorial stance assumed by very senior journalists back in the days before any clickbaiting moron with opposable thumbs was allowed to embarrass themselves in print.

                Clark – poisonous little creep – wasn't statesmanlike. It's not just a front we want, but a deep commitment to enlightened values that changes behaviour.

                • SPC

                  In what way does who is head of state (and whatever commitment to enlightened values they personally have and demonstrate) change the behaviour of either the government or its people?

                  Whether royal or otherwise …

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    You might be surprised – the number of young US expats who got Canadian flags on their luggage when Bush went into Iraq was one feature, the start of a long moral decay that incidentally allowed Putin to invade Chechnya without anything much in the way of international criticism.

                    Under a distinctly sleazy mofo like Key, Brownlee built successive Christchurch relief agencies that systematically underpaid claimants, had staff convicted of corruption, and generally delayed settlements and immiserated victims for gain. Had Key been enlightened, and given a fig about his reputation, Brownlee would have been obliged to be more circumspect, or even more honest.

                    The civil service too, reacts to the style and quality of its leadership, becoming sneaky little shits when the government are, and striving for enlightened pragmatism when the government sets that benchmark.

      • Anne 13.3.2

        I find this argument utterly and depressingly condescending, a form of colonial cultural cringe that posits we are incapable of governing ourselves without relying on a foreigner to protect us from ourselves.

        That's rubbish Sanctuary.

        NZ is a fully independent country that runs its own affairs without recourse to the British government or its monarchy. If we have had any interference in this country's affairs over the years since WW2, it has come from the USA not Britain. And that is precisely why I would prefer to see the British monarch remain our head of state for the next wee while at least.

        • SPC 13.3.2.1

          There will continue to be an establishment risk to having Crown organisations that connect to offshore powers. It impacts on culture and allegiances, and reduces accountability to the local democracy and its people.

          A bit like being in Echelon/5 Eyes creates institutional connections to offshore agencies.

  14. SPC 14

    We have two choices, decide to plan for change now for "when" the Queen retires at "95" or after the reign of Charles which might last 10-20 years.

    There are two domestic considerations, the comfort of the boomer Pakeha with the old country associations and the continuing work in progress of the Treaty. Which is why we can expect it to be the latter.

    While it was in the enacting of a new arrangement which stymied the Oz move to a republic – appointed or elected – it is otherwise simply a matter of replacing the title of the GG, with Crown Governor, (so the Treaty maintains its reference point) , rather than President.

    • greywarshark 14.1

      SPC You are full of hope but at the same time hopeless. How can that be one asks?

      The Treaty which you consider to be a living document had its genesis under Queen Victoria. It is the Crown that gives it life. Withdraw from the monarchy and it returns to being a fascinating document less interesting than mummified bodies in the crypts of old churches.

      The idea of a Crown Governor is risible as a meaningful post. I know we have given up the Privy Council which has been a great backstop in this land of two degrees of separation. But it is very expensive for their legal decisions, and one's faith is shaken in Brit law if one reads too much of Rumpole even Henry Cecil.

      Maori would see replacing the Royal backdrop for a local dubbed by us as Crown Governor as another pakeha devious trick. Possibly they would joke about him being like the mysterious Wizard of Oz who sent clouds of green smoke out to accompany his every highly amplified utterance, which in NZ might be from his perching place in a cubbyhole over a macdonalds hamburger joint.

      • solkta 14.1.1

        Withdraw from the monarchy and it returns to being a fascinating document less interesting than mummified bodies in the crypts of old churches.

        Bollocks. Changing how we select our head of state will not negate our constitutional law. Your beloved queen has done fuck all of nothing to honour the treaty. At least if we selected our own Maori could run for it.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.1

          The trend is downward and decimating. You are thinking we can go through all we did in the 20th century again and come out with something better? Bollocks. Dream on.

      • SPC 14.1.2

        And you do not accept that the Treaty is part of our constitutional framework?

        The Treaty only had renewed life when the 1984-1990 government made it part of legislation and the 1990-93 Bolger government accepted this meant settlements with iwi. All decisions made about it will come from our government and related institutions – and of those only one will play no part of all – the foreign royal who is our head of state.

        Today's Maori are quite well aware of this and are not as easily misled into fawning on the Crown whose imperial army was dispatched from Oz to assist locals steal their land.

  15. greywarshark 15

    On close inspection of ancient documents about the early days of the USA Republic it appears it differs greatly from the Founding Fathers and Mothers story. Comrades, we must think again! Do not go down this road leading to ruin and bad haircuts!

    It is 1867 and dead on time the harbour of Boston is a hive of inactivity, as English immigrants bring their shattered bank accounts to the New World…

    Someone falls off the wharf.
    Little Jim – notes. He's fallen in the water.

    Seagoon – advises. Yes sonny, it's a tradition among drowning men…Come let's step ashore onto America, the land of plenty.

    American Bum – whines. Bud, you got a nickle for a cupa coffee?
    Seagoon – oozes. You poor man, you must be starving, here, take that.
    Sounds of impact and jelly splosh.
    American Bum – emotes. Owwww, buddy.

    Seagoon – pontificates. That'll teach him not to be poor in front of me again.
    Fill the horses up with three-gallons of hay. Ha haha what a gallant figure I must have made, in my tricorned hat, tricorned trousers and an unexpurgated first edition of the Union Jack.

    (Trump is merely embellishing the original script.)

    So if we are to become a Republic we must start from scratch. First find the fleas.

    • gsays 15.1

      Thanks Grey for that smidgen of Milligan.

      In the manner of a genius, he is very insightful while using that supreme idiocy.

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        Yes gsays. And as an aside, the book I got the script bit from has a foreword by HRH Prince of Wales K.G.R.N. signed Charles, on Buckingham Palace notepaper. Anybody who appreciated Spike must be all right.

  16. Karol121 16

    This was well and truly something that the Earl of Auckland ("President Key", "Jonkey") appeared to be very comfortable with as well.

    This proposal has a lot of merit in my view, but really only for the following reasons:

    1. New Zealand pretty much makes it's own mind up on most everything in any case, and it has quite a bad habit of using the "Crown" identity to almost distance it's own mechanism from many of the ills itself imposes on the people of the nation from time to time when it (the system, not the Crown) decides to jerk people off, or jerk their chains.

    2. It might put paid to assertions that the Queen of England "owns and controls" everything from the New Zealand turf and waterways, to perhaps even the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Nationally, many in New Zealand also have bad habit of beating up on elderly people whom they dislike. The Queen is no exception and I am sure that Prince Charles would be next in line as punching bag.

    3. We can dump the Governor General "hangers on" with all of their own pomp and ceremony, many of whom have little connection to the British monarchy or Great Britain itself, but who behave as if lords and ladyships in their own right, generally because they are very influential in relation to New Zealand business, enterprise and opportunity.

    4. On honours (aside from garter), most decisions are made by the Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet as to who will be selected for New Zealand honours and awards in any case. Silly to consider that these decisions are really made by any member of the British royal family.

    5. We can follow the United States in relation some other elite fad to replace that which has existed in New Zealand pertaining to much of this pomp hype, and therefore be given the opportunity to invent our own, along with re-design of fashion ensemble with more of an "earthy" (brown, green black and blue ) scheme or theme.

    As a footnote, I've not come across credible instances where any member of the modern British royal family have ever actually expressed racist views. In fact, the Queen herself was recognised as breaking from that old "Empire" tradition in this regard many decades ago, especially with respect to the African states. The South Africa thing was more at local level apartheid policy (it's parliamentary decisions) than stemming from British royalty.

    Further, if the entire British royal family were suddenly all wiped out in a one fell swoop (let's say England, Wales and Scotland suddenly sank into the sea), it would still be business as usual down over here in the antipodes.

    The planes, trains, boats and automobiles would still run, as would industry, farms and retail. The core services would still serve the nation and the only thing that would be missing would be a crown with which to identify various actions and in-actions with, not actually stemming from the crown to begin with.

    The armed services and police, just to name a couple, know full well that they serve the nation for and foremost, and that most in commerce and industry serve themselves, fore and foremost.

    Lastly, bear in mind that the Governor General's additional role is sometimes considered to be that of a kind of last minute intermediary or mediator of sorts, but look at how botched up this became in Australia, circa 1975, during to the PM Whitlam/GG Kerr constitutional crisis fiasco.

    Having mentioned this, bear in mind that having such a representative mediator around can also have it's up side, but that's another story.

  17. Gareth Wilson 17

    “I understand the Queen has given the matter considerable thought and believes that, if she is still alive at 95, she will seriously consider passing the reign to Charles.”

    This sounds reasonable, since the equivalent has happened in Europe, Japan, and even the Vatican. But the Queen will never abdicate. Blame Edward VIII – to the British royals abdication means treason.

    • solkta 17.1

      I think we passed reasonable about 20 years ago. The fact that someone can sit in this job until they are geriatric is sound reason to make a change on its own.

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        There is more reason to limit the terms of an MP so they don't make it a lifetime sinecure. Having another position of eminence they could aspire to, would take their febrile minds further away from what they should be doing, and those who weren't going for the job would lobby for their choice.

  18. David Mac 18

    I like the monarchy, it defuses 'What's in it for me?'

    If a majority wants them chucked out I think we should revert back to what we had before the Crown. Not President but Rangatira of Rangatira. A structure that obliges each to ensure each do the right thing for all.

    • greywarshark 18.1

      At present we are reverting to an outlook ofa settler colony, If we changed to anything else from our present framework it would need to be as you suggest David Mac if we are to have any principles.

      • David Mac 18.1.1

        I get confused by the term 'Crown' grey. In one sense it is the engine room of the colonisation that swamped NZ. In another sense, it is the components of government that don't get voted in or out, the Crown that arranges heart by-passes and road by-passes. Regardless of our whakapapa, we all need that variety of Crown.

    • weka 18.2

      "Not President but Rangatira of Rangatira. A structure that obliges each to ensure each do the right thing for all."

      How would you see that working in a contemporary sense?

      • David Mac 18.2.1

        I think it's difficult to get away from the popular model. Governors, senators, lords etc representing the will of the people in a specific geographical area. The head role, boss of bosses, the president, whatever we call him, it will be largely a figurehead role.

        We vote for rangatira and before the rot weasels in, they vote in a new Rangatira of Rangatiras from their numbers every year. A year is not long enough to foster channels of influence, arrogance and back-handers, it's not worth trying. Better to do great things in that brief 12 months, get your mug on the coins minted that year and clean-up on the speaking tour once the year is up.

  19. weka 19

    what's the rationale for tying NZ becoming a republic to whatever is happening with the Windsors? If it's an issue of trust, they seem to have sidelined Andrew, but that aside, shouldn't the move to a republic be driven by our own affairs, most especially with regard to Māori. Many NZers see Māori as a subset of the NZ that has the Queen as its head of state. There's a whole discussion there before we get to talking about how to do away with the Crown.

  20. gsays 20

    I agree weka, we here in Aotearoa, have at least a generation or two of homework before changing from the monarchy.

    We seem to believe as gospel, every salacious allegation about the 8th in line to the throne. And there are some very young folk in front of him.

    There seems to be an unsettling trend nowadays, where an outburst of outrage, leads to fundamental, knee-jerk changes. E.g. the removal of provocation as a defence.

    • greywarshark 20.1

      Why change from the monarchy? Why think about it now? Haven't we enough disruption in our society already? Nobody thinks it would go smoothly do they, without intense discussion and anger? The anger I heard from some Greypower speaker about legalising marijuana or making some change in a long-contentious issue was a good example of how the conservatives react when their nest is shaken.

      Haven't we got enough to worry about while we are beset by the end of our world as we know it? Isn't climate change and the unpredictabilities of how bad the changes will be for us, how debilitating on each one of us, enough excitement and swingeing change for you?

      We don't have time to think about changing to a republic. Looking at others I can see it is a 20th century consideration. Instead of being shiny little smart-arses leading the world in dropping our safety tariffs and going virtually naked into the world, we could have fought the issue of a republic in the 1970's as an alternative. We would have had to bargain hard for trade access on bi or multi-lateral agreements for sure, but not this open slather. Too late you lefties and righties, you went for what was sold as a sure win and risked too much. Now you need to show how you can grab some of the spoils and share it out before the money vanishes, and the physical resources are lost.

      So stick your dopey republican ideas where the sun don't shine and get on with the job of helping NZ transition to our uncertain future. And keep the monarchy as a reliable, known anchor. Don't balls us up again with some grand idea thought up by a cabal in an alcohol-filled fume.

      (Not a smoke-filled room, because we must wipe out that dreadful smoking thing, while the vulnerable have gone to worse with meth, P, vaping, synthetic cannabis.) While cannabis may become decriminalised, or not. Will it get a thumbs down; a triumph for those who only support their own addictions and despise and punish all others? Can we get on with changing our legislation so it is less punitive, and frees us up to get on with facing the future we hope will actually still be there for us? Don't stray from the path of hard work, to the pretty primrose one of wrangling about republicanism; it's a distracter, stay on task and improve your track record, or you won't get to mount the podium to the top at the end of the (election) day.

      • solkta 20.1.1

        So stick your dopey republican ideas where the sun don't shine

        Yeh fuck you too grey. Many of us can walk and chew gum at the same time. We don't need to give up on creating a fair and just society just cause climate change.

  21. Karol121 21

    BTW:

    Pretty groovy (re-touched from the BBC?) Prince Andy up close pic.

    I can see right into his (mouth) crack.

    So much of his time and resource spent on golf and recreation it would seem, and so little time spent of preparing for media interviews which he most assuredly would have known were vital and would be specific.

    • greywarshark 21.1

      Perhaps Prince Charles was the serious one and he could be the social butterfly. After all he is now only 8th in the line of succession.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succession_to_the_British_throne#notes_and_sources

      Princess Anne might have been next after Prince Charles but the female line was added only in 2011; before that the line of succession only applied to males.

      Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex (for people born on or before 28 October 2011), legitimacy, and religion (can't be Roman Catholics, but changed 2015.)

      • Karol121 21.1.1

        Yes indeed greywarshark.

        I wouldn't have thought Prince Andrew to have had the commitment that others in line before him seem likely to have in any case.

        It would have been apparent to many that much had changed in relation to flexibility within British royalty when they changed the rules so as to allow a Catholic a look in.

        smiley

  22. JustMe 22

    Our parents were from the UK and they were adamant that NZ needs to sever any links to the British Royalty system.

    Over the past almost 30 plus years the British Royal Family have become a worldwide embarrassment eg their horrendous treatment of Diana whilst turning a blind eye to Charles's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

    And of late Andrew's fraternising with sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein for a number of years shows an arrogance that the British Royal family deem themselves to be above reproach.

    NZ doesn't need the UK but I am sure we will keep the link for the sake of history and all that rubbish. Just lets remember the British government during the time of Margaret Thatcher had no hesitation in hanging NZ out to dry when the French conducted a terrorist attack in NZ waters with the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior mainly because we as a country said NO to the United States in regards to the Nuclear Armed and Powered Warships matter and of course the Nuclear Tests conducted in the South Pacific.

    We owe no loyalty to the UK or to the British Royal Family whose voices of condemnation for the French bombing the Rainbow Warrior were remarkably silent on the matter.

    Anyway the whole thought of NZ taxpayers having to pay for 'visits' of King Charles and Consort Camila fills me with anger. Especially as the amount of money spent thanks to the generosity of the NZ taxpayers would be better spent on helping low income NZers rather than those who are wealthy out of inheriting it from Lizzie and other free-loading royals before her.

  23. John irving 23

    How about Kamatua Aotearoa?

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