Republic Referendum Bill selected in ballot

October 14th, 2009 at 12:20 pm by David Farrar

’s bill which would allow the public to vote in a binding referendum on our head of state has been selected from the ballot, after many years on the ballot paper.

I remarked a couple of weeks at the launch of the Republic of New Zealand handbook that Keith seems to be the only Green MP without the luck of the ballot, but this has changed now!

Keith’s bill is online here.

I hope all MPs will support it at first reading, regardless of their personal views on the merits of the monarchy vs a republic. This is about letting the public have a debate and a vote. Or at the least, all parties will allow MPs a conscience vote on it.

The bill would trigger a referendum at the next general election after it is passed, on whether to “continue with the Sovereign as head of State, or to change to either a head of State appointed by a vote of at least 75% of the House of Representatives, or a head of State directly elected by the people.”

If a majority vote for change, then a year later a second referendum is held between the two most popular options. So the first ballot would be a choice of three options:

  1. Vote for the Sovereign to continue as NZ’s Head of State
  2. Vote for a Head of State to be appointed by at least 75% of the house of Representatives
  3. Vote for a Head of State to be directly elected by the people

And the two most popular options would go forward to the second referendum. In all probablity this would be option (1) and one of the two other options.

The bill is not perfect, but is totally deserving of select committee consideration, so the public can have their say on whether they want there to be a binding referendum, and if so what form that should take.

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66 Responses to “Republic Referendum Bill selected in ballot”

  1. Murray (8,844 comments) says:

    Most useless prick in parliament proposes most useless legislation.

    Impressive.

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  2. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    I disagree, it is time to have this conversation if only to put the Treaty of Waitangi in the museum where it belongs.

    We can get a constitution and protection from Parliament that we need as we expunge all race based laws and seats from our country.

    and while we’re at it lets make every area of government open to OIA.

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  3. Jack5 (5,014 comments) says:

    We’re a de facto republic now, with a cheap, figurehead head of state.

    A republic means another layer of bureaucracy with a president like Pink Jim Bolger or Helene Klarke.

    Think of the MSM hysteria about presidential expense rorts. Think of the flunkies. Think of the horrid faces on the stamps.

    If I didn’t know you were a republican I would be amazed, DPF, how can you agree with looney leftist, ex-Stalinist Locke on this bill.

    [DPF: I am on the Council of the Republican Movement. Many republicans are National or ACT supporters. As for your worry about politicians being President, it is trivially simple to stop that by prohibiting any current or former MP from being President. And a 75% majority in Prlt would make it near impossible for any politically active figure to get it.

    At the moment the PM personally chooses the GG, and can get him or her sacked at whim. I much prefer an effective Head of State that isn't chosen by the PM, and no one else]

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  4. Angus (536 comments) says:

    Entrusting the establishment of a republic to a parliament jam packed with progressives? Fuck that !

    Besides, it would take 25 years of political pandering to the Treaty evangelists before the process could even begin to start.

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  5. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    This is too important to get into the usual left/right/wrong posturing. What is best for the country? Surely that deserves exploring and putting to the people?

    Entrusting the establishment of a republic to the wishes of the people?

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  6. Jack5 (5,014 comments) says:

    Re DPF’s response on my 12.31 post:

    Perhaps all we need then would be to elect the Governor-General by STV at each General Election?

    Economic solution, popular choice, probably a nice face for the stamps.

    We become even more of a de facto republic, but keep all sides happy, continuing faux British monarchical ties.

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  7. MT_Tinman (3,099 comments) says:

    NZ voters did so in such a way that Clark and Cullen got to rule, that this lying communist scum is even in parliament and you think it’s proper that they should have a choice in who is NZ’s Head of State?

    [DPF: Helen got to pick single handedly the last two effective Head of States]

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  8. Camryn (538 comments) says:

    Current system works well. Theoretical ultimate power in the hands of someone who cares not to wield it (very important). Figurehead role played by professional figurehead that we don’t even have to pay for the upkeep of (nice bonus).

    I’m lucky to be a citizen of both NZ and the UK so republicans can’t take my monarchy away from me even if they win.

    I would like to suggest an alternative that could satisfy all people:

    First three facts:
    1. The head of state of New Zealand is the Queen of New Zealand (not the Queen of the United Kingdom, as some assume).
    2. However, the Queen of New Zealand also happens to be the same person as the Queen of the United Kingdom.
    3. She also happens to be rather English-sounding (and actually somewhat German).

    So, it’s a distinct role already, so republicans presumably don’t have an issue with that but rather that the role is filled by an unelected pommy-sounding person. Monarchists also like the role and all it symbolizes and aren’t too worried about the rest of it. So, why not elect some Kiwis to go on a mission to marry into the family? We already have thousands of Kiwis in London, many practicing the art of seducing Poms. If only we had a program to infiltrate the royal family and breed some Kiwi into ‘em I think we’d have the makings of a decent compromise.

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  9. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    This step isn’t about whether we should be a republic or not, it is about whether us the people should be able to determine for ourselves what we want.

    People’s choice, democratic choice.

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  10. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    I would only vote in favour if it also involved all poorly interpreted ‘treaty principles’ removed from every piece of legislation that has them.

    Then we can get down to a real written constitution.

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  11. big bruv (13,679 comments) says:

    I hope this stupid bill is crushed at the first reading, supporting it “regardless of their views” is not in line with National party policy.

    MT Tinman is dead right, can you imagine who the people of NZ might elect as President?

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  12. Rhino (19 comments) says:

    England has no say in how our country is run and costs us very little.
    By becoming a republic though we will estrange ourselves from them and than people like Lord A(Cant remember the rest of his name) will be less likely to put up rewards to help our police.
    Definitly think the bill should go to select committee though.

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  13. Jack5 (5,014 comments) says:

    Pete George in his 1.0 post seems to suggest that NZers haven’t had the chance to choose that their country become a republic.

    Nothing stopped politicians from suggesting and voting on this over the last 62 years.

    NZ has among the former British dominions been probably the most reluctant to cut the political apron strings with Britain. NZ changed from colony to Dominion in 1907, and Britain passed the Statute of Westminister, giving full autonomy to the dominions, in 1931. But NZ did not ratify it until 1947, the last of the dominions to do so. The door was open, but we didn’t walk through.

    For 78 years, there has been nothing to stop NZ from becoming a republic, except the will of the people.

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  14. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    cool..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  15. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    I didn’t suggest that Jack. I’m asking why we shouldn’t have the chance to choose now. My feeling is that the majority aren’t ready to let go of the monarchy yet, and that if it were to become as much an anti Keith Locke vote as anti republic then even more likely the status quo would result. I’d accept that but I do feel we have grown up enough now to wean ourselves off the royal tit.

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  16. RRM (9,784 comments) says:

    Pish history and heritage aren’t worth much are they? Throw them away!

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  17. big bruv (13,679 comments) says:

    Think about this prospect people;

    President Clark?
    President Turia?
    President Meads?
    President Bradford?
    President Locke?
    President Lomu?

    And as I have said before, you people will not give away my ancestry quiet that easily, most of you would never dream of telling Mowree that their ancestry will be wiped away by an act of parliament so what on earth thinks you have the right to do it with mine.

    [DPF: So have the President appointed by 75% of Parliament that would rule out Lomu and Meads. And have a prohibition on former or current MPs and that rules out the four politicians.

    While at present nothing at all could stop PM Andrew Little appointing Helen Clark as Governor-General]

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  18. projectman (207 comments) says:

    We already have a referendum signalled for 2011 – on MMP. I suspect a second referendum, on a topic that is related in the sense of how we govern ourselves, would be unnecessarily confusing.

    There is no need for haste to progress to a republic; the benefits of becoming a republic are by no means clear.

    Let’s deal with proportional representation first. Politicians should vote ‘No’ to Locke’s bill as it will be the only way to shelve it to address a more important issue.

    Regarding referenda, there was debate about why the “anti-smacking” one was not held at the time of the 2008 general election. Most of the commentary related to cost-saving. Well, I suggest there are more important issues and we should have some debate about the appropriate time to hold referenda, whether activated by legislation or citizen-initiated. I suggest they are better not held at the time of a general election so that key issues to do with who is most appropriate to govern the country are not buried by sideshows. This goes for the one on MMP too.

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  19. Will de Cleene (485 comments) says:

    Call me picky, but I’d prefer our Head of State to be a Kiwi, someone who spends more than a week or two in this country and who is not the head of the Church of England. Not much to ask, I reckon.

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  20. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    Think about this prospect people:

    President whoever we choose?

    My ancestors left their ancestry behind already. I am a New Zealander/Kiwi.

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  21. davidp (3,576 comments) says:

    The current Queen is an old woman. She could drop dead tomorrow. Then our new King of New Zealand (which supporters of the monarchy assure us is absolutely NOT the same thing as the King of Britain) will be King Charles III. It’s going to be bloody embarrassing to have a king who talks to his vegetables, wishes he were a tampon, drives around in a honking great Bentley and owns or lives in several mansions while telling the rest of us we should use less energy, has a servant to squeeze toothpaste on to his brush, and thinks all architectural development since the 1700s is evil. Oh, and who lives on the other side of the world. Why would we want a laughing stock as our head of state?

    We’re also currently implementing a system where succession, completely anti-merit based as it is, is based on female children being second class to male children. And where the head of state is required to be an Anglican. Even if we accepted that the position of head of state should be inherited rather than elected via democratic methods, I can’t imagine why we’d want to codify sexism and Anglicanism in to our constitution.

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  22. frog (84 comments) says:

    Wow. Everyone thinks that having the Queen as head of state is cheap, because she lives over there, and that having a kiwi head of state will cost us more. Any idea what the Governor General costs the taxpayer? (S)he is the real head of state, and we’re already paying.

    I’m with DPF on this one. Let the people debate the issue at least as far as Select Committee. What’s to stop amending the Bill to do the referendum at the 2014 election, given someone’s reasonable suggestion that it might confuse the MMP referendum, or do it between elections to answer projectman’s concerns?

    The important thing to my mind is that we have an informed, formal, adult debate about this in the public arena. While I’m no Republican, I’m no monarchist either. I’d like to hear the arguments in an adult forum. I might then be able to develop an informed opinion of my own.

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  23. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    I oppose anything Mr Locke thinks is a good idea and hope all MPs will dismiss this communist nonsense on the First Reading.

    I have been a lifelong ‘minarchist’ and now, magically, have acquired ‘Monarchist’ tendencies! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  24. Camryn (538 comments) says:

    “King Charles III”

    Actually, I believe he intends to go with George VII and be styled as Defender of Faith as opposed to Defender of the Faith.

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  25. davidp (3,576 comments) says:

    Camryn>Actually, I believe he intends to go with George VII and be styled as Defender of Faith as opposed to Defender of the Faith.

    Surely if he is going to be King of NZ, the people should have a say before he appoints himself either Defender of the Faith, or Defender of Faith. A significant proportion of Kiwis are atheists, I suspect most think that religion should be kept well away from government, and would be upset if our head of state decided he was going to unilaterally endorse or promote religious belief.

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  26. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    I hope all MPs will support it at first reading, regardless of their personal views

    As do I. But I also hope (probably vainly) that one day Parliament acknowledges that Private Members’ Bills are a vital part of the system and the only way an individual MP can try to bring into law the wishes of some or all of their constituents.

    Therefore I don’t think Private Members’ Bills should have a first reading at all (and since Government Bills are always passed on First Reading, the process should be done away with altogether).

    If Standing Orders prescribed that all Bills must be referred to a Select Committee for x period of time (in effect, every Bill goes straight to what is now its Second Reading):

    1. Every Private Members’ Bill would be subject to public submissions, at which time MPs could ascertain whether there was public support for its content rather than exercising either their own prejudices or blindly following orders for their leadership; and

    2. No Government could rush through some piece of unpopular legislation without proper consideration. While this might sound like it would slow Parliament down, think of the number of “Amendment” Bills that come before it to alter hastily drafted and considered legislation.

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  27. Fletch (6,256 comments) says:

    You really have to look at countries with monarchies and ask how they would be better off without? It would be just as expensive and republics are just as prone to elitism. Constitutional monarchy has been an unqualified success story wherever it has thrived. And for those who have given up monarchy, like Iran and Austria?

    Whichever way you look at it, constitutional monarchy is better than the alternative.

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  28. backster (2,141 comments) says:

    A total waste of time and Parliamentary energy and Keith Locke is unlikely to be motivated by Patriotism.

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  29. jackp (668 comments) says:

    If New Zealand became a republic, what would that do to the Treaty of Waitangi? It is logical to expect it being abolished since the queen will no longer be around.

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  30. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    Whichever way you look at it, constitutional monarchy is better than the alternative.

    Constitutional monarchs have co-existed with fascist and quasi-fascist constitutions (Fascist Italy, Francoist Spain) and with military dictatorships. Germany’s under Bismarck and the Kaiser ended in failure. etc etc

    We should at least be able to see if we can come up with a better alternative for ourselves that is acceptable to the majority.

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  31. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I’m worried about Keith, he’s not well. Just heard him on the Larry Williams show and he actually sounded quite reasonable. Is this Keith an alien pod?, please return our old Keith as the new one scares me, he talks a bit of sense.

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  32. Ryan Sproull (7,095 comments) says:

    If New Zealand became a republic, what would that do to the Treaty of Waitangi? It is logical to expect it being abolished since the queen will no longer be around.

    Tradition and history suggests that the agreements of the old head of state pass on to the new head of state.

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  33. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    It’s time for NZ to have this debate, a lot of what has been posted so far is very naive…

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  34. tautokai.baxter (162 comments) says:

    I am so happy it was drawn! Being a republic needs to be the next big step for our country. It doesnt matter wether the bill came from Kieth or Dunne or Mahuta etc. Its the fact that we can finally have the debate and the referendum.

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  35. Fletch (6,256 comments) says:

    Being a republic needs to be the next big step for our country.

    But why? What is there to gain from it?
    It’s not like the Queen tells us what we have to do.
    To me it looks like those in power want more of it, which equals more abuse of power.

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  36. big bruv (13,679 comments) says:

    Whatever happens I do not want to end up with a Kenyan as President, as we can see by events in the USA Kenyans make the worst possible leaders.

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  37. big bruv (13,679 comments) says:

    tauotkai.baxter

    I am glad that you think we need to become a republic, and I have no doubt that in time it will happen.

    However, you will not achieve your goal as easily as you think, there are many of us who will fight tooth and nail to see our heritage preserved.

    This is one scrap that could become very, very nasty.

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  38. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    Why should it get nasty? It’s just supposed to be looking at whether anyone thinks we can improve our country. Maybe we are not mature enough yet but surely it’s ok to check it out.

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  39. whalehunter (479 comments) says:

    i dont think we can have a balanced debate on this.

    the constitutional goals between what tribal maori and a good portion of new zealanders expect, may be quite different.

    Its funny how nz europeans would probibly ditch the monachy, which is a massive part of our history. I cant see maori ditching any benefits from the treaty.

    When NZ is invaded and we defend our country as a united country then we desereve to be a republic.

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  40. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    Something well overdue for debate.
    However I am very concerned about the drawing up of a constitution that would have the Green’s and Labour’s fingers anywhere near it (and even the Nats and the Maori Party they way theyre going).

    It would be likely to include all sorts of messy and controversial clauses upholding the principles of the treaty (whatever they are), the “right” to be free of poverty, the “right” to housing, healthcare, benefits, accomomdation supplements and so on and so forth..

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  41. Jack5 (5,014 comments) says:

    Will de Cleene posted at 2.22:”… I’d prefer our Head of State to be a Kiwi, someone who spends more than a week or two in this country and who is not the head of the Church of England. Not much to ask, I reckon…”

    Will: Better even a Martian for NZ head of state than Helene Klark or Pink Jim Bolger, even if the Martian parked his/her saucer atop the Beehive and visited every second year.

    Regarding the Church of England (the Anglicans): a leftist NZ government appointed the Most Rev Sir Paul Alfred Reeves Governor-General. Reeves was at one time Anglican Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand.

    In a republic we would likely at some stage get another Anglican bishop as president, given the Anglican Church’s mainly left-wing outlook and its support for Bro-partheid to the point of favouring parallel, race-based political systems for NZ.

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  42. grumpyoldhori (2,361 comments) says:

    Jeez people, we have a system that bloody works and you want to toss it away to become a Republic.
    Here is a lovely thought for you, labour win the election and appoint Helen Clarke as President with her photo needed to be hung in every house.

    Now that got your attention did it not, yep change the system, make it so the PEOPLE pick the GG.
    That way when some arsehole of a politician steps out of line the GG can use his/her reserve powers with no hesitation.
    And when those troughing politicians ask who picked him , we the people did.

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  43. big bruv (13,679 comments) says:

    Good point Nickb.

    I can just see that mad Delahunty wimin suggesting that we should adopt the Mowree King as our head of state.

    BTW, they are no longer “rights”, they are “entitlements” .

    The unemployment entitlement
    The DPB entitlement
    The WFF entitlement
    The sickness entitlement
    The state house entitlement
    The accommodation entitlement
    Health care entitlements

    You may ask how I know all this, the answer is simple, Neville Key told me so.

    I am not sure if this is the same Neville Key who once called the WFF entitlement communism by stealth, or if it is the same Neville Key who promptly supported that “entitlement” once he became the leader of the socialist National party or not but from memory they do share a striking resemblance.

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  44. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    I hear that Key favours Rudd for New Zealand’s Head of State.

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  45. big bruv (13,679 comments) says:

    Hori

    I would not trust the people any more than I would trust the fuck wits who sit in Parliament.

    Remember, these are the same fools who voted in MMP.

    Can you trust the people to make the right choice this time?

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  46. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3571934

    There you go bruv.

    Also see:

    “The shift has been created by effective marginal tax rates – the amount of additional tax paid for every dollar earned – of 90 per cent or even more in some cases.
    Mr Key said such high rates were lunacy and National would “re-engineer” the system in government.”

    Agree with you about the Maori King! Haha. Any constitution written by the watermelons would also provide for a Commissioner for the Environment, a Commissioner for Healthy Eating etc etc.

    My fear I guess is that any constitution written by the politicians is merely going to reinforce their belief that we exist to serve them and not vice versa, and that taking our money off us to pay for the philu’s in this world is ok if it buys a few votes, it is all in the name of “reducing poverty” and being “compassionate”. (btw, how is that underclass going JK?)

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  47. big bruv (13,679 comments) says:

    Greenfly

    You have inadvertently hit on something there.

    The ONLY person I would find acceptable as this nations head of state is the great John Howard.

    Neville Key used to have a goal of catching Aussie by the year 2020 (or something like that), what better way to speed that up than by appointing the man who made Aussie the great nation it now is as our President.

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  48. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    TBH the more I think about it, the more I think the whole exercise is a waste of time. Clearly leaving the design of our republic and constitution up to the politicians (which it would be, no matter what weasel words like “consultation” are thrown around) is a recipe for disaster, and will just lock in the status quo of big government nanny statism, welfarism, legalised theft and political incompetence.

    The only benefit I could see to come out of it would be if the courts would be given some kind of constitutional review to strike down laws which are passed in violation of it (such as the EFA), however the constitution would likely be so massive in scope as to our “rights” (read: entitlements) that there would most likely be nothing the courts could do.

    It is also highly unlikely this would be a goer in Parliament, because anything which would take power away from the fuckwits in there is likely to be as popular as cancer. I pondered to myself whether the Greens would support a constitutional review, then I chuckled to myself. “Supporting your civil liberties when trendy to” is there motto- see their stance on VSM.

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  49. jabba (280 comments) says:

    I would love to see Dame Helen Clark in the President role

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  50. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    nickb @ 8:42 pm – You raise a good point here that has me digressing about a written constitution. If it has The Greens and Maori Party involved in its drafting, it can fuck right off. I don’t trust nu-Labour (National) and their coalition to write up my rights.

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  51. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    Totally agree EF.
    In fact I would go as far as saying I would not trust a single politician in any of our parliamentary parties (ACT excluded perhaps) to be involved in the writing of our constitution,

    A constitution is there to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority, unfortunately this does not look achievable with the ever decreasing rate of real producers/taxpayers, and on the other hand exponentially increasing beneficiaries/superannuitants/WFF-recipients/DPB parents etc.

    Of course all parties except ACT have a vested interest in this continuing, as it buys them votes to throw the productive’s money around, so I don’t see how a constitution would provide any change from the current situation, nor even protect our fragile civil rights any further (the Greens pretend to be staunch on this issue, but only when it suits them. In reality they are the most totalitarian party in our system).

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  52. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    It should happen that we become totally independent, but it can’t happen unless and until Maori agree that all Treaty of Waitangi claims are fulfilled.

    I would imagine the measures of that fulfillment would include no deviation in our social statistics for Maori, and, of, course, that they are no longer over-represented in our jails.

    So the first referendum needs to be amongst Maori only.

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  53. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Jackp
    I’m with you, NO queen and NO UK, therefore No Treaty of Waitangi and No racist seats or laws in NZ.
    All are equal as long as they carry the NZ Passport.

    but we need a constitution that protects us from parliament and the activist judiciary.

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  54. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    Sigh I’ve got to say I expected more from Kiwiblog…

    Rather than we can’t do it because Big Bad Helen will be restored to steal my money through taxes… What a joke…

    Or that changing to a Republic will somehow eliminate the treaty, it’s responsibilities were already transferred once when we changed our head of state from the Queen of England to the Queen of New Zealand, it would simply change again… It is a universal part of international law that treaties should transfer even when constitutions change, USSR to Russia anyone…

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  55. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    Until such time as Freedom of speech, association, freedom of and from religion, etc are above and beyond the power of politicians to alter and abuse, all laws being subject to such basic rights, that no law can be made to establish a religion that the state is legally secular, it matters not if we are a republic or a monarchy, but with what we have their is a faint hope that the GG may act to stop scoundrels in government riding roughshod over our rights as a free people of this country.

    Until our basic rights are so protected I am opposed to a republic, because as things stand now there are too many vested interests in further rigging the system in their favour.

    Never trust an person with influence or power of what you say and do, especially if they stand to gain from it.

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  56. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    It’s easy to look for reasons why not. They just sound like excuses. Oh dear, someone might get into power we don’t like. Seems to happen quite a bit already. I often get the impression here that there are a lot of conservative people who don’t want change as long as everything and everyone changes to their way of thinking. Progress needs change.

    Surely it is worth having a look at it thoroughly, pros and cons, and then making a democratic decision?

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  57. freedom101 (492 comments) says:

    Forget it. A complete waste of time. Mind you, could be a good distraction from the fact that National isn’t addressing any major issues and is proving to be “Labour business as usual”. So maybe the Nats will support the bill as a classic diversion tactic.

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  58. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    Ironic that those who are concerned about potential abuses of power that might (or might not) arise from constitutional change are against a basic democratic process of evaluating various options and letting the people decide.

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  59. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    Jeremy Harris @ 12:09 – The Treaty of Waitangi was never ratified, it has absolutely no legal standing. The Crown can completely ignore it if they want (and they did for over a century). The treaty by its terms are completely irrelevant now. What we have is poorly and imaginative ‘principles’ (thanks to a previous Labour government) that has Maoris claiming every from domestic violence, alcoholism, education and health is a treaty issue. Furthermore treaties are not suppose to last forever.

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  60. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    Pete if you want to trust politicians with this I think it says more about you than it does about us, with all due respect.

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  61. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    What is the point in having a democracy if you don’t trust politicians to do the job?

    In any case, I’m saying we should trust the people on this. Don’t you trust the people to make the right decision? Or are you just worried they might make a decision you don’t like? Democracy can be a bugger of a thing.

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  62. BlairM (2,314 comments) says:

    After the royal family never bothered sending someone to Sir Ed’s funeral, I became convinced that we must choose our own Head of State. It’s a system that works just fine in many countries around the world.

    It would be even better if the Head of State had proper veto powers, but one thing at a time.

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  63. tautokai.baxter (162 comments) says:

    DPF i was wondering if you knew if it would come to personal or party vote? Because surely that would affect the outcome of even just the first reading. I dont see why this would need to get nasty, its about if we want our head of state 12,000 miles away in a foreign land or here in NZ where they can be held accountable. The treaty can remain, the commenwealth membership can remain, the flag can even remain. All it is changing is the head of state.

    And that, i support. And it should gain multi-partisan support.

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  64. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    I seriously think the issue of the Treaty would grow to dominate any Republicanism debate. I also think that might be reason enough in itself to have the debate. The Treaty could be transferred, or it could be reworked, couched in modern language, and taking into account modern power structures. I’d prefer the second, but the first is probably more practical.

    If the entire bill just boils down to some symbolic change of allegiance from one powerless figurehead to another, then I don’t care too much about it – I’d probably vote for a republic just to give the British something to think about. But a constitutional convention could achieve a lot more than that, and if it happened in my lifetime, and I got to participate, just with my vote and my 2 cents, I’d be for the idea of at least having the debate.

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  65. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    @EverlastingFire…

    The Treaty is listed in the Constitution Act, anyone who thinks it is going away, ever, in NZ is kidding themselves…

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