Little calls for a republic

October 16th, 2010 at 10:12 am by David Farrar

Two good announcements from in two days!

Audrey Young at the Herald reports:

Labour president has called for a fresh debate about 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.

He was not saying it was something that had to be done tomorrow.

“But it is saying are committed to making a move and we do it in a courteous and respectful way.”

It was an issue that ought to be actively debated in terms of what constitutional arrangements might be set up, and negotiating with the UK over what a transition might look like.

A minor correction – we do not need to negotiate with the UK. It would be polite to negotiate with the Queen however.

I’m intrigued by Andrew saying it is a failure of leadership to say yes, but let’s wait until later. Fitzsimons also commented:

Fitzsimons was applauded last night when he spoke of republicanism and changing the flag for Australia. He did not think the decision should be put on hold until the Queen died.

“As a sovereign nation we shouldn’t be deciding our politics on the health of an elderly English woman. She’s a good woman, no doubt about it. But we should be carving out our independent way.”

Now look at what said a couple of weeks ago:

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.”

Is this the failure of leadership Andrew was referring to?

Regardless I’m pleased that both the Labour Party Leader and President are supporters of a move to a republic. It means that when there is an inevitable change of Government, there will at least be a silver lining – assuming their preferences becomes some sort of formal commitment to starting a process to allow NZers to decide the issue.

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67 Responses to “Little calls for a republic”

  1. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    So you support Labour deciding to make NZ a republic against the wishes of at least 50% of the country?

    So much for democracy aye, or is it only important to have democracy when it goes your way?

    [DPF: No if you read what I said, I support NZers getting a vote on this issue - something you are against]

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  2. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Ha, by implication the Little supports BOLGER for next Gov. General.

    Never was any difference between Labour and National other than colours.

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  3. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Just as well Little didn’t say “a Head of State who LOOKS AND SOUNDS like a New Zealander” – that would have put the cat amongst the pigeons!

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  4. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    For Phil Goff, with friends like Andrew Little…

    Andrew really is resembling Jim Anderton circa 1983 more and more.

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  5. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    I think he was criticising Helen as well as Phil. Remember this is the leader-in-waiting who wants a second term National goivernment so he can step into Phil’s shoes ready to take Labour to victory next time. And then we can all enjoy the workers’ paradise.
    I for one am quite happy with the status quo even with the ridiculous aspects of the elderly Queen and portly GG. Far far better than some has-been political windbag presiding over us and costing us a fortune.
    But if we must change, why not just make our PM the head of state and be done with it. We get our chance every three years to chuck them out so not many dangers to our liberties.

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  6. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Having a debate is fine. But let’s make sure any referendum is very clearly spelled out.

    The choices of an anachronistic monarchy or a banana republic.

    A change for the sake of change – no real impact or true difference in the running of the nation. That would be a simple waste of taxpayers money – resources that could best be utilised elsewhere

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  7. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    :D

    I fully endorse Helen Clark’s position, which has been followed through by Goff. Now is clearly not the time for a Republic discussion and John Key agrees.

    Either way the wind blows on this matter, independence for NZ wouldn’t really benefit the country in an evident nature.

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  8. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    A republic run by the unions – oh year, that’s gonna be great !

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  9. Pete George (23,572 comments) says:

    We should be having a decent discussion and possible referendum about this. Those that support the status quo and think it has popular support shouldn’t have any problem with this, if their arguments are strong enough they will keep what they want. It would in fact strengthen their claim that it should be left as it is.

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  10. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    Yeh, let’s make our own decisions.
    Let’s have an Australian rugby player and a trade unionist make our minds up for us.
    Let’s ditch 1500 years of tradition ,law and heritage for some French notion of self identity,and while we’re about it dump parliament and introduce a Council of Chiefs,that would be very in keeping with our true place in the world here in the Pacific.

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  11. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    In order to decide whether I want a republic or not, I need to know what our arrangements would be, and what powers our “president” would have. In order of preference, I have:

    1. President, elected/selected by parliament (needs substantial consensus, not just one party picking), no real powers, just ribbon cutting and ability to dissolve parliament or refuse to enact legislation in certain very prescribed circumstances

    2. President, elected by the people, no real powers just ribbon cutting and ability to dissolve parliament or refuse to enact legislation in certain very prescribed circumstances

    3. Our current arrangements with a governor general selected by parliament, with no real powers just ribbon cutting and ability to dissolve parliament or refuse to enact legislation in certain very prescribed circumstances

    4. President, elected by parliament, with some powers that are currently held by prime minister being moved to President

    5. True president, elected by parliament, and powers similar to the French president (largely international policy), but no ability to veto legislation, and not much in the way of staff

    6. True president, treated as a check and balance (i.e. power to veto legislation). Not sure how this would work, but sounds awful. If we were going down this path, we’d be better with an upper house.

    I’m not entirely comfortable having a debate in a vacuum – whilst we may get a majority for a republic, I’d be surprised if we could get a majority for one specific option. It needs to be like the MMP referendum – first a referendum to pick the alternate, then a referendum choosing between that option and the status quo.

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  12. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, the cynic in me suspects that there is more to this than meets the eye – especially when it is suggested by a dedicated Socialist, and I must ask why no mention has been made by Mr. Little of the very obvious ‘Fly in the Ointment’ – the Treaty!!!

    With no mention being made about this specific document, one has to wonder what sort of jack-up or promises would be/are being made to ‘Maori’ and what trade-offs Labour has come up with – especially as Sharples et al are conspicuously silent in their response.

    The lack of ‘noise’ in response to this sort of pronouncement raises questions . . .

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  13. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    PaulL,

    How do any of 1 – 6 yield us a result that is any better, in working practice, than what we have now?

    Which is not defending the monarchy – it is asking why would we change if it wouldn’t change anything in practical terms?

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  14. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Why are we so hung up on a republic needing a president? We have an elected government and PM with lots of checks and balances, especially with MMP and our own supreme court, so why not just make the PM head of state – if we even need a head of state.
    Having a ceremonial figurehead is just a waste of money.
    My fear is any referendum would be a means of our politicians seeing yet another way to continue their careers at our expense and creating a whole new layer of them and their entourage, staffs etc. God help us, just imagine President Clark!

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  15. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    what did Fitzsimmons tell the Labour Party to do about health, education and tax .. I didn’t realise he was the Labour Party’s policy adviser

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  16. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    Jim Bolger looks like a New Zealander but can switch accents to sound like any race of people at a moments notice.
    Fenton has a post (Redablurt) about their aged care report which sounds more like a union statement than a party one .. mentions unions or collective bargaining a 1/2 a dozen times.
    and Wanganui had a referendum recently, look how much notice was taken of that

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  17. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    “3. Our current arrangements with a governor general selected by parliament, with no real powers just ribbon cutting and ability to dissolve parliament or refuse to enact legislation in certain very prescribed circumstances”

    Paul, how is the power to sack the govt “no real power?”

    Some people sometimes conflate the fact a power is rarely exercised with the conclusion it doesn’t exist and clearly that is exceedingly dumb. The prescribed circumstances you refer to are merely convention, which doesn’t affect the fact that it can be exercised if/when required at any time.

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  18. Matt (227 comments) says:

    Or if we want our head of state to be a New Zealander, why not just invite the Maori King to be head of state…and at the same time do away with the maori seats in parliament? If current conventions are preserved it makes pretty much no difference who is the head of state, and it makes it difficult to argue against ditching the maori seats.

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  19. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    If we become a republic, will young kiwis still be able to live in the UK? will it still be easy? cause it would suck if that changed.

    I hope we dont change at all.

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  20. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    Oh get over it already! Why do these people keep bringing it up?

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  21. Bullitt (140 comments) says:

    No point in a referendum. Has there been a single one in recentish history that the government hasn’t gone completely against the overwelming will of the people (except the original mmp one which most people didn’t understand, later regreted their vote and have not had the chance to rectify). Hardly a glowing reference for getting what NZers want.

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  22. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    “I hope we dont change at all.”

    The thing is, no-one on the Republican side has ever explained the positive, pressing reason as to why it would be better than the current system. They haven’t even laid out a cogent negative argument explaining what’s wrong with the current system.

    Their arguments all boil down to sentiment: “we should do it cause we can and we’re allowed to.” This is basically it.

    Republicans apparently don’t see their argument is exactly the same as the nuclear-free argument, but it is. It’s vapid, emotional and frankly dumb, given the expense of implementing a viable alternative for the rest of history.

    Many Republicans often criticise lefties for developing policies based on emotion, yet they don’t seem to see that this is exactly what they’re doing here.

    [DPF: go to http://www.republic.org.nz and you will find multiple reasons for the benefits of a republic and the problems of the status quo]

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  23. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    If Queen Elizabeth lives as long as her mother did, we have another 17 years to wait.
    Long live the Queen!

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  24. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    I can live with the current arrangements, but not a big fan of Charles. If we basically keep what we’ve got but tell Charles not to bother visiting, that would be good for me. That means, to me, converting gg to president with same powers and appointment process and costs.

    Not urgent for me, and only benefit is that we never have Charles or Will as head of state.

    But if we’re going to invent new powers, a new constitution or something like that, them I’d predict it could only end badly.

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  25. redqueen (563 comments) says:

    Reid, I entirely agree. It’s always about our ‘independence’, but the reality is that no actual benefits (tangible or intangible) are ever explained. Emotion is the order of the day. The statement is always, ‘I was in Saudi Arabia, and they couldn’t understand why our Queen lived in London’. That statement has been made by MPs, whether it’s Tonga, Japan, or Saudi as the supposed country, to the point it becomes boring. In reality, a president will just become another politician and give us just another position where someone can misbehave. Yet because we ‘feel like we need our independence’, even though we are a sovereign nation already, we suddenly must have a ‘debate’, which is how it’s put, that will lead to a ‘consensus’, yet somehow that means we’re all going to agree to republicanism. What would happen if 70% of the country came back with a ‘what a load of bollocks’ answer? And before we even waste the time, how much is all of this going to cost? Do we have no more pressing issues in all of New Zealand that shouldn’t be debated first? This really is a waste of time, compared with our real problems, and something which is emotionally based. I have no trouble with people having their own emotions, I happen to agree with independent patriotic sentiment myself (although I am not a republican), but I really don’t see what value any of this adds.

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  26. redqueen (563 comments) says:

    I also initially misread the title and agreed with it. There are very few calls for a republic :)

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  27. ZenTiger (435 comments) says:

    Yes, a good Labour Leader always puts a lot of distracting issues on the table, so they don’t have to discuss policy that will make a tangible difference to New Zealanders.

    “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.

    He was not saying it was something that had to be done tomorrow.

    Ah, so he then takes the cop out. All urgency, no action. All talk, no solutions.

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  28. Pete George (23,572 comments) says:

    Oh get over it already! Why do these people keep bringing it up?

    Why do people keep bringing up a wish to have much smaller government when the majority obviously want plenty of benefits. Small government proposers should get over it too?

    As for real reductions in the size of government, I doubt that any ruling party will have the guts to properly explore independence from the queen. They only way it will be examined properly and decided on is if pushed by a CIR.

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  29. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    Don’t we have a far more important issue to solve, the one of a bloated and unsustainable welfare state, before we spend money and time on the “republic” debate?

    Our priority should be the complete dismantling of the welfare state, a system abused by bludgers and exploited by dishonest politicians always eager to pick up votes. Welfare should only target the infirm, the elderly and the weak, those in real need.

    Little’s call is another distraction from the socialist Labour Party, and as many of its other inane initiatives ought to be dismissed.

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  30. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    …but not a big fan of Charles. If we basically keep what we’ve got but tell Charles not to bother visiting, that would be good for me. That means, to me, converting gg to president with same powers and appointment process and costs…if we’re going to invent new powers, a new constitution or something like that, them I’d predict it could only end badly.

    Yeah but advocating a change to a system simply because you don’t like the current or future inhabitant isn’t a strong argument. It’s not about whomever is or will be Sovereign, it’s about the constitutional framework and the only relevant question is: does it currently work well, or not?

    In my view, yes, it does. Not only does it currently work well from a constitutional perspective, it’s also, for NZ, tremendously good value for money. This is the only point worth debating in this entire proposition and so far no Republican has ever managed to refute it because they can’t.

    It’s clearly evident that it is in fact constitutionally efficient and it’s similarly evident that for us, it’s tremendous value for money. This is because we don’t just get one human being on the job but many of the best legal and political minds on the planet work for us, for free. And Republicans advocate that we ditch all of that, why?

    Keeps coming back to it: “because we can and cause we’re allowed to.” I mean, FFS, how fucking mental are these Republicans?? It’s amazing any of them manage to do anything with their lives at all, they’re so stupid. I bet that guy Wells is a Republican.

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  31. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    Labour finally coming out with some policy.

    The Royalists have been a blight on this country since 1840.

    We would have been better off signing a Treaty with the French.

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  32. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    # BeaB (146) Says:
    October 16th, 2010 at 10:49 am
    just imagine President Clark!

    No! NO! and thrice NO!!!!!

    I don’t want to remember it let alone imagine it!

    As for whether we keep the ever-changing queen chappie or appoint someone local to smile and eat for the country I’m damned if I can see a difference apart from the fact that the Poms will have to start paying their own way in NZ.

    Just as long as NZ does not go for an executive-type president who has any influence on the running of the country.

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  33. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    Yes, they certainly are leading by example in the republican debate. They have just expelled a queen from their ranks for instance. :smile:

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  34. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    # rakuraku (39) Says:
    October 16th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Labour finally coming out with some policy.

    The Royalists have been a blight on this country since 1840.

    We would have been better off signing a Treaty with the French.

    Damned straight.

    There’d be none of this treaty bullshit then.

    The Frogs would have quickly put the racist troublemakers to the sword.

    They’d probably have blown up Pig Island as well instead of Muraroa – a Win-Win solution for all us Mainlanders when you think of it.

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  35. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    If we do change to a republic why the hell do we have to have a President?

    Another layer of bludgers, another round of jobs for the boys/girls.

    Why not just have the PM as head of state?

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  36. Pete George (23,572 comments) says:

    We don’t need a higher level of government, we don’t need a symbolic signer. We need a lower level of people’s power, not something that’s too easy to exercise on trivial matters, but a system where the people can call their government to account and limit their power when necessary.

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  37. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    reid: different view. The system we have is suboptimal, but works well because the current incumbent in the position has a lot of respect. But if she wasn’t the incumbent, then I wouldn’t be OK with keeping a system that is sub optimal.

    But I’ll agree with a number of other commenters. In the scheme of the things I’d like my government to spend time on, this is very very low. I guess, conversely, if we had a Labour govt, I’d much rather they spent time doing this than doing anything that would almost certainly be economically or socially damaging. So, if we have a Labour govt, all in favour of this being top of the legislative agenda.

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  38. James (1,338 comments) says:

    A small,nightwatchman State, bound with a no loopholes constitution dedicated to the upholding of individual rights with the power to protect our rights from violation and to do bugger all else.No Queen,no President….just a few limited roles as heads of departments that we can appoint or chuck based on preformance.

    Unless you like being disempowered and made poorer why would you want anything else?

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  39. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    Government should only be their to provide a framework and facilitate business through policy.

    The problem is they think they are skilled businessmen, most of them are failed schoolteachers, lawyers or professional politicans (spindoctors), none of them would survive in the real world, thats why they go to the free lunch provided at the Beehive.

    Would you have Chris Carter or Helen Clark running your business.

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  40. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    “The system we have is suboptimal, but works well because the current incumbent in the position has a lot of respect. But if she wasn’t the incumbent, then I wouldn’t be OK with keeping a system that is sub optimal.”

    Paul the system is the system. It has nothing whatsoever to do with public sentiment. It’s a legal and political institutional framework which is designed to operate independently of whomever is the figurehead at any given point in time. It’s like the law of NZ doesn’t change depending on whether or not we like the Chief Justice, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of whether our legal framework works well or not.

    Conflating the two is a Republican debating tactic because they know some of the reef fish out there are incapable of separating the two because they’re thicker than a whale omelet.

    Anyway, you say our current system is sub-optimal. In which precise areas is it sub-optimal? Please be very specific and don’t bother to raise an issue with the current or future inhabitant because as I’ve explained that’s quite irrelevant.

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  41. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    “A small,nightwatchman State, bound with a no loopholes constitution dedicated to the upholding of individual rights with the power to protect our rights from violation and to do bugger all else.”

    Bravo!
    That’s my kind of government. I’m all for it.

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  42. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    “Why not just have the PM as head of state?”

    bb, poacher and gamekeeper, that’s why. The purpose of the Sovereign is to intervene when the govt abuses its power in respect of its proper role and authority. Obviously that’s a sacred and critical role and if we had the same person responsible for making sure that they themselves weren’t abusing the power that they were exercising at the same time as they were exercising it, what do you think might happen?

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  43. Pete George (23,572 comments) says:

    Good point Dr Strangelove, it’s not that the queen is trying to cling to us, some of us are wanting to cling to her. Whenever the country wants to become independent it’s our choice.

    The purpose of the Sovereign is to intervene when the govt abuses its power in respect of its proper role and authority.

    That should be the People’s role. We don’t need an even more top heavy system of government.

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  44. Paulus (2,628 comments) says:

    Yes, I support a Republic in so far as it finalises the Treay of Waitangi. No Crown no Treaty.

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  45. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    My initial reaction upon reading the article was that Little’s “failure of leadership” jibe was probably directed at PM John Key.

    Perhaps Republicanism may well become one of Labour’s lines of attack during the general election next year – by conflating the pro-monarchy position with conservative/right wing groupings.

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  46. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Whenever the country wants to become independent it’s our choice.

    As I said above Pete:

    Keeps coming back to it: “because we can and cause we’re allowed to.” This is quite irrelevant to the Republican debate because newsflash: no-one I repeat no-one is actually saying we’re not allowed to do it, so why bother raising it as if it has anything at all to do with anything?

    That should be the People’s role.

    Pete the Sovereign acts on behalf of the people and has behind itself the entire weight of the constitutional system of govt that we have. You cannot vest this power in “the people” because it doesn’t work like that. The only way the people can play a role remotely approaching what the Sovereign plays is if we all promise to participate in an armed insurrection if the govt ever abuses its authority. Which way do you think is better.

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  47. OctagonGrappler (84 comments) says:

    Why the Fuck does lewis holden always say that the monarchy wont allow catholics to be head of state or king or queen. Well Gee maybe because the head of the anglican church probably should be a protestant I think and why would a catholic want to be. As an Anglican I would love to be pope what are my chances.

    President Helen will be voted in in 2014 as Our first President with checks and balances as the republic movement advocates ie if the parliment passes something and she hates it thats a CHECK AND BALANCE. Why the fuck should a president overide a parlimentary passed bill pr law that has a majority. Helen will also have a Presidential Sash like Kirchner of Argentina and a bill of rights will be written for us by unions and minorities to screw every White middle class male. Oh and some judicial Activism thrown in for good measure by our government appointed judges.

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  48. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    The purpose of the Sovereign is to intervene when the govt abuses its power in respect of its proper role and authority. Obviously that’s a sacred and critical role.

    Yes well it would be if that happened but even at my age of long tooth I fail to recall that it has ever happened in NZ despite much legislation being against the majority will of those asked.
    Smacking legislation is a recent example of our masters knowing better than their servants and paymasters.
    Foreshore and Seabed is one about to grace the statute books where a minority group will be given and allowed powers that there is no right to and which is clearly in need of a GG to decline.
    We could name more as we did a few days ago on this very subject.

    The Soverign or representative should be the final upholder of the freedom and rights of NZer’s but that person no longer has such power.
    Begs the question as to why we need the office at all.

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  49. calendar girl (1,238 comments) says:

    What a joke, the NZ Labour Party inviting a former Aussie rugby player to address its Annual Conference.

    Of course, Peter FitzSimons is a man of many talents. As well as playing stand-up comic he is also a writer of sorts, with a regular column in the “Sydney Morning Herald”. Here’s an example of his prose (and his edifying taste in subject matter) from this morning’s edition of the SMH:

    Two female porn stars – Devon James and Joslyn James, who are no relation to each other, which isn’t to say they haven’t had sexual relations – had a bad falling out this week, as they tried to shoot a porn flick together documenting their affairs with Tiger Woods. (Hold on to your hats, sports fans, this is going to get ugly.) It started when Joslyn accused Devon of stealing from her purse. Devon then wrote an email, insulting James and everything about her. It included this line for the ages: “She’s as fake as her hair and her heart looks like her botched boobs. No wonder Tiger dumped her ass.”

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  50. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    If folk want to explore some of the options and issues, particularly the “soft republican” minimal change model, see:

    http://www.vuw.ac.nz/staff/dean_knight/Knight_Republic.pdf

    http://www.laws179.co.nz/2010/09/patriating-our-head-of-state-simpler_14.html (flash video).

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  51. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    “Yes well it would be if that happened but even at my age of long tooth I fail to recall that it has ever happened in NZ despite much legislation being against the majority will of those asked.”

    Last time it was used was when Witlam was sacked in Aussie. It’s not there to prevent unpopular legislation, it’s there to prevent abuse of process.

    “…there are other ways to divide up power so that parliament doesn’t wind up with all of it.”

    Indeed there are Dr Strangelove, but the point is, it works well right here right now, so why is it that some people insist that changing it would be a good thing? I mean as I said above, the current system has the enormous twin advantages of being free and of having high quality already. It’s true that another system could also be of high quality, but it wouldn’t be free and nor would it have anything like the brains trust that is available to us from the current system, which is not compulsory to have but which is very nice to have, in a crisis, which is the only time the system is needed.

    It really, truly does boil down to the fact that the only argument Republicans can muster is based on emotion – cause we can and cause we’re allowed to. That’s a bullshit reason IMO to throw out what we already have which has been proven over time to work really really well.

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  52. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    Just get rid of this Monarchy b****** and get some nuts and do it ourselves.

    What does the British Monarchy actually do we have got a Maori King at Taupiri he can be our Representative as the Maori invited the British to stay here originally, fuzzy logic just like Chris Carter.

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  53. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    How original, like the flag and gst on food.
    what next hate speech laws youthinasia

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  54. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    reid: the current system is suboptimal because it makes provision for someone from the UK to act as our head of state. That means they come and visit (admittedly very rarely) and cost us money when they do so. In theory, if not in practice, it also gives that someone from the UK some powers over our parliament. I would prefer neither of those things to happen.

    As I said earlier, this isn’t a big deal for me, and I don’t care all that much. No hurry to change. But, if I was designing a system from scratch (irrespective of history) I wouldn’t have those elements.

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  55. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    For me Paul the fact our real as opposed to our titular Head of State is remote is not an issue, because as I said above, the only time you need the system is when a constitutional crisis develops and then she’s only a plane ride away and she doesn’t even need to be physically present in order to resolve it.

    I agree these elements wouldn’t be there if we just setting up NZ from scratch right now.

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  56. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    New Zealand would suck even more than it does already if it became a Republic.

    Nice to know Andrew Little thinks Labour’s prospects are that low he has to bring out this whorey old chestnut to distract the masses. Too bad for him the masses aren’t listening.

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  57. Caleb (479 comments) says:

    God save us, if we go down this path. All i can see is more bureaucracy and more broaucracy.

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  58. Caleb (479 comments) says:

    Len will do his 9 year stint in Auckland and then he will be prime for president.

    Len Brown for president!

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  59. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    Viking2 (2,792) Says:
    October 16th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Yes well it would be if that happened but even at my age of long tooth I fail to recall that it has ever happened in NZ despite much legislation being against the majority will of those asked.
    *********************************

    John Key, a monarchist, is on record as saying that the GG closely examines legislation that comes up for the assent and checks that no one is playing silly buggers with it, and a Lawyer in the press a couple of weeks ago said that the GG is a potential check on Consul Brownlee getting to big for his toga.
    Just because you haven’t seen the goings on in Government house, does not mean that the GG has neglected his or her role to “advise, encourage and to warn”.

    Having said that I am firmly of the opinion that our politicians, in this and the last government, have passed bills of the most dubious constitutional nature. Because of this, in no way should we ever trust them with those powers that are currently beyond their grasp. These are the very powers that can undo politicians with dubious intent, powers that are the only protection of our rights and defense against abuse of power..

    Dr Strangelove: I see you have been reading Baghot

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  60. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    rakuraku @ 3.41 – do you not see the irony of replacing one monarch with another? Was not the Kingitanga movement the sincerest form of flattery?

    “A monarch is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock and go to the bottom. A republic is is raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water.” – Fisher Ames

    And imagine the swollen, incestuous bureaucracy to prop up a republican Head of State: whereas, a virtue of our current arrangement is, if very (VERY) narrowly considered, extremely economical.

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  61. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    rakuraku (42) Says:
    October 16th, 2010 at 12:16 pm
    Labour finally coming out with some policy.

    The Royalists have been a blight on this country since 1840.

    We would have been better off signing a Treaty with the French.
    ************************************

    The French sign a treaty with native peoples? you have got to be jokeing right? The French concepts of Liberté, égalité, fraternité, only applied to the French, just ask the Vietnamese and Algeria.

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  62. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    I thought that the new age, anti-Enlightenment, charlatans would welcome the reign of George VII.

    Chris. Hitchens on Charles, Prince of Wales and Piffle http://www.slate.com/id/2256915/

    At least he doesn’t want to be crowned as an ill-starred Charles (although, in my book, there was nothing wrong with Charles I): Charles III has already been assumed by a Jacobite pretender.

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  63. Offshore_Kiwi (500 comments) says:

    There are a number of risks associated with New Zealand becoming a republic. One or two, in no particular order, are (1) there’s no way our pollies would allow a constitution which guarantees any kind of freedoms for our people, (2) our Judges are political stooges and intellectual pygmies, (3) there’s no way the maori elite would allow the transfer from monarchy to republic to operate as a trigger for the removal of their fingers from our pockets, and (4) there’s no way a republic could use history’s most deliberately-misinterpreted document (the treaty of waitangi) as its founding document.

    FWIW, I’ve come up with what could be the opening stanza of our new constitution: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal under God…”

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  64. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Labour Party Leader and President .. are the same person I would have thought.. just that Goff doesn’t know it yet.

    If Little becomes Labour Leader.. make that when.. Littles power base would be the New Zealand and Australian unions.. so pay parity with Australia is on the cards.. … then New Zealand becoming a Republic.. then NZ becoming part of Australia .. would be the next logical step.

    We would still be New Zealand we would still have our own Kiwi identity and Maori culture… really what are we afraid… they already own our loans and major banks.. I say go with Australia before China gets a stronger footing and we don’t get a choice.

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