Derek Cheng reports:
Prime Minister John Key is a monarchist who thinks Prince Charles would one day make a fine king.
In an interview on the BBC show Hardtalk, which aired yesterday, Mr Key said his position was not at odds with previous comments he had made that it was inevitable that New Zealand would one day become a republic.
“That’s right, but not under my watch. I don’t think New Zealand should be a republic, but my view is that probably one day it will happen.”
This appears to be the first time Key has said outright he is a Monarchist. His previous comments were more about no change while the Queen reigns. I guess he really did enjoy the Royal Wedding.
He said he saw “no great benefit” in electing a head of state over the status quo of appointing the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative.
Heh, well as the PM gets to appoint the Governor-General, there may be little benefit from his point of view. from my point of view I prefer a system where the Prime Minister doesn’t get to choose the effective Head of State. Jerry Matapaere was a superb choice, but there is no guarantee that future PMs will choose as well. At the end of the day I think it gives too much power to the office of Prime Minister, allowing them to effectively appoint and sack the Governor-General.
“I was the Prime Minister who brought back knighthoods in New Zealand … 85 per cent of the public support that.
As did I. But Titular Honours can remain in a republic also.
“There is absolutely no push for New Zealand to become a republic.”
Not in the week after the royal wedding, but most of the time there is a good 40% or so of the population who would like change.