King Charles

May 10th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Derek Cheng reports:

Prime Minister is a monarchist who thinks Prince Charles would one day make a fine king.

Really?

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.

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67 Responses to “King Charles”

  1. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    The GG is ridiculous, especially when it is a fat Indian few of us have ever heard of, but it’s harmless and relatively cheap and much better than some puffed-up president with overweening powers. Our 3 year term is such a strong protection that we don’t actually need a head of state or a second chamber to be a check on the executive.
    Nor do we need even more jobs for the boys.

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  2. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    Charlie is far too compromised, being on the record saying he wanted to be Camilla’s tampon and everything. Hopefully he will see this and when the time comes, abdicate in favour of William, who would be popular.

    Oh and I agree with Key…

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  3. annie (537 comments) says:

    When the Queen dies.

    Let’s face it, the British track record of supporting Commonwealth countries is extremely poor. We provide disposable cannon fodder for wars, they provide a cardboard cutout head of state, albeit a fairly impartial one.

    Rotating presidents, not matter how ridiculous and venal, would be less embarrassing than having The Tampon King.

    For my 2c worth, anyway.

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Looks like you’ll have to vote for the Greens, DPF.

    Would the trade-off e worth it: three years of Green Government for a lifetime+ of republicanism?

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  5. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “This appears to be the first time Key has said outright he is a Monarchist.”

    That means he is consistent with National Party principles. Good on him. The National party was always supposed to be the party of God, Crown Country and Family, not the party of metrosexual latte liberals. You seem confused about this. Sure your in the right party?

    “I prefer a system where the Prime Minister doesn’t get to choose the effective Head of State.”

    The effective head of state is the Crown, the GG is only the Crown’s representative. This statement is either dishonest or ignorant.

    “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.”

    In more honest words, a minority. Support for republicanism has always been, in every poll ever conducted, a minority position. There is no will for change, and the argument put forward that it is inevitable is arrogant nonsense.

    While no system is perfect, constitutional monarchy is the best system of government ever devised. And it is important for NZ to maintain a strong sense of our political and cultural heritage, especially given the hatred the Left has for that heritage. Becoming a republic will just give more steam to those who want to turn NZ into some kind of anti-European “Pacific” bannana republic.

    I dont vote National so I can live in the socialist republic of Aotearoa.

    I am no great fan of Charles myself, but he as an individual is not relevant to this debate. What is relevant is the constitutional and cultural value of the British Crown.

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  6. s.russell (1,563 comments) says:

    I would like to see the GG chosen by Parliament (by 75% majority). But electing a GG (or whetever they get called) would be a really bad idea. We would get a politician, who would then start to fight for power with the PM. People like Matapaere would not get the job. We’d get retired pols like Clark or Bolger.

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  7. Ender (105 comments) says:

    We have absolutely nothing to gain from becoming a republic except a bloated self-pride and a big taxpayer bill if you ask me.

    Anyway, at worst, half of us think it’s just fine the way it is… Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

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  8. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Give it up Dave, you’ve got Lewis Holden and we’ve got Pippa Middletons ass.

    Monarchism is here to stay little man.

    Serously the monarchy has been revitalised and gained relevance with a new generation. The sad whingings of a few disaffected baby boomers isn’t going to change anything. you’re all going to get old and die and the new generation will embrace their own generation of royalty.

    Thats just how the universe is shapped.

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  9. edhunter (494 comments) says:

    What gets on my wick is every couple of years we have this same fricking debate & every couple of years the republic movement gets shot down, but it keeps on raising it head almost as soon as it’s chopped off. Can we please have a moritorium on the republic debate so that it can only be considered every 10 years or so. Becasue once we change that’s it there’s no going back.
    Not a really a monarchist but have yet to hear decent enough argument to sway my leaning to a republic

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  10. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Oh yeah, God Save the Queen.

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  11. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Politicising what has thus far been a largely non-political appointment would be monumentally stupid. I mean, do we really need another politician? I thought DPF was supposed to be in favour of less government, not more?

    [DPF: Sigh please don't misrepresent me. I have said many times that what I support is someone being elected by 75% of Parliament, and that both current and former MPs are ineligible.]

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  12. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Hes a confused wee man on this isssue Lee.

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  13. Scott (1,703 comments) says:

    I agree with most of the above. It’s not broke so why try and fix it?

    Generally when I see the republican movement, in New Zealand anyway, I see a lot of never do wells who appear to be looking to change for the sake of change.

    I agree that DPF is probably not in the right party on social issues. He would like to vote labour on social issues and support national on free markets.

    But remember this — those who want a republic. If we ever create the office of president then rest assured that one day Helen Clark will be president. So a vote for a republic is a vote for Helen Clark as president. Give me King Charles any day.

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  14. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Charles is an eco-nutbar who is taken in by every bit of pseudo-science he hears. If we wanted that in a head of state then we’d elect Nick Smith.

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  15. Positan (383 comments) says:

    Irrespective of the individual appointed, only fools would imagine that we’d be better served by a republic than by what we have now. The principal benefit to us lies in the fact that our sovereign is the head of our law, but that they play absolutely no part in its practice. In holding the position, it’s thereby denied and secured from any and all others.

    In a republic, the elected president is also the head of the law and, as history has recorded so often, ultimate power isn’t always accompanied by the best of official intent. As we’ve seen so many times in our unions and leftist parties, small groups of zealots can gain control to steer passive, non-appreciative memberships wherever they wish them to go. With a president we’d never escape the possibility of our highest position being subject to partisan influence.

    We’re so lucky to be a country with a sovereign head – and luckier still that virtually all of the collossal costs are borne by the British taxpayer. By what stretch of misplaced judgment would we ever choose the concept of a party-inclined president over our politics-neutral sovereign? Why would we ever want to preclude such a manifestly beneficial situation?

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  16. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    “At the end of the day I think it gives too much power to the office of Prime Minister.”

    So, in your version of a republic, what power would a president have? If you’re suggesting they’d have the same powers as a GG but that they’d be elected, then I suspect they’d be more inclined to actually use those powers, which would be horrible and actually a huge limitation on the office of Prime Minister.

    Best to have a Prime Minister that is effectively in total control (but not in theory) and a monarch + GG that has total power in theory (but effectively does nothing).

    [DPF: The only extra power I would propose for the President is that any law passed by Parliament which is certified as breaching the Bill of Rights Act, can be referred to a referendum by the President]

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  17. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Edhunter>Becasue once we change that’s it there’s no going back.

    No going back? Nothing stopping future people from electing someone King or Queen and then giving their descendants the right to rule the country in perpetuity regardless of their suitability for the position. They could even elect Charles or Bill to the position if they wanted.

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  18. gravedodger (1,514 comments) says:

    Your last para is only true until that 40% try and decide what form the Presidency will take, how he/she will get elected and what actual power will reside with the restructured office.
    Think of the long list of venal troughers that even a popular vote would have saddled us with in the last ten years and the totally farcical “power” that at present resides with the GG when as the ultimate check and balance some wish he had, was totally exposed as absent when he gave the “assent” to the so widely despised and discredited EFA and its threat to democracy.

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  19. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    To those denigrating Charles… I’ll paraphrase Positan… “free free free, not here not here not here”. He may not be ideal to you, but why not stick with the guy who costs us nothing and doesn’t get in our faces over some other person that you’d probably also dislike and that we’d have to pay for and listen to all the time?

    [DPF: A President would cost the same as the GG I'd say, and no royal tours to pay for on top of that]

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  20. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Camryn>He may not be ideal to you, but why not stick with the guy who costs us nothing and doesn’t get in our faces over some other person that you’d probably also dislike and that we’d have to pay for and listen to all the time?

    We pay for the GG already, including $46million to refurbish his house. That’s the same whether he reports to Charles or is the head of state in his own right. So why do you think there is a financial implication?

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  21. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    Also, nitpicking, he may not ever be King Charles III. It’s thought he may go with George VII.

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  22. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    He can got with Princess Freaken Buttercup for all I care, if hes not El Presidente Clarkula its all good.

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  23. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    The monarchy has been with us for over a thousand years. I say we as one who traces their ancestry back to the 14th Century.Whilst a 2nd generation born NZer my ancestry will always be in England. God Save the Queen.

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  24. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    Davidp > Because I’m sure that a non-GG head of state would start assuming more and more ceremonial duties, especially representing us overseas where our current GG has no authority or status to do so. Also, because a non-GG head of state would also probably be elected, meaning costs of elections. Also, I think that an elected head of state would have a greater incentive to use their powers, adding a whole new element to the political system (that we don’t need) along with a bureaucracy / advisors / etc.

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  25. Auberon (869 comments) says:

    Some very fine people are Monarchists David. And then there’s me!

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  26. Longknives (4,445 comments) says:

    I’m no great fan of the Monarchy but I do find it intriguing that a country which has all but dismantled its armed forces, and has no real defence strategy or mechanism other than to rely on its ‘Big Brothers’ for protection, is so desperately trying to struggle free from them….

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  27. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    Looks like you’ll have to vote for the Greens, DPF.

    He already does. He supports Nick Smith’s ETS. :-)

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  28. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Then longknives I’d have to say you know thre eights of fuck all about our armed forces which has put more in combat in the last 12 years than at any other timce since WWII. Our deployment in Afghanistan is per-capita larger than Americas and it is the sole reason for improved relations with the US.

    Crack a book once in while and don’t assume the media are a souce of information.

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  29. GPT1 (2,088 comments) says:

    Generally elected is better but given, as I understand it, the latest push from the seditionists, er, republicans is to simply replace the royal family with a NZ elected head of state what is the point? To be fair it really is a matter of preferance but I cannot think of any New Zealander, elected or appointed, who, would come anywhere close to the gravitas of the Monarch.

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  30. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    One has to wonder why DPF ahs decided to push the issue when its at its lowest ebb in two decades as well. Apprently the peasents haven’t be listening.

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  31. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “DPF: Sigh please don’t misrepresent me. I have said many times that what I support is someone being elected by 75% of Parliament, and that both current and former MPs are ineligible.”

    Sorry David, but I do not think I am misrepresenting you. I do not see how your statement of clarification changes anything. An elected GG will be a far more political appointment than it currently is, even with this caveat, and sooner or later Labour will decide that the position is “under resourced” and start creating all new levels of bureaucracy.

    No matter how you slice and dice it, or spin it, an elected republican head of state means more government, not less.

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  32. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “One has to wonder why DPF ahs decided to push the issue when its at its lowest ebb in two decades”

    Support for republicanism is declining, which is partly why it proponents are being so vocal about it. If enough pundits in the media make enough noise it begins to sound like there is a real movement out there with a growing head of steam.

    Standard liberal tactic.

    Personally, I am still waiting to here ONE single good argument in its favour. All I hear is socialist crap about egalitarianism and baby boomer urban latte liberalism.

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  33. Longknives (4,445 comments) says:

    Sorry Murray I forgot- We are a major World Superpower who could easily defend ourselves against any external threat. Get off your high horse Moron.

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  34. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Murray>Our deployment in Afghanistan is per-capita larger than Americas and it is the sole reason for improved relations with the US.

    Are you sure about this? Best figure I could find was that there are 236 NZ troops and around 90,000 US troops assigned to ISAF. That means there are around five times as many Americans per capita. There may be some NZ forces in Afghanistan that are not operating as part of ISAF, but there would have to be over 1000 for your statement to be true.

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  35. nasska (10,636 comments) says:

    “DPF: Sigh please don’t misrepresent me. I have said many times that what I support is someone being elected by 75% of Parliament, and that both current and former MPs are ineligible.”

    DPF It is what you support & if we have to be a republic I’ll support it too if only on the basis that it is the least of all possible evils. The problem will be in getting parliament to pass legislation that prevents an old tired politician from sticking his/her snout in the ultimate jewel encrusted trough.

    It would be on a par to reducing the number of MP’s or making referenda binding – the self serving wankers would never legislate for it.

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  36. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Hey longknives if you’re going to talk utter shit then expect to have it pointed out. You claimed we’ve virtually dismantled out military and thats complete bullshit as demonstrated by our cionsistant particpation in shooting wars. No one said it was the biggest but you said it was vitually nonexistant.

    You look like either an ignotant fool or a liar. Which would you prefer?

    Get off your bullshit horse moron.

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  37. decanker (222 comments) says:

    Manolo (4,066) Says:
    May 10th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
    Looks like you’ll have to vote for the Greens, DPF.

    He already does. He supports Nick Smith’s ETS.

    That might be so, if the Greens supported Nick Smith’s ETS

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  38. Longknives (4,445 comments) says:

    Murray- Mate you’re the one claiming we don’t need our old Allies…..I suggest you dust off the books and study some 20th Century History….

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  39. Longknives (4,445 comments) says:

    By the way- Where is our Air Combat force these days? Oh right, they ‘disbanded’ in 2001….

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  40. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Hold on David, you want to drop the Monarchy but have knighthoods for some ? seems a bit of confusion there.
    And for fucks sake people this is not a right left issue, a lot of us on the left are strong monarchists.

    Shortening up Republican types is a rught and a left issue.

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  41. william blake (106 comments) says:

    I don’t understand how peeps can say “I’m a confirmed monarchist but Prince Charles is a plonker so get rid of him” ? wtf. That is the name of the game; a Monarchy is a blood line drawn from a shallow gene pool. Hence the 1000 yard look and lack of chins. YOU don’t get to choose, not so long ago you would have had your guts pulled out through your nose for suggesting such a thing.
    BUT if you want to be really anti Republican why not vote to have the Empire back instead of MMP at the next elections?

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  42. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    William Blake –

    I like the Royalty in the same way as I like the old buildings, the old coaches and the old Rolls-Royces. They are part of the furniture of our civilisation and heritage. They don’t cost me much and they bring me hours of enjoyment.

    But I like the Phantom 5 Rolls that HM the Queen arrived at the Abbey in better than I liked the Daimler DS420 that delivered some of her lesser rellies.

    Similarly I am less of a fan of Charlie boy than his son. Our constitutional arrangements as they are now permit me this idle fandom. I like that. :-)

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  43. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    annie

    “the British track record of supporting Commonwealth countries is extremely poor. We provide disposable cannon fodder for wars, they provide a cardboard cutout head of state, albeit a fairly impartial one”

    Annie, in the week preceding the recent royal wedding, when Betty Windsor had cancelled all other engagements, Betty and the other poms, rolled out the red carpet for Key. They supported us with Christchurch. I don’t think you can judge the poms’ sense of those traditional ties today, by the stupidity of their generals in WW1 in particular. Pommie politics are complicated by the European Union but it is clear that the Queen values those ties. It is also those historic ties that bind us to Australia; not just the fact that the happen to be next door and rather noisier than us.

    We will, of course, never know if Hulun would have received the same red carpet treatment, but they didn’t do it just because they thought Key was a nice bloke.

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  44. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    RRM

    That comment regarding Camilla was not just completely out of order, but especially unpleasant for someone who has consumed two double downs today (purely for research purposes).

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  45. Viking2 (11,126 comments) says:

    Scott (786) Says:
    May 10th, 2011 at 2:56 pm
    I agree that DPF is probably not in the right party on social issues. He would like to vote labour on social issues and support national on free markets.

    Manolo (4,071) Says:
    May 10th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Looks like you’ll have to vote for the Greens, DPF.

    He already does. He supports Nick Smith’s ETS. :-)

    Makes him an ACT voter I reckon.

    Tough to be a Nat. these days. :wink:

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  46. yesjg (43 comments) says:

    Would some Republican please name six countries that they admire that have a Republican system so that we can make an objective comparison with the system that we presently have.

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  47. Michael (895 comments) says:

    40% of New Zealanders prefer a republic over the current monarchy. My guess is a half of republicans want a political head of state (like the USA), another half want a ceremonial head of state (like Ireland). Then half want the constitution to be supreme law, half want a constitution with parliamentary supremacy. And there probably are a few who want a peoples republic…

    I’m an ambivilant monarchist – more afraid of the effects of any changes on our constitution over an argument of who is our head of state is in law. Having a head of state who wouldn’t dare use reserve powers kinda works.

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  48. simonway (371 comments) says:

    yesjg: I’m not, strictly speaking, a republican (though I favour abolition of the monarchy), and it would be a stretch to say that I “admire” very many countries, but, assuming you’re trying to make a point that “republics are basket cases”, I’d list France, Germany, Finland, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Austria as counterexamples. If one prefers American-style laissez-faire over European welfare states, replace one of those with the USA.

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  49. william blake (106 comments) says:

    RRM You base your fanboy adulation of the Monarchy on the type of pendulous vehicles they drive? and as a corollary are you suggesting that Princess Diana died because she was being driven in a Merc?
    Charles has infected William with a love of all things Aston Martin (remember his Lagonda?) and waved him off from the Abbey in a DB6, why,if he can afford to run a DB6 wouldn’t he have a DB4; much more alluring and if it had been a 2010 vantage, yes William should be King, but it wasn’t so he is just a chip off the old block and can wait his bloody turn.

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  50. big bruv (13,249 comments) says:

    Right…so in DPF’s world we rule out former MP’s and PM’s.

    Well, we all know that is never going to happen, once our MP’s get a sniff of the public trough there is no stopping the bastards, the reality is that if we ever do become a republic then it will not matter what we (the public) want, the role of President will be served by ex PM’s and their appointment will be a political one.

    So people, all those who support the idea of a republic better get used to the idea of President Clark or President Bolger.

    However, it is worth considering what might happen if DPF’s wishes are granted, who would fill the role of President?

    For a start off the position would be one that created huge uproar, the gaggle of Gays in the house would want to appoint a gay or lesbian for no other reason than they are gay or lesbian. The racists and the stupid Greens will boycott anybody who is not Maori, indeed I expect to hear calls from the racists and the stupid Greens to make the position of President one that can only be filled by Maori.

    The painfully politically correct would want somebody as obscure and hopeless as the current Governor General, the feminist movement would demand that we kick things off with a wimin President (Perhaps another Tizard)

    Nah……….leave things as they are, if we try and change things around then we will end up making total New Zealanders of ourselves, the whole thing would be a monumental fuck up, a fuck up that only us Kiwis can manage.

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  51. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    yesjg>Would some Republican please name six countries that they admire that have a Republican system so that we can make an objective comparison with the system that we presently have.

    I’ll have a go: Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, Israel, Chile, USA, and France.

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  52. big bruv (13,249 comments) says:

    You admire the police state of Singapore davidp?

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  53. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    I had fun there BB. People were friendly. They work hard and have transformed a third world colony in to a bustling modern country with a GDP per capita far higher than NZ. They’re a democracy, their human rights record is much better than their neighbours, and they pull their weight internationally. So I admire them.

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  54. holysheet (265 comments) says:

    Leave it as it is.
    If we become a republic (a banana one the way we are going) god help us. Can you imagine the cost of paying off the taniwha in the room when every tinpot iwi gets to re-litigate all their full and final settlements again. What would happen to the treaty. If you think the horries are pissed about the seabed issues, wait and see when you try and derail the present gravy train.

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  55. calendar girl (1,172 comments) says:

    [DPF: Sigh please don't misrepresent me. I have said many times that what I support is someone being elected by 75% of Parliament, and that both current and former MPs are ineligible.]

    The DPF ineligibility formula wouldn’t convince me. There are plenty of “politicians” other than “current and former MPs” who could still be elected as President in a New Zealand Republic – Mike Williams, Andrew Little, Michele Boag, Judy Kirk, Len Brown and Celie Wade-Brown are names that illustrate the point.

    Best to leave well alone, as most New Zealanders appear to favour.

    [DPF: That is why I also propose a 75% majority in Parliament. None of those people would be likely to be able to attain that.]

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  56. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    The domestic problem we have is the way PM’s of late go on smile and wave meet and greet the people tours and crowd out the GG from doing this. This leaves the GG with a very low profile and no discernible public role – it’s not just a lck of real power to the position (not a bad thing) but a lack of public presence – if PM’s are to act like heads of state as they do now, why not have them directly elected?

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  57. yesjg (43 comments) says:

    Simonway

    France – Last President up on criminal charges
    Germany – Responsible for the deaths of 50 million [who knows?] people in last 70 years
    Finland- Possibly
    Slovenia – Only independent since 1991 ranks between Portugal and Bulgaria in list of competitive countries.
    Switzerland – Possibly
    Austria – See Germany [Hitler was an Austrian]

    davidp

    Switzerland – See above
    Germany – See above
    Singapore – A police state
    Israel – Less than 8 million population with 18 parties in parliament plus 22 outside
    Chile – A military dictatorship up to 1990
    USA – Most murderous countries per capita USA 24 NZ 52, Least corrupt USA 17 NZ 2
    France – See above

    There are 195 countries in the world and from the lists given there are only 2 Republics Finland and Switzerland, that are possibly as good as the system that we presently have. Not better in my view but maybe equal. It seems to me that there is little merit in changing a system of Government that is at least as good as the top 1% of world governments.

    Based on the above facts changing one of the best systems of government in the hope of getting something better when there is not clear evidence that there is anything better is both dangerous and irresponsible.

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  58. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    We’ll be a republic as soon as Australia makes the move – if they move when the Queen dies so will we.

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  59. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    yesjg… I don’t understand your argument. You take the countries we’ve named, come up with a fairly spurious point such as Germany being responsible for a war that ended 65 years ago, and then unilaterally decide that a thoroughly decent and successful republic isn’t as good as NZ.

    Perhaps somewhere else in the world your opposite number is challenging people to name six monarchies they admire and NZ is on the list. Then your opposite number points out that Henry 8th was a serial killer and his portrait hangs in Government House, that Prince Philip thinks that Asian people are slanty eyed foreigners, that a previous Governor General exploited his tax free status to buy luxury cars for all his family, that NZ has been involved in just about every war being fought since the Boer War, that a racist like Winston Peters can be Deputy PM and have a title “Right Honourable”, and that NZ’s economic performance lags most of the developed world. And conclude that NZ isn’t half as successful as Singapore, France, Germany, or Chile.

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  60. big bruv (13,249 comments) says:

    SPC

    “We’ll be a republic as soon as Australia makes the move – if they move when the Queen dies so will we.”

    No chance, the will of the people to dump the monarchy is not there.

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  61. isauld (3 comments) says:

    yesjg>Would some Republican please name six countries that they admire that have a Republican system so that we can make an objective comparison with the system that we presently have:

    OK- taking into consideration local conditions and historical backgrounds, I admire the constitutional arrangements of the following countries.

    USA
    Finland
    Switzerland
    Germany with its post WWII Grundgesetz. (The Weimar Republic failed because of the economic and social legacy left to it after the Kaiser drove Germany into WWI- along with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, The British Empire, the Ottaman Empire, the Russian Empire (are you seeing a pattern emerging).
    Austria – ditto the above (the fact that Hitler was Austrian has zero relevance- the Windsor family are also German)
    Estonia
    the Czech Republic
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    Costa Rica
    Chile
    Brazil
    Botswana

    I find it convenient (and a little dishonest) that people focus on Australia, Canada and NZ when comparing Commonwealth realms with republics. What has constitutional monarchy done for the Solomon Islands, PNG and Belize? It appears that the monarchies famed “stabilising influence” has very little effect where there is actual instability. If we compare like for like let’s compare countries with relatively similar starting points. Fair comparisons would be NZ versus Finland or Ireland (both ex-colonies with similar populations and wealth), Belize versus Costa Rica, or the Solomon Islands versus Vanuatu. These are fair comparisons- rather than Canada verus the Congo.

    And let’s remember that we are talking about the effect of the constitutional arrangement of the country- not the policies of individual governments.

    We could easily retain the advantages of a constitutional monarch without all the downside by, as DPF suggests, having an indirectly elected president. I would also favour the German model of a separately constituted body (possibly the Order of New Zealand could fulfil this role). I personally wouldn’t rule out past MPs for president as there are many MPS who would make fine Presidents- notably Sir Don McKinnon and Mike Moore who have both headed international organisations.

    As for the financial impact, this would be marginal as the GG already costs the taxpayer, and as DPF rightly points out we would avoid the cost of hosting Royal visits- including minor royalty who have zero relation to NZ constitutionally other than being somewhere down the highly discriminatory line of succession.

    I admire and respect the Queen greatly. She has served us well. However, what I do object to is the inherited power, wealth, privilege and status of the Windsor family. Why do we need Wills and Kate? Can’t we do without Prince Andrew and Fergie? It genuinely saddened me to see people fawning all over the Royal couple in a manner that seemed to me to be undignified and humiliating. What have either of them actually done that is deserving of such gushing admiration when compared to the likes of Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Ray Avery, Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes or Sir Peter Blake ? I would much prefer to have a head of state who has achieved great things and can be a statesman fitting of our great country.

    As for the “if it aint broke don’t fix it” lot, I would argue that it is broke. We basically have a 3 year dictatorship whereby whoever controls our one house of parliament can rule by fiat. Just look at the way that successive governments have abused parliamentary procedure to push through far reaching and controversial bills (Privy Council, Foreshore and Seabed Act). We need a system with at least a some basic checks and balances.

    So although moving towards a Republic will be a difficult step that will require serious though and debate , my view is that the arguments for far outweigh the arguments against.

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  62. yesjg (43 comments) says:

    davidp

    Isn’t that what this blog is about allowing people to express their opinions?

    The point that I wanted to make was that New Zealand already has one of the best systems of government and I am not convinced that there is anything better out there.

    My comments against the various countries was based on my view of the facts as I see them. You may have differing views and a different way of arriving at those views but the fact remains that the people of New Zealand have a lot to lose if they chose an inferior system of government than the one that they presently have. And the chances of that happening are high because there is not one that stands out as being better than the one we presently enjoy.

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  63. Nookin (3,034 comments) says:

    I think Tristan da Cunha has got it just about right.

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  64. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    I agree with John Key, the people aren’t showing any interest in dumping the Monarchy, a republic is on the distant horizon. Even if Australia went down the republican road, New Zealand would hesitate to follow because those links with the U.K. are still strong and would be reluctantly severed.

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  65. sapienaustralis (4 comments) says:

    I don’t feel any tie to England or the UK, and get a bit embarrassed by New Zealanders who do. But despite this, Its always seemed to me that our current form of monarchy is a low cost, harmless bit of history. Its not clear what “fix” a republic offers.

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  66. Richard Hurst (755 comments) says:

    Charlie is a horses arse. The creepy old cheater can’t be trusted and if he could vote, the deranged fool would vote green.

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  67. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “BUT if you want to be really anti Republican why not vote to have the Empire back”

    I would have no problem with that.

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