Guest Post Responding to Pender

March 11th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

, Chair of the Republican Movement has a guest post responding to the guest post by Nikki Pender:

Nikki Pender argues “we” (New Zealanders) “enjoy a meritocratic constitutional monarchy”, on the basis that no-one forces New Zealand to keep the Queen as head of State. This is a unique way of putting the monarchy, but also a concession that its head is not in anyway chosen on merit. She correctly argues that change from the status quo to a New Zealand head of State “could be effected relatively swiftly” and makes a number of other claims that deserve scrutiny.

The only reason New Zealand keeps the Queen, Nikki says, is because there is “no popular support” for a New Zealander as head of State, and the majority of Kiwis consider the Queen deserves her position. In fact, Nikki’s own comments contain one piece of why “popular support” appears to be with the monarchy. From her comments, it appears that Nikki believes that an independent head of State of New Zealand would mean we have to leave the Commonwealth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority of members of the Commonwealth today are republics. Only a handful still have the Queen as their head of State – and of those a number are taking steps to creating their own heads of State. This is sadly not a very well known fact.

The comments on Nikki’s article are also instructive. More often than not the arguments were not for the monarchy in anyway, they were simply against a New Zealand head of State. Claims such as a New Zealand head of State would be all-powerful like the US president, that it means an end to the Treaty of Waitangi are objectively not true, yet often repeated myths.

While we can’t bring about a New Zealand head of State without popular support – and we’d be hypocritical not to as believers in the consent of the governed – the campaign for a New Zealand head of State focuses primarily on refuting these myths. By doing so we get to the heart of the issue – who will be the best head of State for New Zealand, and what is the best way to choose the holder of that office. While Nikki may be right to claim the Queen has been “trained for life” for her role, that misses the point. The fact is the Queen is first and foremost the UK’s head of State, and not ours.

I’d also point out that Prince Charles has been trained for life for his role, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a good King of New Zealand!

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26 Responses to “Guest Post Responding to Pender”

  1. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    I see the Queen is supporting homosexual so called rights. She is probably listening too much to Charlie.

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  2. Pete George (22,839 comments) says:

    Worth repeating this here from Newstalk ZB: Queen expected to back pledge promoting gay rights

    The Queen is expected to back a historic pledge to promote gay rights and gender equality, in one of the most controversial acts of her reign.

    During a live television broadcast she will sign a new charter designed to stamp out discrimination against homosexual people and promote the empowerment of women.

    The Queen will sign the new Commonwealth Charter and make a speech explaining her passionate commitment to it.

    Insiders spoken to by the Daily Mail say her decision to highlight the event is a ‘watershed’ moment – the first time she’s clearly signalled her support for gay rights.

    Time to review our links with the monarchy? Or should we congratulate the Queen on making socially relevant comment?

    Promoting “empowerment of women” and homosexual rights may not go down well amongst her more conservative fans.

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  3. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    P.G., you should write to Her majesty asking for her support to destroy NZ’s “culture of rape”, that fantasy of yours.

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  4. Pete George (22,839 comments) says:

    That may be covered under empowerment of women Manolo, she may remind the old patriarchs they don’t have total ownership and conjugal rights over their wives any more.

    Maybe the Queen recognises she has to modernise the monarchy to remain relevant. And maybe some old religious patriarchs could learn something from this too.

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  5. hj (6,350 comments) says:

    I worry under republicanism Keth Locke or Dame Howsyourfather will be head of state.

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  6. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The conditional underlying Pender’s argument is false. It’s not true that popular support would necessarily lead to change. There’s all sorts of political inertia to consider, as well as the fact that people might put up with the Queen because they simply don’t care enough about the issue, like the man who doesn’t love his wife any more, but who can’t be bothered to divorce her.

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  7. Fletch (6,025 comments) says:

    We’re doing fine.

    Don’t f*** with the formula.

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  8. Urban Redneck (234 comments) says:

    Trade the Queen for Helen Klark as President and a “constitution” written by leftists and Maori separatists ?
    I don’t think so.

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  9. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    While the Queen of the United Kingdom may well be first and foremost the UK’s head of State, the Queen of New Zealand is first and foremost ours. If Lewis is going to contend that that somehow compromises our head of State he would be best to actually provide some evidence as to how that has happened.

    More to the point though, given that he accepts the need for the consent of the governed for any change, it is worth reminding him, and all others, that the last public poll on this topic had on 19% in favour of change. Agree with Nikki Pender’s arguments and logic or not, the view of governed is remains very clear; no call for change.

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  10. Longknives (4,456 comments) says:

    “Trade the Queen for Helen Klark as President and a “constitution” written by leftists and Maori separatists ?
    I don’t think so.”

    My sentiments exactly- New Zealand’s shiny new ‘Constitution’ will be based on the Principles of the Treaty (or rather-the Maori interpretation of them)
    This is the worst possible future for this country. If the Republican movement has it’s way New Zealand (or Aotearoa as it will be known by then) will become the Zimbabwe of the Pacific.

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  11. Pete George (22,839 comments) says:

    Trade the Queen for Helen Klark as President and a “constitution” written by leftists and Maori separatists ?

    Oh no!

    But there’s an even worse possibility. Charles may murder his mother and become king, force all Catholics into exile, send the Prime Minister to the Tower of London, and make subject nations including New Zealand take all of England’s Scot, Welsh and Muslim population as immigrants. And make us all play polo or soccer!

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  12. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    Bob Jones would be ideal.

    He’s never had any time for idiots in positions of influence. Infact, he often points out to us who they are!

    ” Off with their heads! ” said the King. :cool:

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  13. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    Given that visiting British monarchy pull the same sort of crowds as you average refomed old-fogey punk band, I suspect this issue will be decided by the universal principle of “Who Cares” rather than a political debate on the merits of a local head of state.

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  14. edhunter (497 comments) says:

    that it means an end to the Treaty of Waitangi are objectively not true.
    Oh that it were true, I reckon support for republicism would skyrocket. As opposed to the to the treaty being enshrined as a founding document of the ‘new republic’

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  15. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    I’d also point out that Prince Charles has been trained for life for his role, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a good King of New Zealand!

    How can he not be good!? He only has to learn how to sign his name…..

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  16. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    The Queen is expected to back a historic pledge to promote gay rights and gender equality, in one of the most controversial acts of her reign

    The Queen supporting other queens. Hardly surprising.
    The are probably her biggest fans anyway.

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  17. tas (595 comments) says:

    If you look at any ranking of countries by freedom or democracy, half of the top ten will be constitutional monarchies like NZ, Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, or the Netherlands. The point is that a constitutional monarchy works very well and all criticisms of the system are academic.

    Moreover, republicans are divided (and often defeated) by the question `what should the monarchy be replaced with?’ The queen is a good head of state because she doesn’t intervene or otherwise cause trouble–she doesn’t have a mandate or need to do so. If you replace the monarchy with an elected political position, then that politician will be active in politics. And if the new head of state is unelected, then what’s the point?

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  18. UglyTruth (3,989 comments) says:

    The Queen is expected to back a historic pledge to promote gay rights and gender equality, in one of the most controversial acts of her reign.

    Coronation Oath 1953

    Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you …
    Queen. All this I promise to do.

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
    Leviticus 20:13

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  19. UglyTruth (3,989 comments) says:

    The queen is a good head of state because she doesn’t intervene or otherwise cause trouble

    “But it is now a global challenge which will continue to affect security and stability for years to come..”
    UN Copenhagen summit on climate change

    http://indianembassy.ru/indiachronicle/nov09/newsmakers.html

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  20. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, she is not posing as King of Kings, only Queen of queens (they do work for her at the palace).

    And note there is no Commonwealth church, only a Church of England – one that did not perform the second marriage of her son.

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  21. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    That said, given the debate in the Anglican Communion, where some of the African churches were the strongest opponents of a liberal church position on homosexual clergy – the real issue for the Crown here – as head of the Commonwealth – is its connection to the Church of England.

    There is reason for the Crown as secular head of state to end its connection to the Church. Other constitutional monarchies do not have this role.

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  22. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Put it this way, the Queen is obliged to take act for the well being of the realm – in her secular role as head of state and Commonwealth.

    As for her oath of coronation, she has no involvement in church affairs – her government, church clergy and church laity decide things. She is only able to keep it to the extent that her government and church want her to, she is only a figurehead.

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  23. UglyTruth (3,989 comments) says:

    SPC, The point is that by promoting gender equality she appears to be breaking her own coronation oath.

    As for her oath of coronation, she has no involvement in church affairs

    Except for her role as “Supreme Governor”, of course.

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  24. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, I think you’ll find the church is exempt from the secular government effort to promote gay rights and gender equality.

    She is titular head of state (more than one), commonwealth and a church, – she reigns over, but does not rule in any of them.

    The confusion is in the Crown person being head of both state and church when they hold different positions – such as the church opposing same sex marriage before the Supreme Governor of the church, as head of state, signs it into nation state law. And of course the Supreme Governor of the church being a woman and the church laity resisting women in leadership roles within the church.

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  25. UglyTruth (3,989 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, I think you’ll find the church is exempt from the secular government effort to promote gay rights and gender equality.

    Anglican Articles of Religion:

    XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates.
    The Power of the Civil Magistrate extendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things temporal; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual. And we hold it to be the duty of all men who are professors of the Gospel, to pay respectful obedience to the Civil Authority, regularly and legitimately constituted.

    she reigns over, but does not rule

    reign [reɪn]
    n
    1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the period during which a monarch is the official ruler of a country
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reign

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  26. Steve (North Shore) (4,499 comments) says:

    Amazing power the Queen has.
    Let them eat cake, but hey the servants pay for the cake

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