Give Kiwis a say

Lewis Holden has an oped in the NZ Herald:

Some time this month the Prime Minister will announce who New Zealand’s next Governor-General will be. While they represent the Queen in London, constitutionally the Governor-General is the highest office a New Zealander can aspire to.

The appointment is entirely the choice of the Prime Minister of the day. The Queen merely rubber-stamps the appointment.

That’s one reasons I support a move to a republic. I don’t think the PM of the Day should solely determine who the effective Head of State for NZ is.

… no New Zealander can aspire to being our head of state – that position is reserved for a family in the United Kingdom. However, we recognise that we have to start somewhere. The Governor-General’s office is an obvious candidate for reform.

The Republican Movement believes nominations for the job ought to be made by the general public, instead of the Prime Minister’s office sounding potential nominees.

The public’s nominee should be subject to approval of three-quarters of MPs and a majority of party leaders in the House of Representatives. It should not be up to the Prime Minister to appoint the officer able to dismiss his or her government from office.

As Lewis says, this would be a good intermediate step – introducing some transparency and democracy around the appointment of the effective Head of State.

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