Jan 10, 2008

The Republic Of Aotearoa-New Zealand

The editorial today in the Otago Daily Times talks of organic change to our constitution and muses about the future of the name New Zealand. The ODT suggests that New Zealand isn't used by Maori much, if at all, and that young people, of whatever ethnic background use the Aotearoa-New Zealand formulation. The ODT suggests that New Zealand might disappear through non-use.

A different attitude on this topic was expressed a couple of days ago by Richard Long when writing for the Dom Post. He suggests the widespread use of Aotearoa in pre-European settlement times is a myth.

The Hive welcomes discussion on our constitution. We think we need a written constitution and US style protection of this constitution to avoid the abuse to our constitutional conventions that have occurred under the current Government. Our name, and our links to the UK and UK monarch need to be considered carefully in the context of a written constitution. We would be completely happy to see New Zealand a Republic, and likewise we would be open to name change. Aotearoa-New Zealand would be just fine. Aside from anything else it would have Aotearoa-New Zealand's diplomats sitting ahead of the Australians at many international meetings. And the likes of David Cunliffe would not, in future, have the prospect of not getting to meet idols like Bill Clinton at US Presidential receptions because of hand shake fatigue (this actually happened to Cunliffe when he was a junior diplomat stationed at the NZ Embassy in Washington. When it was clear the President wasn't going to make it as far as the "Ns" Cunliffe broke ranks and walked up to the President and introduced himself, taking everyone,including the Secret Service by surprise....)