Apr 11, 2008

Rudd And Dominion Post Revive Republican Debate

The republican debate has been awoken from the slumber of the past few months by comments made by Kevin Rudd in the UK. These have been picked up in today's Dominion Post Editorial.

[The monarchy] deserves to be on the New Zealand agenda as well. As former prime minister and current Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer observed last year, a transition to a republic is inevitable, and though he noted it was difficult to provide a timetable, spoke of five to 10 years.

The current arrangement is simply not a reflection of the reality of New Zealand at the beginning of the 21st century. As we have observed before, if someone proposed a system of government where the head of state lived half a world away, visited about once every five years and who had the job solely because her father had it before her, it would find little support.


Mr Rudd is right that it is not an issue that should be rushed, but he is also right that it is an issue that needs to be addressed. That is equally true on this side of the Tasman. The fact that New Zealand's politicians are reluctant to be as forthright as Mr Rudd does nothing to change that.