New Zealanders can place little faith on what the New Zealand republicans say, at least from a succession of false claims they have made about Australia.
It seems the New Zealand republican movement just does not care for the facts.
No wonder New Zealanders show little interest in whatever republic they are offering.
..Gerry Adams wasn't there…
Recently the chairman of the New Zealand republican movement, Mr. L. J. Holden, denied that Gerry Adams had been in Australia in 1999 and had called on Australians to vote yes in the referendum.
This was despite the fact that Adams had delivered a lecture at the University of New South Wales, attended a champagne reception offered by a republican Lord Mayor, was interviewed by the ABC and that his comments were reported in the Sun Herald and other newspapers.
They have now conceded, somewhat ungraciously, that ACM was right.
…Australia's republicans did not try to fix the referndum question…
This was not the first occasion when Mr. Holden, speaking for the NZ republicans, has claimed that ACM has not been truthful.
The first related to an incident on 5 July, 1999 when Kerry Jones and I went to Parliament House, Sydney for a federal hearing on the ACM submission on the referendum Bill.
As we went in, we ran into a near stampede of journalists, pursuing a very grim Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Barns. David Elliott, the ACM National Director, told us what had happened.
The Australian Republican Movement had actually proposed that the referendum question be amended to remove the words “president” and “republic”.
Mr. Holden says this just did not happen.
It is in Hansard and in the media reports, where the then leading republican newspaper poured ridiculed on the proposal.
The New Zealand republicans have not withdrawn their claim.
…most republican delegates did not support the ARM model…
Now Mr Holden says on a republican site (29/9) that my assertion that an overwhelming majority of elected republican delegates at the 1998 Constitutional Convention supported the model which went to the referendum is “plainly wrong, and should be withdrawn and corrected.”
Once again the NZ republicans have not bothered to check the facts.
I have, and I was there. A careful examination of the record, and of the affiliations and voting record of each elected republican delegate will demonstrate that ACM is correct.
Mr. Holden makes three signficant errors which he would have avoided had he studied the publicly available Hansard records.
The motion in favour of the model was carried by 73 votes to 57 with 22 abstentions.
He says most of the delegates opposed to Parliament choosing the President abstained.
He is wrong.
They all abstained.
He argues that if the direct elect republican delegates had voted no, the motion would have been defeated.
Again he is wrong.
If they had all voted No, the the vote would have been 73 to 68 with 11 abstentions. The result would have been the same: the motion would have been carried.
He assumes that the 22 abstaining delegates were all direct elect republicans.
For the third time he is wrong.
Of the 22, only 11 were direct elect candidates.
Of the others, most were vehemently opposed to direct election. Some were in favour of the neo-monarchist McGarvie model. Some were monarchists, for example, the former Governor-General Dr. Hollingworth.
Of the elected republican delegates to the Convention, 36 were in favour of the model. That is, as I have claimed, the overwhelming majority of elected republican delegates, 76%, supported the referendum model.
…New Zealanders beware…
The republican movement wants New Zealanders to accept their arguments for throwing out their constitutional system.
From what they have claimed about Australia, New Zealanders would be wise not to rely on those arguments.