April 11

Why New Zealanders do not want a politicians’ republic

I haven’t heard one good argument yet for removing the Crown from our constitutional system. Expense is certainly not an issue when you compare it with just about any republic, although we have seen the Federal Government exaggerating the cost of Royal Visits by some pretty creative accounting.

It’s good to see recent polling indicates our sisters and brothers across the Tasman  are also not persuaded the Crown should go.  

Jim Hopkins, who is probably New Zealand's wittiest and most entertaing speaker, has just written about this very issue  in the New Zealand Herald (9/4). 

He tells how the Governor-General, Sir Anand Satyanand, recently returned  to the capital from Gisborne where he had  made a speech and presented an award at a centennial dinner at the  National Arboretum located at  beautiful  Eastwoodhill.

…excitement on a 19 seater plane….



 “There was a palpable frisson of excitement on our little craft,” he writes. “Necks craned. Eyes widened. Some of us practised a quick kneel in the aisle in preparation for the bestowal of the sword.” 

“The Governor-General and his entourage – one young lady from the Navy and a security guy with the obligatory earpiece – took their seats. No fanfare, no welcome from the pilot and no extra lollies either. They just got on and sat down and we took off."



…why not to get rid of the Crown….

Two thoughts flashed through Mr. Hopkins mind. “First, ‘Wow! I'm travelling on Air Force One!’ And second, "Boy, if you needed a reason why we should never become a republic, this is it, son. This is it!"

 “Because there we were,” he explains “ 17 of us now, in a wee 19-seater that just happened to be carrying the man who could, hypothetically, had it been discovered overnight that (Prime Minister) John Key was a space alien or something equally unlikely, be required, as soon as he touched down, to dismiss the Government, dissolve the Parliament and call a new election.”

 “And he wasn't in his own plane, with 50 aides and 200 journalists. There were no fighter escorts, Security Service personnel or top secret electronic countermeasures. Just a kid in a hoody two seats back who may have aroused suspicion in a bank but didn't on the plane.” 

There are many arguments in favour of our remaining a constitutional monarchy, Mr Hopkins believe. One is that it is “splendidly inexpensive”. 


“It's great to see the Queen's representative travelling economy class on a dinky wee aeroplane."

" There should be more of that kind of modesty in government right around the world,” he says pointing out there are many things New Zealand needs to spend money on. But lavish spending on a Head of State is not one.

He believes that as with Eastwoodhill, New Zealanders should cherish the constitutional monarchy – and never lightly relinquish it.






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