MEDIA RELEASE 18 February 2013
"The Royal Succession Bill is too little too late - it doesn't end discrimination against New Zealand babies from being our head of State, nor does it remove one of the worst aspects of the British monarchy's discrimination against Catholics" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement.
The Bill announced today only affects Royal babies born after the Perth Agreement in 2011, and specifically preserves the Crown as a protestant monarchy.
"This is a poor attempt at modernising an arcane and increasing irrelevant institution. It emphasises that the monarchy is a foreign remnant of our Colonial past - we're only keeping the clause discriminating against Catholics because England has an established protestant church. It will be interesting to see how discrimination against Catholics gets past the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act" continued Mr Holden.
While the end of discrimination against female Royal babies is welcome, it has been pushed through to prevent potential embarrassment the ancient rules would cause the British monarchy if William and Kate's firstborn is a girl.
"It's great to see that the Bill will be open to public submissions and not rushed through. This is probably because of the potential problems it faces elsewhere" concluded Mr Holden
The Republican Movement's page on the Bill is here: www.republic.org.nz/succession