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"Are Brits the people to run our public sector?"
Karl du Fresne writes in The Dominion Post on the issue of Wellington City Council's new CEO coming from the United Kingdom (and many other members of New Zealand's public service) replacing a New Zealander in the role. This is a bad thing, according to Mr du Fresne. Yet his stance on public servants contradicts his bitter comments against having a New Zealander as our head of State. And just look at the reasons put forward. Foreign public servants are a bad thing, because:
...our culture, attitudes and ethos are different. Decades have passed since we took our cue from what we then respectfully called the Mother Country.
British recruits inevitably bring with them their own cultural baggage, which may not be compatible with our way of doing things. As a Massey University academic (another Pom, as it happens) remarked of Ms Longstone, she was possibly not well-equipped to read the New Zealand mood.
Obviously the Republican Movement has no stance on whether our public servants are New Zealanders or not. When it comes to our head of State though, we share the above sentiments. Yet Mr du Fresne is more than happy to have the British monarch as our absentee head of State - because, he claims, New Zealand is independent enough, and a New Zealand head of State only has "shallow emotional appeal." He implies that a New Zealand head of State would lead to instability, on the basis the Queen never intervenes in New Zealand (don't ask me how that works).
While this contradiction is not surprising, it is a reminder that the sentiment underlying a New Zealand head of State is stronger than what poll results might suggest. While Mr du Fresne has thrown his lot in with the British monarch, he expresses the same sentiments we do, just in a different arena.