Good news for head of state campaigners in the latest nationwide poll. The poll, by Curia Market Research, was commissioned by New Zealand Republic. It shows support for a New Zealand Head of State has risen to 44%. Support from people aged 18-30 is at now at 66%. Support for using the British Monarchy to provide our next head of state has fallen to 46%. Respondents were also asked whether they preferred direct or indirect election but there was no change in the ratio. There is still a three to one preference for direct election.
The results follow on from the last years poll in April 2013 when support for using the British Monarch was sitting at 52%. Since then the campaign has focused on making sure as many New Zealanders as possible know what the changes will likely entail. Chair of the campaign, Savage, has commented "We have been promoting our blueprint for change, and the need for a referendum, whenever we get a chance".
"We are confident that when New Zealanders are given accurate information they will see there is a need to change how things are done. When they hear and read what we are proposing they can tell there are clear benefits to having a New Zealander in the role".
Former governor-general Dame Catherine Tizard told Fairfax Media she was delighted to hear the figures. "I have been advocating for some time now that we should be as a country making plans for what we propose to do when her majesty is no longer with us," she said.
The poll of 1038 people was conducted between March 3rd and March 18th. It asked respondents "What is your preference for New Zealand's next head of State out of the following three options?
- The next British Monarch becomes King of New Zealand.
- New Zealand has a New Zealander as Head of State elected by a two thirds majority in Parliament.
- New Zealand has a New Zealander as Head of State who is elected by the popular vote.
On current polling 46% preferred to have a King, 11% preferred indirect election and 33% direct election. 10% of people were unsure or undecided. There was a clear age correlation. In the 18-30 age group support for change was at 66% with support at 45% for 31-45 year olds and at 48% for 46 to 60. Support among the 60+ age group was only at 35%.