New Zealanders should note the names of the ten plunket babies chosen to be part of today's royal event. One of them may very well grow up to be New Zealand's head of state.
The New Zealand republic campaign is all about having a New Zealander as New Zealand's head of state. That does not mean only someone born in New Zealand. To be eligible for selection a person would have to be a citizen and live here in New Zealand.
Baby George is as cute as any other baby and he is the focus of a lot of media attention but unfortunately he cannot be New Zealand's future head of state. Not unless one day he moves to New Zealand and becomes a citizen.
Plunket is a distinctly New Zealand organisation and the four Kiwi boys and six Kiwi girls attending the event today at Government house with their parents are all New Zealanders. We are campaigning for reform because we want all of them to enjoy the benefits of growing up in a New Zealand where the head of state is chosen in a fair and open way.
In the New Zealand of tomorrow, the head of state will still be New Zealand's highest public office. To be selected for that office will be the highest accolade any New Zealander could be given.
We wish all the families attending todays event well. One family will leave New Zealand next week and not be back for many years. The rest will grow up in New Zealand and be part of life in an increasingly diverse and dynamic country.