The elaborate diamond and gold-encrusted coach added to Buckingham Palace's collection this month reiterates why it is time for New Zealand to do things differently. We don't need a head of state surrounded by elaborate, ostentatious luxury and arcane ritual. We need a head of state who New Zealanders can talk with and relate to; someone who is one of us.
The position of Head of State is the highest public honour any New Zealander can achieve but no New Zealanders are eligible. Sir Jerry Mateparae is the closest thing we have to a head of state at present but despite doing all the work of the head of state he is not accorded the full honour. His merits and his mana as a person mark him out as an ideal candidate but unless we reform how our head of state is chosen he, and others like him, will never be recognised or respected in the way they should be.
So, while the fleet of elaborate gold carriages and luxury cars grows ever larger at the palace, New Zealand Republic's campaign for a Kiwi Head of State is intent on making sure our head of state is one of us.
We don't need diamond encrusted door handles or rare and vintage Rolls-Royces to make it work. We just need a head of state that works hard, remains independent and who represents us all regardless of how wealthy we are or what party we vote for.