The Commonwealth Games is a big reason why so many New Zealanders value Commonwealth membership but some Kiwis still don't realise that becoming a republic, with our own Head of State, does not mean NZ would leave the Commonwealth.
The majority of commonwealth countries are already republics and choose their own Head of State. The Commonwealth has 53 member states. 32 are republics, 6 are monarchies and have a hereditary Head of State, 15 more are 'Commonwealth Realms' with the British monarch acting in place of a local Head of State.
Achieving republic status will not affect Commonwealth membership because Member states have agreed that membership will continue when a state changes its constitutional arrangements:
[W]here an existing member changes its formal constitutional status, it should not have to reapply for Commonwealth membership provided that it continues to meet all the criteria for membership.
(Final Communiqué - CHOGM 2007)
Commonwealth membership does not require New Zealand to have the same Head of State as Great Britain
Membership requires each country to accept the Commonwealth's fundamental values, principles, and priorities. Member states must demonstrate a commitment to democracy, rule of law, judicial independence, good governance, and protection of human rights;
Members must have a historic constitutional Commonwealth association; and accept the conventions for inter-Commonwealth relations. They must also acknowledge that Queen Elizabeth II, holds the symbolic position of ‘Head of the Commonwealth’.
‘Head of the Commonwealth’ is not a hereditary position. It is separate from the Monarch's role as Head of State.
18 former Commonwealth realms have all become republics and are still members of the Commonwealth (including India and South Africa).
A New Zealand republic would continue to be a leader in Commomnwealth relations and Kiwis can continue enjoying our role in the Commonwealth Games.
Kia Waimarie. Best of luck to the everyone competing at this year's Games in Glasgow.