Only a New Zealander can be our Head of State

News from London that Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting a second child will be of interest to followers of the royal family but it will have no effect on the campaign for a New Zealand republic.

Achieving an independent and democratically selected head of state is about New Zealanders gaining control over their head of state. The role can only be awarded to someone based on their career and hard work. It cannot be given to someone just because they were born into the right family.

It is important that we reform the position of Governor-General so that it reflects the needs of contemporary New Zealand. At issue is not about how many members of the royal family there are or what they are named. It is about New Zealanders and how we live together as a diverse and modern nation.

Pregnancy can be a trying time for any couple and the happy news is always tinged with caution. For parents all that matters is that their baby is born healthy and that both mother and baby remain well throughout. William and Kate are no different and if royalists really want to help the couple they will leave them alone and let them enjoy the pregnancy away from the media glare.

William himself recognises how relevant the issue is in the greater scheme of things.  Commenting on the announcement he said "It's important that we all focus on the big news and the big international and domestic things that are going on at the moment," 

Right now in Britain the biggest issue is next week's referendum on Scottish independence. Here in New Zealand it is the election of a new government. 

Prime Minister John Key is mistaken if he believes all "New Zealanders would rejoice at the baby announcement". Clearly there are some New Zealanders who will be very happy to hear the news but the majority of New Zealanders have either a passing interest or no interest at all. 

Many Kiwis will be happy for the couple (and for all the couples here in New Zealand who are expecting) but far more Kiwis however are working to make sure New Zealand can better meet the needs of future generations.

Reforming our head of state is all about our future together. Becoming New Zealand's head of state should be something that all New Zealander children can aspire to regardless of what family they were born in to.