In Australia, the debate between Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnball is not whether to become a republic it is when to make the change. It is a common debate among Head of State campaigners here as well. Some say wait until Queen Elizabeth's reign ends. Others say move ahead now.
Our position is very clear. New Zealand deserves a better Head of State and there is no reason to wait. Our campaign for change is not based on the personality of the Monarch. New Zealand's Head of State needs to be a New Zealander.
We do not advocate acting in haste. It is going to take several years to make careful plans hold referendums, and transition the office of Governor-General. As the flag process demonstrates, there is nothing to be gained from rushing the process forward.
Waiting for someone to die or become infirmed is no way to choose our next Head of State and it is not the best way to enact important constitutional reform. Far better to just move ahead and make the change when New Zealanders are ready to do so. Whoever is on the throne at the time is welcome to visit and be part of the hand-over ceremony.
The British royal family hold power because their inherited it. None of them were appointed because of merit and the whole hereditary, aristocratic way in which they operate is antithetical to the core values of New Zealand society. It is up to voters in the UK to decide whether they want to keep the Monarchy. Here in New Zealand we know there is a better and fairer way to appoint our Head of State. Kia mana motuhake a Aotearoa.