To become a parlaimentary republic within the Commonwealth, New Zealand needs to have its own Head of State. For that reason our campaign has remains focused on that core goal. We have developed a straight-forward blueprint on how to make the change and we spend our time explaining why the best way to solve the Head of State problem is to transition the office of Governor-General into the Office of Head of State.
This week saw the appointment of Dame Patsy Reddy, the 11th New Zealand born Governor-General. She has already suggested that during her time at Government house "she would be more informal than past Governors-General, while maintaining the mana and integrity of the job". This is in keeping with how the role has developed so far and it is not surprising that she would say this. All recent Governors-General have taken the same approach and Government House is now ready to make the transition from being home to the Monarch's representative to being home to our actual Head of State.
The method of appointment used to choose Dame Patsy has been questioned. No one had an issue with her integrity or abilities but it is problematic that such an important role is appointed by the Prime Minister with no input from other parties in Parliament. While we support moves to have Parliament ratify any such appointments (as it does with the Ombudsman and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment) we do not see it as a solution to the larger problem.
Likewise, the flag issue. It has dominated the headlines over the last year but changing the flag will not be discussed again until New Zealanders have decided whether we will be a republic. We support any opportunity to discuss New Zealand's national identity and our connections to the UK and the Commonwealth but flag design is not the focus of our work.
Again, the same goes for the debate over titular honours (Knights and Dames). The honours system needs work and we would support a review if it were to occur but it is an issue that can wait until we have dealt with the more substantive issue.
New Zealand Republic has a core set of goals and we reamin focused on them. We will carry on promoting and campaigning the best possible Head of State for New Zealand. We will carry on working for the good of all New Zealanders. Join us in our work and help make New Zealander a better place.