One of the repetitive themes of the last few years has been a claim that more younger New Zealanders are supporting the monarchy. It makes for a good story and gives the news media and opportunity to discuss what appears to be the real-life impact of younger members of the British Royal family on the popularity of the monarchy as an institution. And, on cue, there’s got an article following the birth of Harry and Meghan’s baby that more young New Zealanders are “interested” in the monarchy.
The facts, unfortunately, don’t support the contention. While it is true the young British Royals are popular, and we don’t at all dispute that, it’s clear that that isn’t translating into actual support for the monarchy as an institution.
New Zealand Republic has been tracking the decline in public support for the monarchy for years, and as you’d expect, a large part of our campaign is understanding the views of the public on the issue. The key things we know are that while support for a New Zealand head of state is rising, that doesn’t equate to more action, something our campaing is very focused on turning around. We know that a New Zealand head of state is still very much a “second order” priority, well behind the bread and butter issues such as health, the environment, jobs and wages and so on.
We’ve also been tracking support by age group. Our last annual poll in 2018 found only 24% of those New Zealanders aged 18-30 wanted to keep the monarchy once the Queen’s reign ends. This poll was taken during the media coverage of Prince Harry’s wedding. We’re currently running our poll again, and expect to have the results in a few weeks - watch this space!