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May 2007 newsletter
In this edition: Republican Movement website relaunched, Monarchists say Prince Harry is "not just an ordinary citizen", The Republic of New Zealand Party aims for 3rd place, the Republican Movement's AGM sets a path forward, Post-colonial Maturity by Lewis Holden, quotes in the republic debate from Spoken and upcoming events.
Movement website relaunched
"Royal family members of this rank are not just any ordinary democratic citizen."
- Monarchist League Deputy Chairman Dr Robert Mann on Prince Harry going to Iraq.
"...given the choice, I would still vote in a republic. But no matter how worthy our president was, I would be surprised if they outclassed the woman I hope will be the last Queen of New Zealand."
- Mark Houlahan, Waikato Times, 12 May 2007
"We are not a British colony. The sooner we become an independent, democratic republic with a mature identity and Constitution the better."
- Wayne Hawkins, Deputy Leader of the Republic of New Zealand Party.
"In fact if [Labour] could get rid of The Queen they'd do that too!"
- Newstalk ZB political reporter Barry Soper
Republican Movement chair Lewis Holden is taking part in a panel discussion for Queen's Birthday weekend, Sunday Programme, Radio New Zealand National - Sunday 3 June 2007, at around 10:00pm.
KEEPING UP WITH internet trends, the Republican Movement has added a number of tools to its website. New features include members' forums, credit-card facilities from Paypal for donations and membership subscriptions, and a secure email newsletter and media release sign-up system. Users can sign up for moderated forums' for free, and full membership of the Republican Movement is $10 a year.
Monarchists: Prince Harry "not an ordinary citizen"
IN A STUNNING ADMISSION the Monarchist League has stated that members of the Royal family are not just any ordinary citizens. Amongst the furore over whether Prince Harry should be deployed with his British army unit to the war in Iraq, the Monarchist League put out a press release stating Harry shouldnâ€™t go to Iraq because His Royal Highness isn't a 'normal democratic citizen'.
By Lewis Holden
The recent visit by the Queen to the United States of America brought home three truths. The first is that despite being a republic for over 200 years, the American people still love Royalty. The second is that Her Majesty the Queen is first and foremost Queen of Great Britain, and all the Commonwealth realms, including New Zealand, play second fiddle.
The third is more interesting for New Zealand: America's relationship with its former colonial power. The United States has a mature, adult-like relationship with Britain, and this was reflected in the Queen's visit. New Zealand, on the other hand, is still stuck in some sort of parent - child relationship, although we're sort of living independently out the back. Some say this arrangement is satisfactory, but if we're honest we know our friends think we just need to leave home as they have.
This admission blows away any fallacy that the members of the Royal family are just like us common folk, even if Harry is clearly trying to do what he sees as his duty to his country. Poor old Harry is denied this chance by his birth - because he could potentially be a major coup for insurgents in Iraq if captured, or worse. The funny thing is that if any New Zealander was denied this chance because of their birth, we would be up in arms about it.
Republic Party aims for 3rd place
WATCH OUT GREENS - despite a mere 255 votes in the 2005 election, the Republic of New Zealand Party are out to become New Zealandâ€™s third largest party according to Kerry Bevin, the party leader. The party is already the third registered political party to try and make the republic a partisan issue - and that is where they may go the way of the other two parties with a policy of a republic.
If every New Zealander who supports a republic voted for the party, they would get somewhere around 35% of the party vote, making them the third largest party in parliament. This won't happen anytime soon - the republic is not a partisan issue, and it is unlikely the New Zealand public would vote for a party advocating one over their concerns about the health system, the economy, or race relations for example. But the media often cites the party's failure at the polls as evidence New Zealanders don't support a republic â€“ even Gavin McLean does so in his book The Governors. And yet the party is thin on the details of its proposed republic - they don't even mention the policy in their manifesto! It seems the party is more interested in advocating the abolition of the Family Court, which it has protested against outside Auckland's courts.
Deputy Leader Wayne Hawkins stated previously that his party "...will dispense with any Head of State. An elected President will govern New Zealand." From this we assume the party wants a United States-style Presidential republic. In contrast, the Republican Movement believes that the issue is not a partisan one and cannot be advanced by a political party. We believe that it is for the New Zealand public to decide what sort of model of a republic we follow â€“ and because of this we support Keith Locke's Head of state (Referenda) Bill. Under Keith's Bill the New Zealand public would get the chance to choose whether the head of state was directly or indirectly elected by referendum, but this doesn't appear to be an option under the Republic Party model.