Our policies set out what we're campaigning for.
Head of State
Our campaign is focused on New Zealand’s head of state. At the moment, New Zealand has a well-established parliamentary system of government. Our elected government appoints, effectively, the Governor-General who is head of state in all but name. The Queen plays almost no role in our government, yet is our actual head of state. The Queen cannot represent New Zealand overseas and is not known internationally as our head of state. Our campaign is to fix this and assert New Zealand’s independence, democracy and nationhood by making our Governor-General our head of state.
New Zealand Republic supports:
Our parliamentary system of government (that is, keeping the head of government - the Prime Minister - and head of state separate);
Reforming the office of Governor-General of New Zealand as New Zealand’s head of state, with the same reserve powers that the Governor-General currently has.
To acheive this, we propose:
Putting in place an appointment process for the Governor-General, where the office is elected by a vote in parliament of three-quarters of MPs (and can be removed by the same), to ensure the person chosen for the role is above politics, ensuring we would have the same sort of people we currently have as Governors-General;
There should also be a general clause "saving" the Governor-General's reserve constitutional powers as being the same;
Once the election process is in place, a simple referendum with the question "Do you support New Zealand becoming an independent state, with the Governor-General becoming head of state?" would then be put. Legislation establishing the referendum must have:
Pending the passing of the above referendum, a future review of the head of state’s powers, titles, considering whether the office could be elected directly or remain as is (with any changes to be put to a second referendum);
A “Treaty of Waitangi” clause defining Iwi-Crown relations and clause for “the Crown” being defined as “The Government and People of New Zealand”;
A clause stating membership of the Commonwealth must continue, with recognition of the Head of the Commonwealth;
Changes not come into effect until 6 months after the end of the Queen’s reign
Te Tiriti o Waitangi - The Treaty of Waitangi
The Treaty of Waitangi - Te Tiriti o Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. A republic won’t change this or the relationship between Maori and the Government.
New Zealand Republic supports:
Recognising the Treaty of Waitangi - Te Tiriti of Waitangi as New Zealand’s founding document;
In legislation establishing the republic, a specific “deeming” clause re-stating the Maori-Crown relationship and preserving that relationship;
For more detail, see our page on the Treaty of Waitangi.
Becoming a republic wouldn’t mean New Zealand loses its membership of the Commonwealth of Nations. The majority of members of the Commonwealth don’t have the Queen as their head of State.
New Zealand will still compete at the Commonwealth Games, and partake in all of the Commonwealth’s organisations.
New Zealand Republic supports New Zealand’s continued membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.