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Wednesday, December 2

Reform pointless - put the monarchy to a referendum instead

The Republican Movement today condemned Prime Minister John Key's support for changing the Royal succession law as "pointless and half-baked".

"Instead of tinkering with the succession, Mr Key should be putting the monarchy to a referendum" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement.

Mr Key made the statement to the New Zealand Herald, following the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago last week. The change would involve amending the succession to remove discrimination against Catholics and women. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has proposed the changes, which require the consent of the 15 Commonwealth states Queen Elizabeth II is head of state of.

"It's great John Key is standing up for New Zealand's egalitarian principles. But the monarchy itself still discriminates against all New Zealanders - no New Zealander can aspire to being head of state of New Zealand. We urge Mr Key and his party to support the Head of State Referenda Bill, which would put the future of the monarchy to a referendum. That would be a far more productive use of Parliament's time" concluded Mr Holden