Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Vote over republic falls at first hurdle

NZH: A bill setting up a referendum on republicanism was defeated in Parliament last night at its first reading, 68 votes to 53.

The Head of State Referenda Bill in the name of Green MP Keith Locke provided for a referendum with three options on how New Zealand should select its head of state.

The three options were the status quo of the British monarch being the head of state, a New Zealand head of state determined by a 75 per cent majority in Parliament or a head of state directly elected by the people under a preferential system.

The bill allowed for a second referendum if none of the three options got 50 per cent of the vote.

The two top options would have had a run-off referendum.

Mr Locke said the debate was about national identity, not like or dislike of the Queen or the royal family.

"The present Queen has been competent in the performance of her duties and she turns 84 this very day. I wish her a happy birthday."

But he pointed to the inherent conflict of interest in the Queen being head of state of two independent countries which had different foreign policies.

"When Britain sent troops into Iraq, the Queen, as Queen of Great Britain, went down to the barracks in military dress to support the soldiers.

"That was in conflict with her role as Queen of New Zealand - a country which opposed that same war."

He said it was important to have a head of state who could operate with true independence under MMP.

National's Tauranga MP, Simon Bridges, said he had been "chuffed" to see Prince William have a barbecue and beer with the Prime Minister recently, but who was New Zealand's head of state was not an issue with which he concerned himself.

Labour supported the bill, MP Charles Chauvel saying New Zealand could be an independent country and stay in the Commonwealth.


* Greens
* Labour
* Progressive
* United Future

* National
* Maori
* Act
* Progressives

By Audrey Young | Email Audrey



Anonymous said...

Keith Locke epitomizes the total irrelevance of the greens, the economy is the most pressing issue worldwide and what do the greens concentrate on - something for which there appears no public interest in and the taxpayers are paying for it. It is difficult to see how running the country totally by referendum could be worse than some of the ideas coming form the like of Locke.

Steve Baron said...

Thank you for that Act/National party propaganda. Don't you just get tired of arrogant politicians who always think they know what is best for everyone?

And there we go again, another anonymous moron that thinks anyone that supports a more democratic society through referendums wants to run the whole country by referendum lol

Yes, let's all sit in front of our TVs all day deciding how to run the country. None of us have anything better to do, do we?

I've got $10 that says this post was from a member of parliament that sees the writing on the wall for dictatorial politicians.

The day will come when New Zealanders will no longer but up with it. I trust my fellow New Zealanders to make the occasional intelligent decision more than I trust 121 MPs in Wellington to do so.

Kevthefarmer said...

Once again, the Green Party (who I ought to be a supporter of, considering my views on the environment) demonstrate their willingness to sup from the poisoned chalice, just as they did with the "anti-smacking bill". The Green party certainly buys into the whole "trust us we know whats best for you" gambit and ought to be a tendency within the Labour party for that is where they belong (the parliamentary party that is, there are many good people within the rank-and-file).

A President as head of state will, for all sorts of reasons that have been discussed here before, NOT deliver a better alternative to the Monarchy UNTIL we throw the treacherous "political class" of all shades out of the beehive and get some sort of mandated, recallable, delegate system going in it's place. This is a core requirement for popular Sovreignty, along with our State resuming sole right for the issuing of Currency, thus ending the disastrous result of centuries of usury that has seen the banks become so powerful that their interests have precedence over the interests of individual and national well-being.

Yhe Political Class want rid of the Monarchy for the same reason they wanted rid of the Privy Council- They don't like ultimate authority vested in some institution that is not dominated by them or cannot be bought by them. For this reason even John Key is a closet republican and would have his party votre for a Republic were it not for the fact that a lot of their core voters are sentimentally attached to the Monarchy.