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'Changing of the pictures' should have been sooner

Media Release 12 March 2000

Christine Fletcher's 'changing of the pictures' should have been sooner

'The action by Christine Fletcher and other Auckland City councillors to change the portraits in the Auckland City Council chamber was the right move but probably should have been done sooner,' said Dave Guerin, president of the Republican Movement.

'The monarchy simply doesn't fit with modern New Zealand. It no longer inspires or excites people and it is time for us to move on.'

'Aucklanders' representatives should be thinking of their constituents' attitudes and aspirations when they are making their decisions. But the royal family is less important as a symbol than the silver fern, the America's Cup or the Treaty of Waitangi. Those symbols should be up on the wall symbols that really matter.'

'The councillors' "changing of the pictures" will spark debate about our national identity who we are and where we want to go. I look forward to seeing Aucklanders' response to those questions. What ideas and symbols do Aucklanders agree with in the 21st century? What parts of their political and cultural diversity should be emphasised? What should their representatives be thinking about in the Council chamber?'

'Once New Zealanders think through those issues the most logical option is to form a republic and thank the monarchy for their contribution. The sooner we do it, the sooner we will inject some new life into our political system,' said Dave Guerin.

ENDS

Dave Guerin President Republican Movement PO Box 24-194 Wellington 021 404 334 (mobile) 64 4 801 6412 (fax) www.republic.org.nz

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