Keri Hulme On The Joys Of A Republic Of NZ
AN OPEN LETTER FROM BOOKER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR KERI HULME
To all of us -— greetings:
Monarchy is a hadit idea.
At the turn of the century Richard Seddon
“One Empire, one language, one people.”
That concept, intrinsically flawed, never took hold, but the soggy remnants persist. Aotearoa-New Zealand has two official languages, and we glory in a diversity of peoples here but we are still, symbolically, a Dominion of the British Crown; the Queen of New Zealand is an English woman.
I am a New Zealander born & bred (as they say — I’ve always thought it should be the other way around). On one ancestral line, I can count 23 generations of ancestors; on another, 3, and on the 3rd, 1 (I am talking of tipuna born here.) Over my 52 years, I have found us to be — let us be generous and bighearted in our estimations of ourselves! — willing to look at all sides of a question, fairminded — and pragmatic.
Humans have learned a lot over the past 10 decades. We know a little (but hugely more than we did before) about how our brains are constructed, and work. We know that we have a propensity to engage in hierarchies. We also know, now, that most of the hierarchies we have constructed in the past are — in their essence — ludicrous.
Monarchy is a hadit idea, past its time of usefulness.
People, it is time for us to acknowledge we have grown beyond, way beyond, the idea we are the children of The Great White Mother — or that “Home” is somewhere “over there”.
Home is here: we are not a juvenile nation. We have grown way past the time when authorities overseas dictated which way we should go.
There is much to discuss, to talk to one another about how our islands should venture into the 2000s. We need to korero about history & laws & relationships & future paths. But there is no doubt in my mind that the best way we can head into the future is as a republic — maybe some entirely new form of republic that no other nation has invented before (we are truly good at innovation!) —
KIA KAHA, KIA MANAWANUI, KIA ORA TATOU