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Republicans accept PM's Waitangi Day challenge

Media Release 6 February 2000

Republicans accept PM's Waitangi Day challenge

'The Prime Minister has laid down a challenge for republican supporters, wanting to see higher public support before she will push the issue. The Republican Movement eagerly accepts that challenge, because we don't want an absurd monarchy either,' said Dave Guerin, president of the Republican Movement, commenting on today's Sunday Star Times story.

'Helen Clark's views reflect a bipartisan trend for political leaders to support republicanism. She is the third prime minister to support it in the last ten years, after Mike Moore and Jim Bolger. Her stance reflects a generational change in New Zealand politics and a new sense of our place in the world as New Zealanders.'

'The Republican Movement looks forward to other political leaders and ordinary New Zealanders joining the debate. We know that many MPs support republicanism, as do many other Kiwis throughout the country. That support can only grow.'

'Waitangi Day is the right day to lay down this challenge, because we need to build consensus about the Treaty as we move towards a republic. The Crown's Treaty role has never been legally significant, but Maori value its symbolism. Maori have to be convinced that a republic will not diminish the Treaty's place. However, we shouldn't forget that their support for a republic is already higher than that for Pakeha,' said Dave Guerin.

ENDS

Contact Dave Guerin on 021 404 334

Web site at www.republic.org.nz

Republican Movement Background

The Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand (the Republican Movement) promotes the formation of a New Zealand republic. Since there are many different views about republicanism in New Zealand, we promote agreed basic changes, including: * lawful dissolution of the current monarchy of New Zealand; * establishment of a new head of state, democratically elected (directly or indirectly) by New Zealanders, who will take on the responsibilities of the monarch; * a head of state accountable and responsible to New Zealanders; and * a change that does not affect Treaty of Waitangi rights and obligations. Initially, we aim to support the republican debate by providing information and raising the profile of the issue. As the debate develops, we will consult on and develop more detailed policies.

Republican Movement PO Box 24-194 Wellington www.republic.org.nz


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