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Republic debate reaches turning point

Republic debate reaches turning point

Media Release 7 April 2000

Republic debate reaches turning point

“The republican debate has reached a turning point at the constitutional conference. We’re moving from a chat over a cup of coffee to a real discussion of the pros and cons and how we might achieve a republic,” said Dave Guerin, Republican Movement president.

“We launched our own ‘recipe for a republic’ at the conference, and people are already taking up the ideas in it. Margaret Wilson’s support today for a public education programme on constitutional issues echoes the Republican Movement’s own calls. A real grassroots education campaign is just what we need to get all New Zealanders involved in this debate,” said Mr Guerin.

The speakers have also been canvassing republican ideas:

· Helen Clark’s address to the conference today highlighted changes in New Zealanders’ thinking. She asked whether younger New Zealanders are questioning why we retain a monarch as our head of state who lives 12,000 miles away.

· Hon Deborah Morris answered that question with an emphatic yes. She said that young New Zealanders were global citizens but wanted the opportunity to choose one of their own as head of state. That choice was a key part of their identity as New Zealanders.

· Later on today, Jim Bolger will speak on the republic at the conference dinner. Tomorrow, a whole session will be dedicated to the question of ‘who should be our head of state’.

ENDS

Copies of the Republican Movement’s conference paper, and its discussion document on other papers, will be faxed or mailed out on request. They are also available from the movement’s website at www.republic.org.nz.

Contact Dave Guerin on 021-404334

Education Directions Ltd 3rd Floor, Education Directions House, 15 Courtenay Place, Wellington PO Box 24-194, Wellington 64-4-801 6425 (tel) 021 404 334 (mobile) 64-4-801 6412 (fax) http://www.ed.co.nz

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