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National republican decision is crucial

Media Release 23 April 2001

National republican decision is crucial

"The National party's discussion on a republic referendum is crucial to the development of the republican debate. With likely Labour party support, a bipartisan approach to a republic seems possible. That will greatly shorten the transition to a republic, while allowing New Zealanders the time to consider the best options for our republic," said Dave Guerin, Republican Movement president.

"Clashes between the main parties was the main reason for the failure of the republic referendum in Australia. We could now avoid that in New Zealand."

The National party's constitutional task force has reported on a range of issues, including the potential for a republic. Its report can be found at:

http://www.national.org.nz/press/April%202001/report22-04-01.htm

"The National party's constitutional task force supports an education campaign, a referendum and maintaining Treaty of Waitangi rights and obligations. Those are exactly the same items as are in the Republican Movement's founding principles. The report should lay the foundation for a more vibrant republic debate."

"National party members should closely consider the task force's measured report over the next few weeks. It is pragmatic, looking to the demographic changes in support for a republic, and it is principled, in setting out some key markers in the ground."

"The Republican Movement looks forward to other parties taking a public position on a republic."

Note to reporters:


Support for a republic was only at 28% in 1995 (NBR/UMR Insight Poll conducted November 1995). The latest polling, just after Christmas, showed support at 40% and the monarchy rating only 47% support (NZ Herald/Digi-Poll published 26 December 2000). In August 2000, most New Zealanders said that we would become a republic, with support breaking 50% for the first time ever (NBR/UMR Insight Poll conducted August 2000).

ENDS Contact Dave Guerin on 021 404 334

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