Next Step A Republic
15 April 2002
The Republican Movement today welcomed confirmation that the antiquated appeal to the London-based Privy Council would be replaced with a New Zealand Supreme Court.
“Today our own court, tomorrow our own head of state,” said movement president Dave Guerin.
“There have been calls from right across New Zealand society for many years for our own final appeals court, as we recognise that decisions about our law, in our nation, are best made by our judges.
“The Privy Council has also recognised the expertise of our judges by repeatedly referring judgments back to the New Zealand courts, saying that they are better-placed to decide.
“Just as it is impractical and nonsensical to have British judges on the other side of the globe presiding over our legal decisions, so too is it nonsensical to have an English inherited monarchy presiding over our democracy.”
Guerin said the movement expected a nationwide referendum on becoming a republic to be high on the government’s agenda in the next Parliamentary term, with support for debating a republic spread across the political spectrum.
“A New Zealand Supreme Court is not just about good judicial decision-making – it is also about celebrating our distinct identity as New Zealanders. We can make our own legal decisions, and we can certainly make our own democratic decisions. Democratically deciding our own New Zealand head of state is the next step.”