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Earl of Wessex to New Zealand


Earl of Wessex to New Zealand

Monarchist League of New Zealand

HRH Prince Edward Earl of Wessex will be visiting New Zealand from the 15th to the 22nd of March. He will attend official functions in Auckland, Wanganui, Dunedin, and Nelson. The major purpose of the visit is to present Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which His Royal Highness will present in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin.

Prince Edward will also attend the sesquicentenary celebrations of Wanganui Collegiate School, at which he taught in 1982-83. There will be receptions at Government House in Auckland, and in Wellington.

In Wellington the Earl of Wessex will attend the Rotary Club's Regional Prefects' lunch, and visit Te Papa Tongarewa. He will also visit Porirua's Pataka Museum and Downstage Theatre as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

In Nelson His Royal Highness will visit the seal colony at Tonga Island, a local ceramics studio, and the Abel Tasman National Park. There will be a Reception for young people, hosted by Mayor Sukhi Turner, and a visit to Animation Research Ltd and Natural History NZ Ltd studios in Dunedin.

After leaving New Zealand the Earl of Wessex will travel on to Japan, which he will visit as a Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award International Foundation, 22nd March until 26th March.

Oaths and Affirmations

The Government has announced a major review of oaths and affirmations. Oaths taken by new citizens, public office holders, and some public service employees will be included in the review. Those taken by professional groups and witnesses in court will not be reviewed at this time.

The review will consider whether current oaths adequately reflect the values and beliefs important to New Zealanders in the 21st century; whether the language of oaths under review requires modernising; and options for changing, modernising, replacing, or removing the oaths under review.

A working group led by the Ministry of Justice will report back to the Government in June, and public submissions are expected to be sought in early 2005.

We hope and expect that this will not become yet another example of republicanism by stealth, and that the oath of allegiance is not abolished, or republicanised by removing reference to the Queen. An oath or affirmation is a serious commitment, particularly an oath of allegiance. The oath of allegiance reflects the reciprocal relationship of Queen and people, one which also reflects the relationship between Crown and Maori represented by the Treaty of Waitangi. A declaration of allegiance to New Zealand, or to the Prime Minister, would be a poor substitute.

Royal badges

Within the last couple of years the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and now the New Zealand Army have each adopted new badges in place of their official insignia.

Each new 'logo' eschews the Crown. One might well ask why the Queen's Armed Forces seem to be abandoning their links with the Sovereign. Are they rejecting the traditional allegiance of the Armed Forces to the Sovereign, in whose name they are maintained? Or is this yet another example of republicanism by stealth?

It is claimed that the new Army badge will "communicate teamwork and unity", and to "reflect the ideas of tradition, respect and loyalty". It might be noted that the relegation of the Army badge to limited formal purposes only would seem to show a lack of respect for tradition and loyalty.

Dr Noel Cox

Chairman

Monarchist League of New Zealand Inc

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