Time to Bring the Treaty Home
Media releases: Time to Bring the Treaty Home
TIME TO BRING THE TREATY HOME
MEDIA RELEASE: 5 February 2008
"It's time New Zealand became a republic - which would bring the Treaty of Waitangi home", said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand.
A concern many New Zealanders have in the republic debate is that a republic means nullifying the Treaty. Legal experts agree that a New Zealand republic would not alter the status of the Treaty of Waitangi in any way. However, the symbolic relevance of New Zealand's head of state does matter to the Treaty.
"Our current head of state - who is seen as a party to the Treaty - has not been able to attend Waitangi Day at Waitangi for nearly two decades. Not that we could blame Her Majesty - Her Majesty is head of state of Britain first and foremost - but it makes it very difficult to be a symbol of unity" said Mr Holden.
"A New Zealand head of state would be able to symbolically represent all New Zealanders - both Maori and Pakeha - and be able to put animosities over the Treaty behind us once and for all", he continued. "Pakeha New Zealanders feel animosity toward the Treaty settlement process because it is positioned as an issue between the Crown and Maori. This does not engage them on Treaty issues.
A New Zealand head of state, irrespective of their ethnic background, would provide a crucial link. This is what the status quo has failed to provide", he said.
Moving toward a republic will help us make sense of our colonial past, and the symbolically useless monarchy that came with it.
"Representatives of the British Crown may have signed the Treaty - but it is New Zealanders who have paid for the disputes that have arisen under it. It was the British Crown who rejected petitions by Maori to stop breaches of the Treaty by colonial governments - breaches which must today be settled by the Crown in right of New Zealand", said Mr Holden.
"It is time we took the Crown off the head of our constitution and replaced it with a head of state of our own - and make the Treaty our own" concluded Mr Holden.
For more information about the Treaty of Waitangi in a republic, see:
* www.republic.org.nz/treatyofwaitangi 
Media contact: Lewis Holden 027 699 1350 (m)
Movement is a network of New Zealanders who want our head
state to be elected by New Zealanders - either directly or indirectly.
We are committed to:
* involving all New Zealanders in the republic debate;
* providing relevant and reliable information;
* focusing on ideas, not personalities;
* winning a referendum to establish the republic;
Creating a republic does not
require any change to the Treaty of Waitangi, flag
or Commonwealth membership. For more information, see our website: