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Modernising the Monarchy


Modernising the Monarchy

Dr Sean Palmer, Chair of Monarchy New Zealand, welcomes the introduction of the Royal Succession Bill as announced today by the Minister of Justice.

“The much-needed changes to the royal succession will remove gender discrimination by allowing women equal right to the throne,” says Dr Palmer. “New Zealand’s monarchy is an incredibly important part of our constitution and society. Making sure that it reflects kiwi values is common sense.”

The bill will also end the centuries-old prohibition on heirs to the throne marrying Catholics. “This requirement came out of 17th century European conflicts and is completely unnecessary today. The religious divisions of the old world have no place in New Zealand. Anything that can be done to remove this discrimination is a positive step,” said Dr Palmer.

All of the Commonwealth Realms, the countries which share Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch, have agreed to make the same changes. As a fully independent nation, New Zealand is not actually obligated to make any changes and could set any succession rules it wished. However, to preserve the present arrangement, in which one monarch is shared by several countries, it is not only making the changes, it is coordinating them among the other realms.

“It is fitting that the nation which led the charge for women’s suffrage is coordinating the change for equal succession rights,” said Dr Palmer. “This international effort to modernise the crown is remarkable. The monarchy has been evolving for centuries and will continue to do so far into the future. That adaptability is just one of its great strengths."

Women have reigned in New Zealand for 70% of the time since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. No nations beyond the Commonwealth Realms can boast such a gender balance.

ENDS

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Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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