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New name for New Zealand republic campaign

New name for New Zealand republic campaign

7 March 2014

The Republican Movement is re-naming its entire campaign to make it clear that reforming New Zealand's head of state is its number one priority. From now on the group will be campaigning under the banner 'New Zealand Head of State'.

The new campaign Chair, Savage, said "the name-change will focus the wider debate on the specific reforms the group is advocating."

"A republic can mean different things to different people so we've decided to make it very clear we are advocating a New Zealand republic and that a New Zealand republic involves taking the position of Governor-General and transitioning it into a democratically selected and politically neutral office".

"We will not leave the Commonwealth, we won't be like the United States and it won't change the legal status of the Treaty. Having our own head of state will resolve the contradictions inherent in having a foreign head of state. Most importantly it will make us constitutionally independent nation for the very first time.

"I have dual UK/NZ citizenship and it is a common mistake to see the Monarchy and Britain as somehow one and the same thing. This campaign is about celebrating our connections to the UK without relying on the British people to supply us with a head of state.

"The flag debate has got people talking about what New Zealand stands for and to us that is a positive thing. As a group we also support changing the flag but we focus our efforts on the more substantial move of first becoming constitutionally independent. Symbolism is important but a head of state is not just symbolic. They have a practical every day role in New Zealand's constitution.

"The whistlestop visit by the royal couple next month only highlights the emptiness of having a head of state who doesn't live here and who has no real connection to New Zealand beyond a series of photo opportunities."

"Our criteria for a head of state is very clear. Only a New Zealander can be a New Zealand's head of State and the only fair way to choose that person is through democratic selection. New Zealand deserves better than what we currently have and we will never stop working to deliver a head of state that represents all New Zealanders."

The New Zealand Group is a network of New Zealanders who want our head of 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.

ENDS

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