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Governor-General: time to let the public decide

Governor-General: time to let the public decide

"Today, a ceremony that is little changed since colonial times will take place in Wellington. Few New Zealanders know much about the meaning and symbolism behind the office - but this week a big spotlight is on the office" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement.

The Republican Movement hopes all news media to report in detail on the state farewell ceremony taking place in Wellington. The passing earlier this week of one of our former Governor-Generals and the end of another's term in office has focused attention like never before on the office and its power.

"Sir Paul Reeves was an exemplary, well-remembered as a man of great principle and tolerance. He was informed, fair minded and filled with compassion and aroha for his fellow New Zealanders. He walked the line between those who want a secular elected head of state and those who want to keep the Anglican traditions of church and crown. It is a mark of his great mana that both republican and monarchists have sought to claim him as their own" said Mr Holden.

"Sir Anand Satyanand has followed in Sir Paul's footsteps and has upheld and extended the mana of the office. His time in office has taken New Zealand to a new level of tolerance and understanding. He will be remembered particularly for the dignity with which he tolerated many foolish and ignorant comments made about his own history and heritage" continued Mr Holden.

The Republican Movement believes it is time New Zealanders started to decide who they want in Government House. It is time to look at the ceremonies this week and decide whether they think it represents who we are as a nation. Should we spend money on a 21 gun salute? Should more acknowledgement be given to the many different cultural worldviews. What does the ceremony say about our shared history and values? Do we want a quiet head of state working in the background or a leader who sets an agenda for the nation?

"The Constitutional Review is under way. It is time for us all to start talking about New Zealand and what it stands for. We think everyone should be given a chance to participate in that discussion" concluded Mr Holden.


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