Constitution Conundrum

Former Labour deputy Prime Minister Dr Michael Cullen is calling for an end to the British monarchy. This month Cullen, who stepped down from Parliament when Labour lost power in 28, will deliver a speech to an Institute of Policy Studies think-tank conference reviewing the country’s constitution in Wellington. Cullen said criteria for appointing a head of state which include preferment of male heirs and Anglicans are inconsistent with modern New Zealand values. He says the Queen should be allowed to live out her time as monarch of New Zealand because of her “dogged” and “old-fashioned” sense of duty, but that the country should become a republic on her “death or incapacity”. He also calls for the national flag, with the Union Jack in the top left corner, to be scrapped in favour of the Maori inspired Tino Rangatiratanga. A survey earlier this year showed 45 per cent of New Zealanders polled supported Prince Charles becoming king on the death of the Queen, while 43 per cent were opposed.

Tags: Michael Cullen  Telegraph (The)