New Zealand will not pursue becoming a republic following the Queen’s death, Prime minister Jacinda Ardern confirms

New Zealand will not pursue becoming a republic following the Queen’s death, Prime minister Jacinda Ardern confirms

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that her government will not pursue becoming a republic following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Under New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements, the Queen was also New Zealand’s monarch and head of state until her death last Thursday, September 8.

There were suspicions the island nation could seek to break out from Britain following the Queen’s passing, but speaking this morning, Ardern expressed her deep admiration for the Queen as New Zealand’s head of state and instead declared the nation would observe a public holiday on September 26 to honour her passing.

‘This, I hope, will be a chance to acknowledge a lifetime of service to New Zealand by Queen Elizabeth II,’ Ardern told reporters in Wellington.

‘We need to acknowledge here (that) this is a one-in-70-year event. The queen was our sovereign, our head of state.’

‘She made an enormous contribution to New Zealand through her public service,’ Ardern added. ‘This marks a significant end to a chapter.’

On Friday, hours after the Queen’s passing, Ardern described the monarch as an ‘extraordinary woman’ who worked ‘until the very end on behalf of the people she loved.’

She added that like many other people, she was feeling not only deep sadness but also deep gratitude.

‘Here is a woman who gave her life, utterly, to the service of others. And regardless of what anyone thinks of the role of monarchies around the world, there is undeniably, I think here, a display of someone who gave everything on behalf of her people, and her people included the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.’

Ardern said New Zealand had moved into a period of official mourning and would hold a state memorial service after the official funeral in Britain.

In September 2020, Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley declared it was time to ‘leave the colonial past behind’ and last November the nation replaced the Queen as head of state with one of the island’s former governor-generals – the first country to do so since Mauritius in 1992.

‘There’s been a debate, probably for a number of years,’ Ardern said. ‘It’s just the pace, and how widely that debate is occurring. I’ve made my view plain many times. I do believe that is where New Zealand will head, in time. I believe it is likely to occur in my lifetime.

‘But I don’t see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda any time soon,’ Ardern said.

She said that becoming a republic was not something her government planned to discuss at any point.


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