PM chooses a Governor-General - people choose a president

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2011 10:17 AM
PM chooses a Governor-General - people choose a president
"New Zealanders are more than mature enough to choose a head of state of their own. New Zealand will get its 20th Governor-General following another colonial-era ceremony today. Sir Jerry is only the 10th New Zealander to hold the office, now considered our de facto head of state" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement.
In contrast, the people of Ireland will go to the polls on 27 October to elect a new president. The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen, on the exclusive advice of the Prime Minister.
"While we wish Sir Jerry well, the office he holds is increasingly at odds with the aspirations of New Zealanders. Despite the evolution of the office in recent years - notably during Sir Paul Reeves tenure as Governor-General in representing New Zealand overseas - the office is not a full New Zealand head of state. That position is monopolised by an absentee family in the United Kingdom" said Mr Holden.
"The Republican Movement and a number of academics feel that the office does not provide sufficient constitutional checks, and does not have sufficient checks put on it. When compared with other countries following the parliamentary system with an elected head of state, this is clearly the case. The Governor-General's powers are not clearly defined, nor does their appointment process lead to an independent arbiter as some claim the office is. New Zealand deserves better checks and balances. New Zealanders deserve the right to choose their head of state" concluded Mr Holden.

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