New Zealand prime minister Helen Clarke has announced a select committee enquiry into that country’s constitution. It will be chaired by United Future leader and republican Peter Dunne. His report is not expected to lead to any immediate change. Republicans in New Zealand hope, however, that the enquiry will provide a forum for discussion of the case for a republic. Mr Dunne said that he would chair the committee impartially but believed that a republic within the next ten years was possible.
Support for a republic has been expressed by two former governors-general, Paul Reeves and Cath Tizard. They said that this would indicate New Zealand’s maturity. At present the British head of state, queen Liz Windsor, is also head of state of New Zealand. Paul Reeves said that he would be happy to renounce his feudal knighthood if necessary.