I am engaged in a campaign to get public support for my the Head of State Referenda Bill, in the first instance to assist its passage at the First Reading in Parliament, so that it can then be considered by the Select Committee.
My Bill was recently drawn from the Members Bill Ballot and will be debated in Parliament next year. If passed into law it would provide, for the first time, a chance for New Zealanders to decide whether they wish to keep or change the way we determine our head of state.
The Bill provides for a two-stage referenda process so New Zealanders can decide whether to retain the status quo (with a British monarch) or move to a New Zealand head of state selected by a democratic process.
The first referendum enables people to choose between three options:
- the present system, with the monarch remaining our Head of State;
- a New Zealand head of state approved by 75% of Parliament;
a New Zealand head of state directly elected by the people via the
STV preferential system (to ensure the successful candidate has a
mandate from over 50% of the electorate).
If none of the three options obtain 50% of the vote in this first referendum, there is a run-off between the two leading options in a second referendum.
The Bill itself is not a republican bill, but simply one giving New Zealanders a choice of the status quo and two other options.
If New Zealanders did opt for change it would, under my Bill, be minimal change. No extra
powers are to be given to either of the two new types of head of state: a directly elected one, or one selected by 75% of Parliament. The powers would be the same as those the Queen and Governor General now exercise. No treaty relations (including the Treaty of Waitangi) would be subject to alteration.
The full text of the bill, and other information about the issues involved, at
If you would like to add your name as a supporter of the bill please
print off this PDF
, fill out the form and send it back to me.