If not the royal family, then who?
Why would we want to have another layer of elective politics to represent New Zealand? Where does it actually work well?
The USA has an executive president - one with real power - and the recent election showed us why this is not such a good thing.
Ireland has an elected president who is largely ceremonial - so one wonders, why bother? Do they have a president just so they're longer part of the monarchy, or is there actually a good reason?
The Irish have centuries of British rule as a chip on their shoulder, so I can understand where they're coming from. But for New Zealand we would be replacing one powerless symbol of the state with another - with the added hassle and complexity of elections and probably party politics if only for some vague prestigious value.
What if we appointed a president in a similar manner to the Governor General? Err....well......OK... what would actually change?
If having the Queen of England as the Queen of New Zealand shows some undesirable ties to mother England then why not promote one of the junior royals to be king or queen of New Zealand in their own right so we had our own monarchy?
Do we need the royal family? No, not really. But I am not sure whether our other options are any better.
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