Do we need the royals? Let the people choose

Last updated 09:33 06/12/2012
queen elizabeth
Many countries thrive without a royal family at the helm.

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We forget that the British royal family is not the only royal family on the planet. Quite a few countries in Europe and Asia continue with royals as figureheads outside politics. This is largely a circumstance of tradition from historic times when the most powerful warlord gained absolute control.

When New Zealand comes of age it will cease to be a member of the Commonwealth (really, just a name for nations who give lip service to subservience to Britain).

With our new maturity we can then recognise we are a polyglot nation domiciled in the western South Pacific region. Whether a head of state is necessary or even desirable is something for a referendum to decide. Many countries get along very well without one, including some of the world's largest economies.

However, the pageantry and ceremony, particularly in Britain, adds colour to life and enhances the tourist trade, so in some ways it is self-supporting.

I personally feel sorry for the royals as once born or married into such a family there is no such thing as being able to direct your own life. Every decision, every utterance is instantly conveyed around the world. To my mind, whilst luxurious, it is a dreadful penury.

When I see New Zealand decide to go it alone as a republic then I'll be able to say we at last have matured sufficiently to become a nation of our own.

I hope we'll also have the guts to rename country Aotearoa, its original name before Europeans came along and arbitrarily named it after probably the area of Europe with the world's least interesting topography.

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