We could do worse than the Queen

Last updated 05:00 06/03/2013
Queen Elizabeth II
TOP JOB: Queen Elizabeth

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Do we need the royal family?

Rather spend money on the royals Republic debate: NZ president? Overkill Royals: Needed like fish need bicycles Royal family: The accident of birth Royal family: Bloody good fellows NZ an outpost no more Let's become a republic NZ has 'best of both worlds' Unity before a new flag Does NZ need a head of state at all?

How much better can New Zealand get it?

Our head of state is an absentee landlady living on the opposite side of the world. She carries out a property inspection every half-dozen years or so.  

Imagine the appalling alternative: Every would-be-if-they-could-be slippery solicitor and tired, old party hack would be stabbing each other in the back in a desperate scramble to become head of state.

And we must think carefully of the cost. Our head of state hopefuls would not be satisfied with the relatively modest accommodation enjoyed by the Governor-General. Oh, no. Extravagant presidential palaces would pop up in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and the military would have to recruit, train and house a Praetorian guard to look after whatever replaces the Queen.  

Whatever the cost, an occasional royal tour by an absentee landlady is peanuts compared with maintaining a permanent locally-based head of state who would - regardless of safeguards - undoubtedly meddle in the body politic.

If it ain't broke, please, please don't fix it!

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