WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday her government would not pursue moves to convert New Zealand into a republic after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Ardern said she believes New Zealand will eventually become a republic, perhaps in her lifetime, but there are more pressing issues for her government to pursue.
Her comments represent the first time she has spoken about the Republic of New Zealand debate since Elizabeth’s death, and echoes earlier comments she has made on the issue. expressed support for
Under the current system, the British monarch is the head of New Zealand and is represented in New Zealand by the Governor-General. The governor’s role is seen as largely ceremonial these days.
Still, many argue that until New Zealand becomes a republic, it will not be able to fully emerge from the shadows of its colonial past and become a truly independent nation.
“There have been arguments for probably years,” Ardern said. “The question is the pace and how widespread the debate is. I have made my point clear many times. I believe it is likely that this will occur while
“But I don’t see it as a short-term measure or an immediate agenda item,” Ardern said.
She said becoming a republic is not something her government plans to discuss at any point.
“Like I say, the main reason is that we never felt the urgency,” Ardern said. I don’t think it’s going to happen soon, or should happen anytime soon.”
Many people in New Zealand speculated in the past that the Republic controversy would gain momentum only after Elizabeth’s death, given that Elizabeth was loved by so many.
Ardern said he did not connect the two events.
Prime Minister Ardern also announced on Monday that New Zealand will observe a public holiday on September 26 to commemorate Elizabeth’s death. The state will also hold a state memorial service in the capital, Wellington, on the same day.
Ardern said Elizabeth was an extraordinary person and many New Zealanders were delighted with the opportunity to commemorate her death and celebrate her life.
“As New Zealand’s Queen and beloved sovereign for more than 70 years, it is only fitting that her life of dedicated public service be commemorated with a state memorial service and a one-off holiday,” Ardern said.
Ardern said she was leaving for the UK this week to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
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