The Tory Templar | Issue 13
On Becoming a Republic
Rule Britannia may be consigned to the Youtube clips of sixth form history, but Britain’s presence still looms large over this country. With Queen Elizabeth celebrating her diamond jubilee and the Queen’s Birthday holiday around the corner, the question will undoubtedly arise: “Should we be a republic?” In short, no. No we shouldn’t.
This country not only survives on the monarchy, but thrives on it. Regardless of our views on it, we are defined by our relationship to it. Look at the fervour that the recent royal wedding created, and the disappointment that the Diamond Jubilee tour didn’t send us William and Catherine. The position of Governor General, the Queen’s representative, is the highest public office in New Zealand. Disagree? Well, here’s more proof: so desperate are we to maintain our connection with monarchical traditions that we re-established the knighthood. The Templar remembers the clamour to give Sir Graeme Henry and Sir Richie McCaw the biggest honour this country can offer. New Zealand continues to show it has no desire to be a republic, despite what John Key calls the “inevitability” of it occurring.
Perhaps what makes the monarchy not merely desirable but necessary to us can be summed up in three simple words: Treaty of Waitangi. Yes, the much debated, much hated document on which our troublesome race relations are blamed. This Treaty, be it unfair or not, is a Treaty between the Crown and Maori. No Crown, no Treaty. It’s that simple. How would iwi feel about that? No settlements, no payments, no scholarships, nothing. Our society is built on the monarchy. Remove that, and the Templar foresees descent into chaos and potentially similar stunts to Tuhoe’s. We are not big enough or strong enough to handle a civil war. Ironically, without our ties to Britain we would be left to our own devices should a conflict arise.
The Templar will always be a monarchist because he is realistic about a future without it. Becoming a republic would be like picking at the stitch that holds us together. Once that begins to unravel it’s a slippery path to conflict, mayhem and abandonment. There’s a reason why Canada, New Zealand and Australia have been safe and sound since independence, and it’s because we never left the safety of the crown that rules us.
– By The Tory Templar