Jacinda Arden rules out republican New Zealand for now as Queen’s death sparks debate

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Australia: Queen’s death enlivened Republican debate says expert

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it is inevitable that the monarchy will be ditched and the country will become a republic. However, she insisted no plans to change New Zealand were imminent, and said there were more important matters to focus on.

She said: “I’ve made my view plain many times. I do believe that is where New Zealand will head, in time. I believe it is likely to occur in my lifetime.”

However, the Prime Minister insisted “I don’t see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda any time soon”, and added she felt there was no “urgency” from New Zealanders to discuss the issue.

Ms Ardern added: “There are so many challenges we face. This is a large, significant debate. I don’t think it’s one that would or should occur quickly.”

Speaking on the issue for the first time after the death of Her Majesty, Ms Ardern repeated her support for New Zealand becoming a republic.

She said: “I’ve made my view plain many times. I do believe that is where New Zealand will head, in time. I believe it is likely to occur in my lifetime.”

However, the Prime Minister insisted “I don’t see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda any time soon”, and added she felt there was no “urgency” from New Zealanders to discuss the issue.

Ms Ardern added: “There are so many challenges we face. This is a large, significant debate. I don’t think it’s one that would or should occur quickly.”

Jacinda Ardern said no plans to make New Zealand a republic imminent after the Queen’s death

Jacinda Ardern said no plans to make New Zealand a republic imminent after the Queen’s death (Image: GETTY)

‘I don’t see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda any time soon’

‘I don’t see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda any time soon’ (Image: GETTY)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Sky News he will not hold a referendum on whether Australia should become a republic in his first term.

This period is a “time to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II” and to show “deep respect and admiration”, not to pursue “questions about our constitution”, he said.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the Queen, saying she stood with Australia during the good times and bad.

“I think the Queen was with Australians during times of celebration – the opening of this house, Parliament House, in 1988, the opening of the Sydney Opera House during our great historic events, but was also with Australia at times of difficulties,” he said.

“This is a land of cyclones, of floods, of natural disasters, and Queen Elizabeth always reached out to give that comfort to Australians at our time of need.

“She was such a respected figure, regardless of where people stand on the political spectrum. That 70 years of public service, that devotion to duty, is something that holds her in such high regard.”

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Ardern added ‘I do believe that is where New Zealand will head, in time’

Ardern added ‘I do believe that is where New Zealand will head, in time’ (Image: GETTY)

Anthony Albanese will not hold a republic referendum out of respect for the Queen

Anthony Albanese will not hold a republic referendum out of respect for the Queen (Image: GETTY)

When asked whether Australians want to see the institution of the monarchy evolve, Mr Albanese said: “It has evolved and it will continue to evolve. It will need to continue to move with the times.

“But the bigger questions about our constitution are not ones for this current period. 

“This is a period in which we are sharing the grief that so many Australians are feeling at the moment, showing our deep respect and admiration for the contribution of the Queen to Australia.

“It’s a sad time. There’s also a time to celebrate what is a long life, well lived.”

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When asked whether Australians want to see the institution of the monarchy evolve, Mr Albanese said: “It has evolved and it will continue to evolve. It will need to continue to move with the times.

“But the bigger questions about our constitution are not ones for this current period. 

“This is a period in which we are sharing the grief that so many Australians are feeling at the moment, showing our deep respect and admiration for the contribution of the Queen to Australia.

“It’s a sad time. There’s also a time to celebrate what is a long life, well lived.”

14 countries, known as Commonwealth realms, have the British monarch as their head of state

14 countries, known as Commonwealth realms, have the British monarch as their head of state (Image: EXPRESS)

Aside from the UK, there are 14 countries, known as Commonwealth realms, that have the British monarch as their head of state.

Within an hour and a half of Queen Elizabeth II’s death being announced, the Australian Republic Movement issued a respectful but pointed statement.

They said: “Queen Elizabeth respected the self-determination of the Australian people.

“The Queen backed the right of Australians to become a fully independent nation during the referendum on an Australian republic in 1999, saying that she has ‘always made it clear that the future of the monarchy in Australia is an issue for the Australian people and them alone to decide’.”

It comes as King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrived in Northern Ireland

It comes as King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrived in Northern Ireland (Image: EXPRESS)

It comes as King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrived in Northern Ireland, marking the first time a British King has visited the country in over 80 years.

The King also received a message of condolence from the speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey said the Queen recognised how a “small but significant gesture can make a huge difference in changing attitudes”.

Speaking at Hillsborough Castle, the King said the late Queen had seen momentous and historic changes throughout her long reign, and added: “My mother felt deeply, I know, the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those who history had separated and extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts.”



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