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19 Feb 2018 10:57
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  •   Home > News > Maori

    Ardern under fire for republican comment

    The Maori Party has attacked Jacinda Ardern over comments the Labour leader made about New Zealand becoming a republic.

    Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has upset the Maori Party by saying she's a republican and there should be a debate about New Zealand's status.

    Britain's The Times newspaper, four days ago, reported Ms Ardern as saying she would seek to encourage a national debate over cutting ties with Britain.

    It quoted her: "I am a republican but you will find there are people in New Zealand who aren't actively pursuing that change.

    "It's certainly not my view of the monarchy but my view of New Zealand's place in the world and carving out our own future. So that is what drives my sentiment."

    Maori Party co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox issued a joint statement accusing Ms Ardern of ignoring Maori "in favour of political expediency by pushing for New Zealand to become a republic".

    The co-leaders said Ms Ardern, without consulting Maori, had "announced she wants to do away with the Queen".

    "It's the same old story again from Labour where they simply forget about discussing things with Maori and take them for granted," they said.

    Ms Ardern's reported remarks are almost identical to those she made in an interview with the New Zealand Herald in August.

    "I do think that we should start having the conversation," she said when she was asked about New Zealand becoming a republic.

    "There are a lot of issues that need to be resolved on that path and I would have liked the government to have had that conversation when the flag debate came up."


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