Most New Zealand citizens would prefer an independent head of state to being ruled by the British monarchy.
In a new poll organized by New Zealand Republic, 59% of respondents voted for having an independent head of state, whereas 34% said they would prefer NZ remain under monarchy when our next head of state is elected.
The voting shows a rise in the number of people who want independent rule since March 2014, when 47% of voters opted not to keep monarchy.
Peter Hamilton, chairman of New Zealand Republic and ex-Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs & Trade, believes a combination of Brexit, NZ’s flag debate, and the Queen’s age had contributed to the outcome of the vote, Stuff reported.
But Dr Sean Palmer, Chair of the organisation Monarchy New Zealand, questioned the result entirely.
The group polled 1,000 people over the age of 18 and asked: “What is your preference for New Zealand’s next head of state?”
Of the 59% of people who voted for an independent head of state, 44% said that they wanted one who was directly elected by the people of New Zealand. The remaining 15% said they would be quite happy for the country’s next representative to be elected by parliament.
Dr Sean Palmer highlighted that the votes of these two groups had been added together “despite the fact that those two groups may not see eye to eye on anything.”
He told the New Zealand Herald: “They lump them together and declare a great victory.”