Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Clive Bibby: A crisis of our own making

Given the outpouring of genuine affection shown for all but a few of the Royal Family at this time, it is not difficult to predict how a referendum on the Monarchy’s retention would fair if it was put to a vote in the current circumstances. 

And my guess is that it will be some time before the Republicans become brave enough to raise the issue again. That should be good news for King Charles and most of his British and Commonwealth subjects who would overwhelmingly support a decision to leave things as they are for an indefinite period. In fact I suspect it will be years before the emotional response to Queen Elizabeth’s illustrious reign subsides to the extent that this subject can be discussed again. But even when that future environment allows for a reasoned debate, those who want change will have to make a case based on how the Monarchy has outlived its purpose and usefulness in a modern society. That will remain an almost impossible task in the UK - certainly in what remains of my lifetime, but the jury is probably still out on how much longer it has a place in our own constitutional framework. 

What of the future! 

Whenever or if our population decides to review that relationship, it is important that we base our discussions on the facts surrounding the issue rather than any emotional feelings we might have for the incumbent or his or her descendants. 

We can’t afford to allow misinformation deliberately promoted by radical reformists to cloud a decision that could come back to haunt us. 

There are good reasons why this is so. 

The one quality that has repeatedly been mentioned during the last week or so in regard to the value of the Monarchy is that, particularly during Queen Elizabeth’s reign - it provides stability. While those comments are a reflection of historical reality, we should take them on board when we might consider abolishing something that is and has been a cornerstone of our own society for nearly 200 years. 

Unfortunately any discussion on the future of the Monarchy in this country will almost certainly include a “revised” version of our “founding” document - the treaty itself in its original form. 
From a Republican perspective, this needs to happen in order for them to have any chance of swaying enough kiwis to the view that our relationship with the crown is a relic of the past. Without that distorted interpretation of the treaty, they have no argument - their demand for change has little chance of success and they know it. 

In my view, most New Zealanders overwhelmingly reject any attempts to reduce the importance of the original version of the Treaty to our constitutional heritage. 

Here at home, in the absence of a written constitution, all the more reason to respect and retain the one document upon which most of our laws are based. 

Why would we knowingly destroy a relationship that can be relied upon to provide that much needed stability during times of war, economic and environmental disasters, plagues and famine but most importantly during peacetime when we have the time to make rational decisions based on the truth. We must continue to trust in the agreement reached in good faith between our ancestral Tangata Whenua and the Crown. 

It is only when representatives of either side ignore their responsibilities to each other under the original treaty that we begin to go our separate ways and as a consequence, cease to work together for the common good. 

We need unity now more than ever but some of our leaders can’t resist the temptation to focus on separate development as a means to an end. It is a false narrative that will only harm those who need help more than most - it is a lie.

Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.


Doug Longmire said...


We have heard it from her mouth on TV1 news, the night before the queen’s funeral.
On BBC TV, Comrade Ardern (with her hair tied up) was interviewed by a British reporter.
When asked about the prospect of New Zealand becoming a republic (i.e. leaving the commonwealth and dissing the monarchy) Ardern said that she could forsee it happening. Her attitude to this appeared to be quite relaxed and positive in looking forward to the the downfall of our democracy. This statement was made on world wide TV, a day before Queen Elizabath’s funeral.

Empathic said...

'...the one document on which most of our laws are based.'? Surely you can't believe that our laws are based on Tiriti O Waitangi? The only thing from Te Tiriti was that laws would apply also to Maori as British subjects. Our laws have been based on various documents, longstanding and developing morals and philosophical reasoning. Notably the Magna Carta, English and European jurisprudence, and more recently other international laws. I would be interested in understanding any way in which our laws were based on Te Tiriti, or knowing about any law that was so based.

Clive Bibby said...

You’ve answered your own question.
The Treaty states that all our laws will apply equally to Maori and Pakeha. That suggests the Treaty is the conduit allowing that to happen.
So, it follows that all kiwis are subject to laws that came to us via the treaty but you are right to point out that they did not all originate here in this country.
Sorry for the confusion.