Is New Zealand About to Reject the Queen?

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According to a recent poll, 59 percent of New Zealand voters would like to see a new head of state.

According to a poll conducted by the New Zealand Republic, 59 percent of people would like to be ruled by their own head of state, instead of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of New Zealand. Some 34 percent of responders said they would like to keep the monarchy, after the next head of state is named.

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There has been in increase in support for independent rule, compared to a 2014 poll, according to the New Zealand Republic, an organization created in 1994 with the object of making New Zealand independent. The organization claims that 47 percent supported an independent head of state two years ago.

According to Peter Hamilton, head of the New Zealand Republic, there are several factors contributing to growing support for independence, including Brexit, the Queen's age and the ongoing flag debate.

The poll results sparked controversy, however. According to Dr. Sean Palmer, chair of the organization Monarchy New Zealand, results have been computed in an unjust way.

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He noted that from those 59 percent supporting independence, 44 percent said they wanted a directly-elected head of state, while 15 percent said they would prefer a parliamentary-elected one. Palmer believes these group should not be combined, as there may be significant differences between them.

"They lump them together and declare a great victory," he said.

Prime Minister John Key has conceded that a republic is eventually inevitable, but would not comment on the poll.

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