Ardern says Aotearoa will become republic

By Will Trafford

Jacinda Ardern appeared on the BBC's Sunday programme alongside political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg Photo / BBC

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says while it might not happen quickly, she believes Aotearoa will become a republic in her lifetime.

Speaking to BBC News while in London for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Ardern said there would be an evolution in the relationship between the United Kingdom and Aotearoa.

"I don’t believe that it will be quick or soon, but over the course of my lifetime,” Ardern said. 

Rumblings over the monarchy and its place as a colonial power have accelerated since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II just 10 days ago on September 8.

PM Jacinda Ardern tells the BBC she believes Aotearoa will become a republic 'over the course of her lifetime'.

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi has renewed calls for Aotearoa to 'divorce' itself from the monarchy. 

Academics like Te Matahiapo Safari Hynes have questioned what such a move would mean for te tiriti o Waitangi, and if tauiwi should even be afforded a vote were a referendum held on the issue.

"If we made an impulsive decision to become a republic tomorrow, then who is the Treaty relationship with?" Hynes wrote last week.

The republic debate was part of a broader discussions where Ardern spoke about previous engagements with Queen Elizabeth II, Ardern said the Queen offered simple, but direct advice on how to raise children while juggling leadership.

"I remember she just said, 'you just get on with it', and that was actually probably the best and most, I think factual advice I could have." Ardern said.

Ardern conceded the treaty as a constitutional document, meant New Zealand's road to a republic would be more complex than for other nations. 

A referendum was not a process she had 'any intention to instigate'.

Public Interest Journalism, funded through NZ On Air