22 Apr 2010

Green monarchy referendum bill voted down

6:05 am on 22 April 2010

Parliament has voted against a bill which would have triggered a referendum on the future of the monarchy.

But the bill's author, Green MP Keith Locke says he remains confident New Zealand will one day become a republic.

Mr Locke says New Zealand is an independent nation and it makes no sense to have a head of state living on the other side of the world.

The bill would have given the public the chance to decide whether to retain the Queen as head of state, or move to a directly elected president, or one picked by Parliament.

But the bill's opponents argue it would have altered the Treaty relationship between Maori and the Crown.

The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 53. National, ACT, the Maori Party and the Progressives voted against.