Realm of New Zealand


Realm of New Zealand

The Realm of New Zealand is the territory in which the Queen in right of New Zealand is head of state. The Realm comprises the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Niue, Tokelau and New Zealand's Ross Dependency in Antarctica. The term "Realm of New Zealand" is described in letters patent of 1983 constituting the office of Governor-General of New Zealand, in article I.

Governor-General

Since Queen Elizabeth II is resident in the United Kingdom she is represented in the Realm by a Governor-General. Governors-General take on all the dignities and reserve powers of the Queen. As of 2006 the Governor-General of New Zealand is Anand Satyanand.

overeignty within the Realm

The Realm itself is a collection of former British colonies and protectorates. New Zealand was a British colony formed in 1840 and became a dominion in 1907, and gained legal independence with the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947. The Cook Islands and Niue were former British protectorates which were transferred to New Zealand administration in the early twentieth century. The Ross Dependency was put under New Zealand administration in 1923, and Tokelau was transferred to New Zealand from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1925.

Cook Islands and Niue

Both the Cook Islands and Niue are said to be self-governing in "free association" with New Zealand. The New Zealand Parliament is not empowered to unilaterally pass legislation in respect of these countries. In foreign affairs and defence issues New Zealand acts on behalf of these countries but only with their advice and consent.

As the Governor-General is resident in New Zealand, the Cook Islands Constitution provides for the distinct position of Queen's Representative. This individual is not subordinate to the Governor-General and acts as the local representative of the Queen in right of New Zealand. As of 2005 Sir Frederick Goodwin is the Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands.

According to the Niue's Constitution of 1974, the Governor-General of New Zealand acts as the Queen's representative.

In the Cook Islands and Niue the New Zealand High Commissioner is the diplomatic representative from New Zealand. As of 2005, John Bryan is the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and Anton Ojala is the New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue.

Despite their close relationship to New Zealand, both the Cook Islands and Niue maintain some diplomatic relations in their own name. Both countries maintain High Commissions in New Zealand and have New Zealand High Commissioners resident in their capitals. In Commonwealth practice, High Commissioners represent their governments, not the Head of State.

New Zealand

New Zealand proper consists of the following island groups:
* the North Island, South Island and neighbouring coastal islands, all contained within the 16 regions of New Zealand
* the Chatham Islands to the east, contained within the Chatham Islands Territory
* the Kermadec Islands to the north and sub-Antarctic islands to the south, all outside local authority boundaries and inhabited only by a small number of research and conservation staff

Tokelau

Tokelau has a lesser degree of "de jure" independence than the Cook Islands and Niue have, and had been moving toward free association status. New Zealand's representative in Tokelau is the Administrator of Tokelau and has the power to overturn rules passed by the general fono.

Ross Dependency

New Zealand's claim to the Ross Dependency is held in abeyance, per the Antarctic Treaty System. The Governor-General of New Zealand, however, is also the Governor of the Ross Dependency. [http://www.mfat.govt.nz/foreign/antarctica/ross/rossdependency.html MFAT] [http://www.mfat.govt.nz/speech/pastspeeches/speeches2002/23apr02.html Speech of 23-Apr-02, Antarctic Conference] The Ross Dependency claim includes McMurdo Station, operated by the United States.

ummary

Future of the Realm

Within New Zealand there exists some supportA July 2005 poll published in The Press showed 27% support for the question "Do you support New Zealand becoming a republic?", and 67% opposition.] A Sunday Star-Times poll, published 20 January 2006, stated there was 47% support for a New Zealand republic, and 47% support for the monarchy.] for a New Zealand republic. Should New Zealand become a republic, the Realm of New Zealand would continue to exist without New Zealand, the Ross Dependency and Tokelaucite web |url=http://www.austlii.edu.au/nz/journals/VUWLRev/2003/34.html |title=The Strange Death of the Realm of New Zealand: The Implications of a New Zealand Republic for the Cook Islands and Niue by Andrew Townend (2003) VUWLRev 34 |accessdate=2006-12-07] . This would not be a legal hurdle to a New Zealand republic as such, and both the Cook Islands and Niue would retain their status as associated states with New Zealand, as New Zealand shares its Head of state with the Cook Islands and Niue in the same way the United Kingdom shares its Head of state with the other Commonwealth Realms. However, a New Zealand republic would present the issue of independence to the Cook Islands and Niue. Thus, a number of options for the future of the Realm of New Zealand exist:
* A New Zealand republic with the Cook Islands and Niue remaining in free association with New Zealand, but retaining the Queen of New Zealand as their head of state;
* A New Zealand republic with the Cook Islands and Niue having a new republican head of state as their head of state;
* A New Zealand republic with the Cook Islands and Niue having their own heads of state, but retaining their status of free association with New Zealand.

ee also

* Dominion of New Zealand
* Commonwealth realm

External links

* [http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/cabinet/manual/letters_patent_constituting.html Letters Patent constituting the office of Governor-General of New Zealand] — gives explanation for "Realm of New Zealand"
* [http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Countries/Pacific/Cook-Islands.php "Cook Islands"] (NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
* [http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Countries/Pacific/Niue.php "Niue"] (NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
* [http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Foreign-Relations/Pacific/Tokelau/index.php "New Zealand and the Tokelau Islands"] (NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
* [http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Foreign-Relations/1-Global-Issues/Antarctica/1-New-Zealand-Relationship-with-Antarctica/rossdependency.php "Ross Dependency"] (NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

References


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