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Kiwis remain divided over King Charles

Published: 1:11PM Saturday April 21, 2012 Source: ONE News

Last year's lavish royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton has done little to boost the royal family's popularity in New Zealand, according to a Republican Movement survey.

The poll found that when 85-year-old Queen of England dies, 51% of New Zealanders would want Prince Charles to become New Zealand's head of state, a 3% decline from last year.

This result was underpinned by a decline of support for 63-year-old Prince Charles among women to 52% from 58% last year.

However, while New Zealanders are divided over the father of Prince William and Harry, they are not willing to give up of the royals all-together.

Only 36% of the 1053 voting-age New Zealanders polled supported New Zealand becoming a republic.

Republican Movement chair Lewis Holden said the poll over the last two years have showed a substantial difference between female and male support for the Charles becoming King.

"The Republican Movement believes New Zealanders should have a say on who their head of state is, and how they're elected," said Holden.

"That will require a national conversation on where we're headed - and the time to start that conversation is now."

The government was criticised in 2010 for leaving out the republic debate off a review of New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

The three-year-review is looking at how many MPs New Zealand needs, the length of the Parliamentary term, the status of the Maori seats, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi and whether New Zealand needs a written constitution.

But the question of whether New Zealand should sever ties with the British monarchy and become a republic is not on the formal agenda.

The final report is expected to be presented to Cabinet in September 2013.