The Republic of New Zealand Party

This article is about The Republic of New Zealand Party. For the previous parties associated with republicanism, see New Zealand Republican Party (1967) and New Zealand Republican Party (1995).
The Republic of New Zealand Party
Leader Kerry Bevin[1]
Founded Formed April 2005, registered 15 July 2005
Dissolved 30 July 2009 (deregistered)[2]
Ideology Republicanism,

The Republic of New Zealand Party (RONZP or "The Republicans") was a political party in New Zealand. The party's registration was cancelled at its own request in 2009.[2] It was not affiliated to the New Zealand Republic, which is a non-partisan organisation that does not share any of the party's policy platforms.

Despite deregistering, a handful of the party's members remained active under its banner - burning the New Zealand flag at parliament in March 2010.[3]

In September 2011 the party announced it would merge with the OurNZ Party.[4] However, the merger appears to have not gone ahead, as the party continues to issue media releases.[5] Recent media releases have indicated the party is working with the Human Rights Party.[6]


John Kairau founded the party, which merged with another group in April 2005. In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Kairau said "The party's aim is simple: to cut all ties with the British monarchy and install a New Zealander as head of state. A president, elected at large by the citizens, would replace the Governor-General as a figurehead, with parliament continuing as normal." He claimed the party had 3,000 members.[7]

In 2009 the party was deregistered for failing to file a donations return, and failed to re-register itself in time for the 2011 general election, and did not run any candidates.[2]

Local elections

The party's former deputy leader Jack Gielen[8] ran for the Mayor of Hamilton in 2010, placing last with 404 votes.[9] During the campaign doubts were raised over Mr Gielen's claims that he was "New Zealand Republicans Spokesperson for Mental Health and Suicide prevention." Lewis Holden, chair of New Zealand Republic, said Mr Gielen had nothing to do with the Republican Movement and was "trying to piggyback off" the group. Mr Gielen responded the Republic of New Zealand Party was trying to get its membership together. "We have 200 members. Provided we get 500 members we can be re-registered for the next [2011] election. We are the real Republicans because I burnt a flag and told Prince Wills to go home. We look at them [the Republican Movement] as a [sic] poser because they are not the real deal."[10] In 2013 Gielen again repeated his claims, although stated that he had joined the New Zealand Sovereignty Party as the Republic Party was now defunct.[11]

General elections

In the 2005 elections, the party won 344 votes or 0.02%,[12] well below the 5% threshold required to enter parliament without an electorate seat (which they did not win). In the 2008 elections the party polled even worse (313 votes)- 0.01% of the total party votes submitted in that election.[13] The Party did not register for the 2011 general election.


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