Republicans may think the Queen’s death means their moment has arrived, but they can’t just rely on New Zealanders’ appetite for reform
New Zealand has a strong habit of changing itself.
Unlike countries with prescriptive written rules of play, the tangle of norms, documents and legislation that make up our “constitution” can adapt to a changing world, or the demands of citizens.
Upset that first past the post elections produced unresponsive governments with absolute power, New Zealanders completely upended the electoral system in 1993, adopting a pluralistic system imported from West Germany. Sick of an upper house which wasn’t up to much, we abolished it in the early 1950s.
And way back in 1893, ahead of the rest of the world, a well-organised suffragist movement won all adult women the right to vote.