By 1News

The latest 1News Kantar Public Poll released today has found half of Kiwis are opposed to Aotearoa becoming a republic.

Following the Queen’s death on September 9, the debate over whether New Zealand should have a new head of state has reignited.

However, the poll has found it’s a resounding ‘no’, with 50% of respondents saying they want to stay with the monarchy. This is an increase of 3% from November, when the question was last asked.

Just over a quarter supported Aotearoa becoming a republic, with 27% support, down 6% from the November poll.

Nearly a quarter said they didn’t know.

Republic NZ chairperson Lewis Holden said he was “disappointed” that support for ditching the monarchy has waned since November, but says that could change.

“I’d expect it to build up over the coming years.”

Other supporters of a republic, including Sir Geoffrey Palmer, say an educated debate on the issue will go a long way.

“I think it's really important to have a proper authoritative study that sets it out in simple terms properly researched,” the former Prime Minister said.

Both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National leader Christopher Luxon have expressed support for a republic, but it’s not on either of their agendas ahead of next year’s election.

A republic would mean deciding on how a new head of state is selected and the powers they would hold.

Māori leaders are divided on the debate. Some, including Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi, are strongly in favour of removing the royal family.

"It's time to remove the British royal family as head of state and move towards an Aotearoa that is a Te Tiriti o Waitangi-based nation," he said.

However, many Māori are concerned a change in relationship from their original Treaty partner, the British Crown, could threaten their rights.

There is currently no legal or constitutional certainty that the Treaty will be safeguarded if New Zealand does become a republic.

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