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John Tamihere wants New Zealand to become a republic once the Queen dies

John Tamihere says he wants New Zealand to become a republic after the Queen dies.

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“The closest I have ever come to her is licking the back of her head on a stamp,” the Māori Party leader said. Source: 1 NEWS

The Māori Party leader gave moderator Jessica Mutch McKay two thumbs up when she asked the question during tonight's multi-party leaders debate tonight.

“Look God bless the Queen and all that stuff but it’s about time," Tamihere said.

“She lives 12,000 miles away for goodness sake the closest I have ever come to her is licking the back of her head on a stamp.

“We are our own sovereign people now, we’re old enough to embark on our own conversation.”

ACT's David Seymour was less forthcoming on his view on the issue.

“That's a horrible thing to say really, I hope she’s not thinking of us dying.

"It's a long way down the list of what’s important right now," he said.

NZ First leader Winston Peters then weighed in with his opinion.

"Look on the monarchy, when you are going to a vote at the UN you are half way there by just having the Commonwealth on your side, but it's not what I think, it's what the people think in what should be a two-year referendum."