by Geoffrey Churchman
At the time of 2019 elections in a KCDC venue, one council candidate pointed to a picture of her on the wall and said, “that can go.”
However, I hope the pictures of her stay. She was the epitome of good manners, decorum, dignity, friendly genuine interest in people, their achievements, aspirations and in what they had to say. Not all councilors and mayors have measured up to that standard, including three standing for reelection, one of them unfortunately the present councilor in Waikanae whose personality is as ghastly as her accent.
What about the millions of banknotes in circulation with Queen Elizabeth’s portrait?
In Canada and Jacindaland it’s on the $20 note, in Australia on the $5 note.
The Bank of Canada says the current $20 note is made of synthetic polymer designed to circulate for years to come. “There is no legislative requirement to change the design within a prescribed period when the Monarch changes.”
That is the position of the NZ Reserve Bank also. It says there is no “plan to destroy stock or shorten the life of existing banknotes just because they show the Queen” and it will issue all of its stock of coins depicting the Queen before new ones go out with Charles’s image.
According to Associated Press, British banknotes did not get her image until 1960 — seven years after her coronation, starting with the £1 note and in fact she became the first monarch to be depicted on British banknotes. British coins, meanwhile, have featured kings and queens for more than 1,000 years.
She is also found on notes and coins issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the monetary authority for a group of small nations, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
But does the monarch need to be there at all? It only seems to be a tradition and not an expectation of being a British Commonwealth member.
There would be strong contenders for a popular and respected NZer instead. A name that has been proposed before, and one I’d support, is Billy T. James. Maybe Kiri Te Kanawa? George Nepia? Any politician would be divisive and a no-no.