Patrick Gower on the Royals: TV host reveals whether he thinks Aotearoa should become republic

TV host Patrick Gower has revealed whether he thinks Aotearoa should become a republic in his latest documentary.    

Patrick Gower on the Royals aired on Newshub and ThreeNow on Tuesday. The documentary explores New Zealand's relationship with the crown and asks experts whether it's time we cut ties with the Royal Family in the wake of the Queen's death.     

During the documentary Gower revealed while he initially felt we had a special relationship with the crown, he has since changed his mind.    

"I started this journey believing there was something magical about the Monarchy influenced by the long service of the Queen," he revealed in the documentary.    

"But now I think it is time we became a republic. [King] Charles has come to New Zealand 10 times. How can this guy represent us when he barely knows us?"   

Gower also revealed he feels the Royal Family "squabbling on the other side of the world has simply become irrelevant to the multi-cultural and modern Aotearoa New Zealand".     

The option Gower was most supportive of was New Zealand becoming a republic but staying in the Commonwealth. This would allow us to elect our own head of state and sever our connection to the Royal Family while also retaining our relationship and connections with Britain.    

"We can be a republic and stay in the Commonwealth so keep our connections and everything," Gower said.    

During the documentary, Gower interviewed numerous experts about whether Aotearoa should become a republic. There were strong views from both camps with a group of elderly New Zealanders at Edmund Hillary Retirement Village, saying while they think the country should eventually become a republic, they don't want it to happen in their lifetime.    

"Not yet, there will be a time but not yet," one said.     

"Not in my lifetime," another added.    

Another person who wants New Zealand to keep our ties with the royals is Monarchy New Zealand chair Sean Palmer.    

Palmer told Gower there is "no question" to him the Monarchy benefits New Zealand.   

"It is a spectacular system of government for the advancement of democracy. This has been a very road-tested system," Palmer said.    

However, a strong advocate for becoming a republic is artist and activist Tāme Iti. 

"No disrespect to royalty people but I think their time is over," Iti told Gower.  

"Who are they? Just a symbol. Not ours. They're filthy rich. They’ve got their own problems, the brothers don't even talk to each other... they can't even sort out their own shit. No disrespect to them but I think we just put them to sleep."   

"[King Charles] doesn't exist to me...that whole system, I know I have to live with it but they don't exist, they're not in my heart, not in my song. They have no meaning to me. Let them not be the dominant power, we don't need them."     

Watch Patrick Gower on the Royals on Three and ThreeNow.