New Zealand's Commonwealth status in spotlight following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's accusations directed at the royal family have once again put the spotlight on the Queen's role as New Zealand's head of state.

Many here and throughout the Commonwealth think it's another step towards severing the ties.

During the pair's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan claimed there had been "concerns and conversations" about how dark the colour of baby Archie's skin would be when he was born. The Duchess of Sussex said that the issue had been raised with Harry, who relayed the information back to her.

When Meghan went on royal tours, there was no doubt she brought a unique quality to the royal family.

"I am here with you as a mother, a woman of colour, and as your sister," she said during a tour in Africa.

Her mixed heritage often better reflected the diversity of the Commonwealth, including here in New Zealand, sowing the seeds for a potential new era.

Labour Party MP Willie Jackson says her presence in the royal family was needed.

"She was a woman of colour and a bit of a diversification that the royal family needs."

The national flowers of the Commonwealth's 53 countries were woven into Meghan's bridal veil, including a kowhai flower for New Zealand.

But whether New Zealand should follow Meghan's lead wasn't what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wanted to discuss on Wednesday, who walked off when it was asked if it was time the country became a republic.

Other MPs say it proves yet again New Zealand needs to break ties with the monarchy.

"Fundamentally, as it is a colonialist institution which does have racist overtones. And I am very uncomfortable with the fact that they provide our head of state," Green Party co-leader James Shaw says.

Both Jackson and Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi shared their support for New Zealand to part from the royal family.

"I've always been a republic supporter, it's always been a sort of kaupapa for me," Jackson says.

"I absolutely agree that there's a new Aotearoa on the rise," Waititi says.

Barbados, which Harry visited four years ago, is the latest Commonwealth country to dispense with his grandmother as the head of state.

The Queen sees her legacy as the transformation of an empire into a family of equal nations. She has visited all but two member states, but the state of her own family's affairs is bolstering the case of republicanism.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hopes the fallout will fuel their push for change.

"Only an Australian should be our head of state," he says.

A New Zealand royal historian says it's been heading that way here for a while.

"I just think it'll reinforce what's been happening for the last 30 years," Jock Phillips says. "I mean, New Zealand has clearly been moving away from that intense relationship."