Aspiring Wairarapa Labour candidate Kieran McAnulty has had a major success - at least within his own party - by succeeding in convincing the party's conference to support a binding referendum on whether New Zealand should become a republic.
This week Mr McAnulty, who apart from his quest to become Wairarapa MP is also treasurer of the Republican Movement, told the Times-Age he was not trying to force anything on anyone but simply wanting to give people a say on whether the head of state should be elected.
If, as a result of the binding referendum, people chose to stick with the monarchy he would accept that as the voice of the people, even though he personally supported the country becoming a republic.
"Such a big change would have to be driven by the people and if the monarchists won the day that would be it," he said.
At the party's conference Mr McAnulty's remit to hold a binding referendum was "endorsed emphatically", he said, and the concept would now go to the policy council.
Mr McAnulty is on the policy council as the rural and regional representative.
Referring to a failed attempt in the 1990s in Australia to shrug off the monarchy in favour of a republic Mr McAnulty said the "pro republic" lobby hadn't been able to agree.
"There were too many factions.
"The beauty of our proposal is that only a very simple question will be asked.
"Do you want a head of state for New Zealand to be chosen by the people?" he said.
Mr McAnulty said much had been achieved by Wairarapa at the conference.
This had been possible because of a strengthening of party membership in the electorate which has seen branches go from one to four.
"There are now branches in Tararua, Masterton, South Wairarapa and a Wairarapa women's branch," he said.
It was now policy, Mr McAnulty said, to ensure rural areas like Wairarapa were at the forefront of policy making and there was a commitment to make sure provincial New Zealand had the same access to services as the rest of the country.
This would include such things as education for young people with special needs, he said.
Whether Mr McAnulty becomes the party's Wairarapa candidate will be decided on December 14 at a selection meeting in the Turley Lounge at the Masterton Cosmopolitan Club.