Today, Prince Charles goes onto the marae at Waitangi to engage in the ritual greetings associated with the birthplace of the nation.
What a show stopper it would be if, instead of the usual sweet nothings, he was to pull out the 'Auld lang syne' speech he made at the hand over of power in Hong Kong in 1997, told New Zealanders it's past time you ruled yourselves, wished us a prosperous and democratic future, then hot-footed back to a palace in Great Blexit.
In the short time he's already had in his latest progress through this remote corner of his soon-to-be domain, our future King must have realised what an anachronism his ordained role in the current constitutional set-up is. He must see he doesn't belong. A growing majority of locals certainly do.
A Curia opinion poll in April showed only 39 per cent of New Zealanders want the British monarch as our head of state. This desire for change is particularly strong among Māori who seem to regard the Queen and Prince Charles in much the same light as the foreign trees on Auckland volcanic cones – as colonial relics to be clear-felled and replaced by local substitutes.
That 80 per cent of Māori want to replace the British monarch with a local head of state is significant.
Since soon after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, Māori leaders were appealing to Queen Victoria and her successors, to rein in successive settler governments, who were not honouring the terms of the treaty.
The appeals were fruitless, but their belief in a special relationship with the Queen who they signed a treaty with, died hard.
But died it seems to have done, with so many Māori now wanting a local head of state. This level of support even exceeded the 18-30 age group, who were close behind on 76 per cent support for a Kiwi head of state.
That Charles should not be King of New Zealand is hardly revolutionary talk. Prime Ministers like Helen Clark and John Key agree that ditching the British monarchy is inevitable. It's just that they were too chicken to do it when they could, hiding behind the skirts of the seemingly everlasting incumbent who had always been there.
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It's not even anti-Commonwealth or anti-British. At last count, only 16 of the 52 Commonwealth countries still shared the British hereditary sovereign.
And our former Deputy Prime Minister and one-time Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has said that one Caribbean country has publicly indicated it will become a republic on the death of the present Queen and another three have told him privately that they will follow suit.
To me, the Caribbean solution is the obvious one. For most of us, the present Queen has always been a part of the whānau. To wait until her 90s then tell her she's redundant would be elder-abuse.
But what we need to do is formulate a succession plan for what happens on her demise, as no doubt, the British have. Except ours would draw a line under the present Queen and say, here endeth our reliance on British royalty.
We're untying ourselves from mummy's apron strings and standing upright on our own two feet at last. For those who agonise over what form of republic to adopt, the obvious answer is to keep it simple.
Trying to pin a directly elected president onto the existing parliamentary system we've perfected over the past 150 plus years would be a train-wreck. Trying to get parliamentarians and the constitutional lawyers to even agree on a model would be fraught. And then there would be the inevitable referendum.
Better to just stick to the present system of a Government-appointed worthy person – possibly requiring a two-third's support of Parliament – with the same limited powers of the present Governor General. There's no need for the confusing label President either. What's wrong with the current title? Or something indigenous?
Most importantly is the need to make haste. We need a plan in place so that when the inevitable day arrives, everyone involved knows it's the end of an era, and in New Zealand's case, time to move on.