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Australia and New Zealand consider societal changes following Queen’s death

The Australian government said on Tuesday that the image of King Charles III would not automatically replace Queen Elizabeth II’s on Australian five dollar notes, and it may be replaced by Australian figures.

While coins are mandated to carry the image of the British monarch, Federal Assistant Minister for the Treasury Andrew Leigh said on Tuesday the decision to include the queen’s image on the Australian five dollar note was about her personality as opposed to her status as the monarch, and any changes would not be “automatic”.

The Royal Australian Mint, the sole producer of coins in the country, said on Tuesday that it will issue no circulating coins bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth in 2023.

The queen’s death has reignited debates about Australia’s future as a constitutional monarchy. Voters narrowly chose to maintain the British monarch as its head of state in a 1999 referendum.

New Zealand may become a republic in future: PM

New Zealand will not actively take any measures to become a republic in the short-term after the death of Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday, though she expects the Pacific nation will eventually become one.

“I’ve never sensed the urgency. There’s so many challenges we face. This is a large, significant debate. I don’t think it’s one that would or should occur quickly,” Ardern told reporters when asked whether the change in the British monarch will spark talks of republicanism in the country.

New Zealand is one of 15 realms to count the British Monarch as head of state including Australia and Canada, although the role is largely ceremonial. But there has been debate for some time on whether the Pacific nation should become a republic, with a citizen as the head of state.

“I do believe that is where New Zealand will head in time. I believe it’s likely to occur in my lifetime but I don’t see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda anytime soon,” Ardern said.

New Zealand will mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth with a state memorial service and a one-off public holiday on September 26, Ardern said. The PM will represent New Zealand, alongside the Governor General, at the Queen’s funeral, and will leave for London on Wednesday.

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