With the death of the Queen, it seems inevitable we will appoint our own head of state. I'd favour our own monarch, complete with absolute power if it weren't for the fact that even if we found the perfect person with genuine impartiality and the interests of NZ always top of mind, time would eventually show this ideal monarch as less than perfect. Any head of state should be assumed to be human, and therefore fallible.

With that in mind, it is concerning that we might appoint a new head of state without fundamental protections. The problem is there are no guarantees. A second layer of parliament might be an obvious solution, but net, as Britain has, a house of Lords. Apart from the sexism of such a term, it would not sit comfortably in egalitarian NZ.

We could follow the US, but I for one would be most uncomfortable with that. While it's supposedly the land of the free, it's a land where increasing numbers of both sides cannot even talk seriously with each other. This has been the case since at least Bill Clinton but became more evident under Trump. Of course, they also have state governments as a counter-balance to their national government. Even Australia has that extra layer.

We have a potential natural solution here - with a second house for Maori. That would be quite logical, but very hard to imagine. How would both houses ever agree on anything? I for one would never have contemplated such a thing a decade or more ago, but with my current understanding, I can see it as a possibility. Fortunately, I'm unlikely to be called on to figure out how it could work, but just because something's new doesn't mean it can't work. Of course, there is still a significant number of white Kiwis who would feel threatened by such a move. Just as Maori are quite justified in a lack of trust in Pakeha. The fears are extremely one-sided. There is no comparison between what we did to Maori and how they have reacted over the years.

There are bound to be many other possibilities, but this is surely the time to look seriously (not in a rush) at how we manage our country. It could even involve a constitution, anthem and flag,