Indigenous voices fuel debate on ending monarchy rule

STORY: As millions bid their final farewells to Britain's Queen Elizabeth on Monday, First Nations communities in New Zealand and Australia are speaking out on their ties with the monarchy.

Indigenous Australian parliament member Lidia Thorpe took her oath of office last month with a gesture that made headlines around the world.

"I, sovereign Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and I bear true allegiance to the colonizing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

Last week, Thorpe spoke up about the pain, suffering and marginalisation they endured under the 1,000-year-old monarchy.

“So many of my people have been murdered by the system and the colonial regime here. I felt that I was kneeling to the murderer, and that was the most demoralising moment, apart from the last time I did it."

With Queen Elizabeth's death, the debate on abolishing the monarchy, and the question of moving to a republic, is swelling in the public domain.

The British monarch is still head of state in 14 Commonwealth realms.

Clayton Simpson-Pitt said Indigenous Australians are fed up with the monarchy.

"While they’re mourning their Queen, we’re mourning our people. We’re mourning our old people. We’ve had enough and it is an insult to declare at the click of a finger, a day of mourning on the 22nd of September.”

In New Zealand, the Indigenous Maori account for almost a fifth of the country's 5 million-strong population.

However, they are over-represented in prisons and state care.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer co-leads the political party Te Pati Maori.

“If we can’t address the negativity and the impacts of colonization now, then when? Do we wait for Prince William, or Prince William’s children? The reality is, no one alive doesn’t understand the true impacts of colonization and displacement it does to peoples. Previously it was accepted. Now it's not. It's dehumanizing and it needs to stop.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she expects New Zealand to become a republic eventually.

Australia's centre-left Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also openly favours a republic.

But any change would require a referendum.

And that is only expected if his government wins a second term.