Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Oaths discussion document released

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice

23 May 2004

Media Statement

Oaths discussion document released

New Zealanders are being invited to have a say on how the country's oaths and affirmations should be updated, in a discussion document released today by Justice Minister Phil Goff.

The oaths to be reviewed include those taken by new citizens, public office holders and some employees in the state sector. Oaths taken by professional groups and by witnesses in court are not being reviewed.

"There has not been a comprehensive review of oaths and affirmations for nearly 50 years. As a result, a lot of the language needs to be modernised to more clearly state the duties to be undertaken, while inconsistencies between different oaths also need to be removed," Mr Goff said.

"This review also offers a chance for people to express a view on whether our oaths accurately reflect the values and beliefs that are important to New Zealanders in the 21st century.

"One consistent criticism of the existing citizenship oath is that it does not pledge loyalty to New Zealand and respect for its laws, freedoms and values.

"In Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom this has now changed. In the UK, for example, a new citizen pledges loyalty to the Queen but also 'to give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen'.

"Before any decisions are made on altering or updating oaths and affirmations, however, it is important that ordinary New Zealanders have the chance to have their views taken into account.

"The discussion document will assist those wanting to make submissions. It includes information and current examples of oaths; a summary of recent overseas developments, and questions to ascertain whether people consider changes to be necessary and, if so, what sort of changes to which oaths."

Submissions are due to close on 30 June, with a report recommending what changes, if any, should be made is due to go to Cabinet by the end of August.

The discussion document is available online at


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Principals' Federation:
End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended.

"This is such a win for all the principals who never believed in national standards and who, for the past decade, have argued for what is morally right for our nation's young people and their learning," said Cormick. More>>


Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>


RBNZ To RNZB: PM's Press Conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. More>>


'Taming Globalised Capital': Why Is Labour Supporting Investment Rules In WTO?

‘Today, we learned the new government has added New Zealand’s name to a proposal designed to lead to foreign investment rules in the WTO at this week’s ministerial meeting in Argentina,’ said Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government… More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>





Featured InfoPages