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Dunne and the Kiwi identity

Dunne and the Kiwi identity

United Future leader Peter Dunne today rebutted the claim that the call for a wide-ranging inquiry into New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements was simply an intellectual exercise for pointy-headed academics and lawyers.

He told a lunchtime meeting at legal firm Kensington Swan in Wellington today that many of the problems New Zealand is encountering stem from the lack of a well-defined sense of a New Zealand identity.

“Quite apart from the intense national debate over whether the All Black backline should stand flat or in a deeper formation, we see squabbling over the establishment of the Supreme Court; the row over the role of the Judiciary vs Parliament; and further argument about New Zealand's place in the world.

“The allegations that we are shunning our traditional allies and our relations with the US and Australia have dramatically soured, all stem from a lack of clear New Zealand identity.

“In part, this is caused by mixed policy signals in terms of our population mix and the role of immigration and culture i.e., multiculturalism v biculturalism etc.

“But in large part, I say it is due to ambiguity over our constitutional arrangements – the role of the Treaty of Waitangi, our lack of a written constitution, whether we should be a republic etc.

“And that’s why United Future says we need a fundamental review of our constitutional arrangements. It will help establish our nationhood, our identity, and thus enable us to better resolve issues relating to New Zealand’s place in the world and the role we should play,” said Mr Dunne.

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