Parliament

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

 

Oaths to be modernised by new Bill

Hon Phil Goff - Minister of Justice

10 May 2005

Oaths to be modernised by new Bill

A Bill modernising oaths and affirmations taken by new citizens, public office holders and some state sector employees was introduced to Parliament today by Justice Minister Phil Goff.

The major change to oaths and affirmations is that new citizens and parliamentarians will in future pledge loyalty to New Zealand, as well as the Queen, and will commit themselves to upholding New Zealand's values of democracy, and the rights and freedoms if its people.

The Oaths Modernisation Bill is the result of a review process, which included public submissions, undertaken last year by the Ministry of Justice.

"The review was the first comprehensive examination of our oaths and affirmations for nearly 50 years. It found that modernising the language used in some oaths would bring greater clarity, while inconsistencies between oaths also needed to be removed," Mr Goff said.

"The oaths updated by this Bill cover Allegiance, Citizenship, Members of Parliament, the Judiciary, Executive Councillors, Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, members of the Armed Forces, Police, special constables, and the local government officials' declaration. The Bill provides a Maori version of each oath as an option.

"Amendments to the Governor-General's oath is also proposed, but any change would be outside this legislation because it is prescribed in the Letters Patent, which is issued by the Queen under Royal Prerogative.

"In the case of the Police and the Armed Forces, the new oaths, while using modern language, are not different in substance from existing oaths, to avoid the consequences of having personnel serving on different terms."

Mr Goff said modernising the 11 oaths involved removing archaic language, and words or phrases that were redundant or lacked clear meaning; simplifying meanings, and ensuring a consistency of language wherever appropriate.

"Standard phrases have been incorporated where possible. For example, several variations of the reference to the Sovereign have been replaced with the words 'Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand, her heirs and successors'.

"While the oaths are modernised, and some incorporate additional values and beliefs, they retain as far as possible the essential meaning or substance of each oath, and the formality and solemnity of oaths.

"Public consultation during the review drew only a limited response, but there was clear support for retaining the current values and beliefs, particularly loyalty to the Queen.

"Whether or not New Zealand becomes a republic was not an issue addressed in this exercise," Mr Goff said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election