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


Dunne launches UF constitution policy

17 August 2005

Dunne launches UF constitution policy

The process of constitutional reform begun by the recent parliamentary inquiry initiated by United Future must be continued if New Zealand is to move forward as a nation, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today in launching his party's policy on constitutional matters.

"Now that the select committee has set the platform by putting together the pieces of New Zealand's constitutional jigsaw, we need to keep up the momentum by establishing a Royal Commission to build a constitution for the future."

"It would effectively embark on a conversation with New Zealanders to find out which issues causing them concern and explore mechanisms to deal with them," Mr Dunne said.

"This should include questions of whether New Zealand should become a republic, whether there should be a written constitution, and the place of the Treaty of Waitangi."

However, Mr Dunne any recommendations should be supported by a clear majority in a binding referendum before they were adopted. "United Future believes that ultimately the constitution is the property of all New Zealanders"

This philosophy is also echoed by United Future's proposed changes to the use of referenda.

"The passage of the Prostitution Law Reform, Supreme Court and Civil Union Acts demonstrate that laws which significantly impact on the social and constitutional direction of our country are too easily foisted upon us by groups whose views simply do not accord with those held by majority of New Zealanders.

"Changes are needed so that citizens can be confident that the views of the majority are reflected in the laws enacted by Parliament."

Any conscience issue passed by Parliament by less than a 60% majority will automatically go to a public referendum. The result will be binding only if the turnout is at least 60% of all eligible voters, and the motion passes by a 60% majority of those voters.

The outcome of a citizens' initiated referendum that emerges in direct response to a law passed in Parliament will be binding if it receives the support of 60% of voters in a referendum that attracts 60% turnout of valid voters. In these circumstances, the Bill in question will be repealed or amended accordingly.

However, the number of petition signatures required to trigger a citizens' initiated referendum that is not directly related to recent legislation will be reduced from 10% to 5% of valid voters. In these cases the referendum result is indicative rather than binding, but the government must conduct an inquiry into the concerns raised by the referendum if it wins majority support.

United Future's constitution policy also includes commitments to:

* establish a new national day on which all New Zealanders celebrate what unites us rather than what divides us.

* ensure that the school curriculum includes New Zealand history, including the Treaty of Waitangi, as well as other forms of civics education, such as learning about the democratic process.

* support another binding referendum on MMP so that New Zealanders can have their say

* consider extending the term of Parliament to four years, with a fixed election day

* Work with Maori to develop a timetable for the phase-out of separate Maori seats in Parliament, as recommended in the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election