“The Council of Trade Unions decided today to promote debate among union members to assess the level of support for the constitutional change to a republic,” CTU President Ross Wilson said today.
“Unions representing in total around a quarter of a million workers at a National Council meeting in Wellington today decided that unions would promote debate on this very important issue,” he said.
Ross Wilson said the CTU is the largest democratic organisation in New Zealand.
“We believe that the time has come to have a serious national debate on our constitutional future with its implications for our country’s governance, name, flag, final court of appeal and international image,” he said.
Ross Wilson said the CTU recognised the special concerns of Maori on this issue and the CTU Maori Council (Te Runanga o Nga Kaimahi Maori o Aotearoa) would be bringing together those concerns as part of the debate.
“The challenge of these decisions is confronting us and the CTU is concerned to ensure that the debate is not confined to a limited group of academics and the elite,” he said.
“The issues are too important for that”.