Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Referendum needed to legitimise constitutional change


Referendum needed to legitimise constitutional change

For a country to change its constitution without asking its own citizens would be a disgrace, constitutional law expert James Allan has warned.

Writing on the week that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's constitutional decrees sparked violent protest, Professor James Allan of Queensland University, a constitutional law expert and member of the Independent Constitutional Review Panel, wrote that changing the constitution without a referendum would be “the sort of thing one might expect after a military coup in Pakistan or as a consequence of a passing whim of Mr. Mugabe in Zimbabwe”.

“And yet, unbelievably, that same disgraceful possibility is a real one here in New Zealand of all places," he wrote. "It is a real possibility because Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, at the launch of the Constitutional Review in December 2010, stated that ‘significant change will not be undertaken lightly and will require either broad cross-party agreement or the majority support of voters at a referendum’.

“The key point to notice is that Mr. English is clearly implying that New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements – arrangements that have been amongst the world’s most successful over the past century or two – might be changed solely on the basis of ‘broad cross-party agreement’", he wrote.

“And that is a completely bogus and illegitimate way to change New Zealand’s constitution.” To read the full article, click HERE.

Professor Allen is a member of the Independent Constitutional Review Panel (ICRP), a diverse group of New Zealanders who share a common concern that an out-of-control Treaty industry threatens not just New Zealand's prosperity but its very survival as a nation. The ICRP supports the Declaration of Equality which:

1. Rejects any reference to the Treaty of Waitangi or its principles in any constitutional document.
2. Requires that such references be removed from all existing legislation.
3. Requires that race-based parliamentary seats be abolished.
4. Requires that race-based representation on local bodies be abolished.
5. Requires that the Waitangi Tribunal, which has outlived any usefulness it may have had, be abolished.

The ICRP Panel is chaired by Canterbury University law lecturer David Round and consists of Auckland University Associate Professor Elizabeth Rata, Massey University Emeritus Professor Martin Devlin, Professor Allan, New Zealand Centre for Political Research Associate Mike Butler, and NZCPR Founder and Director Dr Muriel Newman.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news