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


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news