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Former Prime Ministers to take part in Constitutional Review

5 April 2013

Former Prime Ministers to take part in Constitutional Review debates

Victoria University’s Centre for Public Law, with support from the New Zealand Law Foundation, will host a series of public debates in April and May about issues raised in the Government’s Constitutional Review.

Expert guests will tackle questions raised by the recent governmental review of New Zealand’s constitution including the nature of Māori aspirations for constitutional change, the role of the Bill of Rights, whether New Zealand should become a republic, and questions on parliamentary and electoral system reform.

“We have assembled a great line-up of speakers with a broad range of views, and we are expecting lively and informed debate,” says Professor Claudia Geiringer, Director of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law.

Guests include the Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Palmer, the Right Honourable Jim Bolger, Dr Claudia Orange, Colin James, Moana Jackson, Professor Andrew Geddis, Professor Margaret Wilson, Professor Janet McLean, Dr Rawinia Higgins and Jack Hodder, QC.

The weekly debates will be moderated by barrister Steven Price, who is also an Adjunct Lecturer of Law at Victoria University. Each debate will take place in front of a live public audience and be broadcast on Radio New Zealand National at 4pm the following Sunday.

Professor Geiringer says that New Zealand’s Constitutional Review is supposed to generate conversation and debate.

“New Zealand doesn’t discuss these issues much, but they go right to the heart of the way we govern ourselves.”

The first debate will take place on Monday 8 April. The full programme is attached and media are welcome to attend.

The New Zealand Centre for Public Law was established at Victoria University to stimulate awareness and interest in public law issues, provide a forum for the discussion of these issues and foster and promote research.

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