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Big opposition to race-based representation

Press release – immediate release:

Big opposition to race-based representation

Submissions detailed in a report titled A House Divided, released today by the Independent Constitutional Review Panel, show overwhelming opposition to race-based political representation and the inclusion of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitutional arrangements, panel chairman David Round, a law lecturer at Canterbury University, said today.

"We received over 1200 submissions that showed 97 percent of submitters sought abolition of race-based seats in local government, 96 percent sought abolition of separate Maori seats in parliament, and 96 percent were opposed to the Treaty of Waitangi being included in our constitutional arrangements", Mr Round said.

The Independent Constitutional Review Panel was established in 2012 in response to the Maori Party-initiated $4-million review of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.

The panel’s other members are Auckland University associate professor Elizabeth Rata, Massey University emeritus professor Martin Devlin, Queensland University professor James Allan, New Zealand Centre for Political Research founder and director Dr Muriel Newman, and NZCPR researcher Mike Butler.

The independent panel found there was strong support for the principle that that no major constitutional change should take place unless the public have consented through a nation-wide referendum process, with 95 percent of submitters being in favour of that proposition.

“Government rests on the consent of the governed, and if the fundamental rules of government are to be changed, in far-reaching and well-nigh irreversible ways, then that may only be done with the fully informed consent of the people – anything less than that is unacceptable”, David Round said.

The independent panel strongly rejects the racial division being created by proponents of Treaty of Waitangi politics and instead proposes the removal of all laws which establish or promote racial distinction or division.

This includes the abolition of race-based representation in Parliament and local government, the removal of any reference to the Treaty of Waitangi or its principles in any constitutional document, and the disbanding of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Over 50,000 people have supported this commitment to equal rights by signing a Declaration of Equality that has been running throughout the consultation period.

The full report, which includes an evaluation of the review by the government-appointed Constitutional Advisory Panel, is attached. It is also available for viewing and downloading on the www.nzcpr.com website – the direct link is HERE.



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