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Maori Council’s Constitutional Review a Winner

Maori Council’s Constitutional Review a Winner

THE Republican Movement supports the Maori Council’s call for a constitutional review that includes the Privy Council, republicanism and the role of the Treaty, but any review has to genuinely involve New Zealanders.

(See NZ Maori Council release 7-8-00 titled Treaty Partners and the Privy Council).

"A decision to abolish the right of appeal to the Privy Council is timely, but people have to own that decision. The ‘elite’ had their chance to look at the issues in April at the Constitutional Conference in Wellington. Let’s use this latest opportunity to get everyone else involved," Republican Movement president Dave Guerin said today.

“The Government is already planning consultation over the Privy Council change and civics education on the Treaty. Why not make it a two-way exercise and genuinely seek people’s opinions on the issues? We need to get this debate away from Wellington and out to the rest of the country.”

The Republican Movement has previously suggested the following approaches to build public involvement in constitutional change:

Ø civics education programmes to develop New Zealanders’ understanding of, participation in, and ability to change our political system; Ø conferences like the Building the Constitution conference; Ø presenting new perspectives and ideas to people through books, newspaper articles and speeches; Ø involving people in the development of viable options for change; Ø organising discussion and consultation meetings around the country; and Ø building in feedback loops to whatever is done, so that people have a chance to respond to and build upon any proposals.

“The Republican Movement is willing to contribute in any way to help build the level of debate about, and public involvement in, constitutional change in New Zealand. It would be great to see the Government extend its current vision to include a broad constitutional review.”

ENDS

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