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


Monarchists "Regret" Passing Of Supreme Court Bill

The House of Representatives has passed the Supreme Court Bill, which abolishes appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and establishes a Supreme Court of New Zealand. It is to be regretted that Parliament chose to proceed with the Bill, despite significant opposition. Most Select Committee submissions were strongly opposed to the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council, and opinions polls suggest some 80% of people felt that this was a measure which ought to be put to the country in a referendum.

The Attorney-General had sought in vain for a consensus in favour of her Bill. However, with the support of the Green Party the Government had the numbers to pass the Bill - though narrowly. It is widely accepted that constitutional reforms of this nature ought not to be passed by a bare majority and in the face of significant opposition. Many independent commentators have observed that the way in which this controversial measure has been passed has serious implications for the standing of the new Supreme Court. It also has significant constitutional implications, as there will inevitably be suspicions that the judiciary will become politicised. This is not simply a party political matter, it is a constitutional question of great importance.

It must also be observed that the move was motivated in part by the republican agenda of certain political figures, as has been admitted by the Hon Margaret Wilson and Nandor Tanczos. Their main argument was that New Zealand needs to have it own 'identity', to be 'mature', or to be rid of any 'vestiges of colonialism'. Additional arguments based upon improving access to justice, and the cost of appeals to the Privy Council, were unconvincing, and were largely abandoned, leaving only the political arguments. That all of these arguments are inadequate was shown by the fact that the majority of Maori, business, local government, and legal submissions were opposed to the Bill.

It is also a matter of regret that the Prime Minister and Attorney-General have continued to repeat a number of misleading or incorrect claims in support of abolition of appeals to the Privy Council. Advocates of the Bill have falsely claimed, amongst other things, that only six other countries retain appeals, and that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is being abolished as part of constitutional reforms in Britain. It might also be noted that a number of the Caribbean countries which the Attorney-General counts as having abolished appeals have yet to do so, and although appeals may be ended in the near future, abolition is subject to approval by referendum. One might wonder why we have been denied a similar opportunity.

Constitutional reforms, whether of the higher reaches of the judiciary, or of the Crown itself, ought to be conduced with more restraint and respect for constitutional propriety.

Dr Noel Cox

Chairman, The Monarchist League of New Zealand Inc.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation

Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...


National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>

School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>

Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels