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

 

NZers invited to consider our constitutional arrangements

Not for release until 11.30am on Friday 15 June

New Zealanders will be invited to consider our constitutional arrangements

All New Zealanders will have an opportunity to contribute to a conversation about the country’s constitutional arrangements as a part of an engagement strategy released today by the Constitutional Advisory Panel. The Panel will invite New Zealanders to join the conversation when the engagement process is launched later this year.

The independent panel was appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Bill English, and the Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples, to hear from a wide range of New Zealanders. The Panel will report to the Ministers by the end of 2013 on what New Zealanders have told them and make recommendations.

The Panel’s co-chairs, Professor John Burrows and Sir Tipene O’Regan, said in a statement the plan will ensure that everyone will have an opportunity to make their views known to the Panel.

“We want to hear from those who know a lot about the constitution and from those who have not thought so much about it. The constitution belongs to the people. It is not something that belongs to a few experts.

The Panel feels privileged to have been appointed to support New Zealanders to have their say.”

Professor Burrows and Sir Tipene said the Panel will call for views on a wide range of issues, including the question of a written constitution, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, and the length of the parliamentary term.

“It’s up to New Zealanders to tell us what they think. We don’t know where the conversation will end up, and we are looking forward to finding out.

We want people to start thinking about what they want to say when the process gets underway later this year.”

The engagement plan is in stages:

• Preparing the resources and building relationships that will form the foundation of the process.

• Building public understanding of New Zealand’s current constitutional arrangements.

• Engaging with a broad and diverse range of communities.

• Working with a cross section of New Zealanders to consider the views reported to the Panel

• Reporting to Ministers by the end of 2013.

The full engagement plan, the Panel’s terms of reference, and information about Panel members can be read on the Panel’s interim website: www2.justice.govt.nz/cap-interim/.

ENDS


What is the role of the Panel?

As the Constitutional Advisory Panel, our main task is to:

establish a forum for developing and sharing information and ideas on constitutional topics and to seek the views of all New Zealanders including Māori in a manner that is reflective of the Treaty of Waitangi relationship and responsive to Māori consultation preferences.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Māori Affairs are responsible for a Consideration of Constitutional Issues. They have appointed the Constitutional Advisory Panel as an independent panel to assist with the Consideration.

We will report to the responsible Ministers by the end of 2013 with advice on the constitutional topics, including any points of broad consensus where further work is recommended.

We are supported by a secretariat that is housed in the Ministry of Justice, as an independent unit.

What topics are going to be considered?

The terms of reference agreed by Cabinet contain the following topics:

Electoral matters:

• The size of Parliament.

• The length of term of Parliament and whether or not the term should be fixed.

• The size and number of electorates, including the method for calculating size.

• Electoral integrity legislation.

Crown-Māori relationship matters:

• Māori representation including: the Māori Electoral Option; Māori electoral participation; and Māori seats in Parliament and local government.

• The role of the Treaty of Waitangi within New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

Other constitutional matters:

• Whether New Zealand should have a written constitution.

• Bill of Rights issues

Our task is to provide Ministers with an understanding of New Zealanders' perspectives on constitutional issues including any constitutional topics New Zealanders may raise throughout the citizen-driven engagement process.


Download the Terms of Reference [PDF - 82KB]

How can I get involved?

The Panel's engagement strategy takes a staged approach to engagement:

Stage 1 (Whakaoho i te tangata/Preparing the Ground): This stage focuses on developing the tools and relationships necessary for successful engagement.

Stage 2 (Whakamārama/Understanding): Stage 2 starts to build understanding about our current constitutional arrangements and build participation in the constitutional conversation.

Stage 3 (Wānanga/Thinking together): The focus of stage 3 is engaging with a broad and diverse range of networks and communities and encouraging those networks to feed those views to us through the website and face to face meetings.

Stage 4 (Wānanga/Deliberation): The stage 4 conversations will include wānanga/deliberative fora whose members will be selected from a range of groups. These wānanga/deliberative fora will consider the views of New Zealanders gathered in stage 3.

Stage 5 (Whakapūrongo/Reporting): We will present a final report to the responsible Ministers by the end of 2013.

We are currently in Stage 1 and have started talking with key stakeholders, including community groups, academics and Māori stakeholders about how best to engage with all New Zealanders, including Māori.

We will provide more detailed information about how to get involved in the coming weeks.

What's it got to do with me?

New Zealand's constitutional arrangements shape the relationships between you and the government. They are the arrangements through which we the people collectively govern ourselves as a democratic country. Full public understanding and participation is needed for enduring constitutional arrangements that reflect the values and aspirations of New Zealanders.

A key outcome of our work will be an informed conversation with and amongst New Zealanders about constitutional issues. We do not expect that the conversation will stop with our report: we trust that our work will contribute to and support the "long conversation" about New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

We are committed to hearing from a wide range of New Zealanders, including a wide range of Māori, throughout the engagement. The role of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitutional arrangements is one of the topics in the terms of reference. Any conversation about the Treaty must fully involve Māori, as Treaty partners.

Have any decisions been made?

Our job is to listen to a wide range of New Zealanders on constitutional issues, not make decisions. We will then report to Ministers on these views and on whether we recommend any further work in the light of what New Zealanders have said.

Any actual constitutional change would be a lot further down the track, after the Panel has reported.

How much will this cost?

The Consideration was allocated total funding of $2.1 million within Vote Justice, and $2 million within Vote Māori Affairs to support robust and inclusive engagement on constitutional issues.

We are committed to delivering our independent engagement programme and advice to Ministers within the funding allocated to our work.

Who's on the Panel?

Click this link to find out more about us.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Tourism’s Endless Sense Of Grievance

Sad that a once in a century pandemic should have come along before the government had a clearly thought out plan for rescuing all the firms and saving all the jobs in the tourism sector. Sad that the government now looks like it was making up the criteria for support as it went along. But guess what? To some extent, they were. Possibly because in the modern era, a pandemic had never before caused international travel to evaporate almost overnight... More>>

 

PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>

ALSO:


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>

ALSO:

Greens: $297m Fund To Support Sustainable Food And Farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friendly practices. The plan will: · Improve how we look after our land and water, with a levy on the ... More>>

ALSO:

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

Police: Numerous Arrests Following Investigation Into Historical Offending At Auckland School

Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber, Auckland City Police: Police have made six arrests as part of an operation investigating historical offending at Dilworth School. Auckland City Criminal Investigation Branch have been investigating since a complaint ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels