Join the conversation on New Zealand’s constitution
The Constitutional Advisory Panel has recently issued an information booklet to inform and stimulate on-going public discussions. The booklet, “New Zealand’s constitution: the conversation so far”, is available on the panel’s interim website (see Related links).
The booklet includes summary information about New Zealand’s existing constitutional arrangements, the public debate about constitutional reform, and the questions and perspectives that have been expressed to date.
In gathering the information and perspectives reflected in the booklet, the panel has relied on a range of resources including academic texts, previous ministerial inquiries, case law, Waitangi Tribunal reports and the news media.
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Māori Affairs appointed the Constitutional Advisory Panel as an independent panel to assist with the consideration of constitutional issues. The terms of reference agreed by the Cabinet contain the following topics:
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.
New Zealand Bill of Rights Act issues.
Detailed information on how to participate in the debate and communicate with the panel will be available soon on the panel’s website.
The panel 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.
A parliamentary committee undertook an earlier review of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements in 2005. You can view its report on this site.