NZers invited to consider our constitutional arrangements   15 Jun 2012

Constitutional Advisory Panel

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 Maori 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 Maori in a manner that is reflective of the Treaty of Waitangi relationship and responsive to Maori consultation preferences.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Maori 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-Maori relationship matters:

• Maori representation including: the Maori Electoral Option; Maori electoral participation; and Maori 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 (Whakamarama/Understanding): Stage 2 starts to build understanding about our current constitutional arrangements and build participation in the constitutional conversation.

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

Stage 5 (Whakapurongo/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 Maori stakeholders about how best to engage with all New Zealanders, including Maori.

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 Maori, 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 Maori, 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 Maori 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.

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Museum of Waitangi set to become a national and visitor Icon

5 Feb 2016 News
05 February 2016 Museum of Waitangi set to become a national and visitor Icon The new Museum of Waitangi, opened today by the... more

ETS Review modelling documents released

5 Feb 2016 Environment
5 February 2016 ETS Review modelling documents released Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage... more

Business

NZ wool prices slip on higher kiwi, reduced China demand

5 Feb 2016 Business News By Tina Morrison
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ wool prices slip on higher kiwi dollar, reduced demand from China By Tina Morrison Feb. 5 ... more

NZ directors more aware of risk, focus on cyber security

5 Feb 2016 Business News By Sophie Boot
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ directors more aware of risk, focus on cyber security   Feb. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Directors of... more

Living

Does what it means to be a Kiwi depend on where you live?

5 Feb 2016 Lifestyle
  4 February 2016What it is to be a Kiwi may depend of where you live – Auckland or elsewhere in New Zealand – with... more

2015: The Year of the Blockbuster

21 Jan 2016 Entertainment
Motion Pictures Distributors' Association   January 21, 2016 2015: The Year of the Blockbuster For the second year in a row the ... more

Property

Auckland house sales volumes jump to 8-year high in January

4 Feb 2016 Property By Tina Morrison
  Auckland's house sales volumes jump to 8-year high in January, Barfoot says Feb. 4 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland residential... more

Auckland house prices little changed in December

6 Jan 2016 Property By Sophie Boot
Article - BusinessDesk   Auckland house prices little changed in December as sales volumes, listings drop Jan. 6 (BusinessDesk)... more

Migration

More than 27,000 new Kiwis in 2015

5 Feb 2016 Migration
  This Waitangi Day, New Zealand will roll out the welcome mat to 24 new citizens at Government House, and acknowledge over... more

NZ net migrants reach all-time high 63,700 in boom November

21 Dec 2015 Migration
Article - Businesswire   NZ net migrants reach all-time high 63,700 in boom November year for travel By Jonathan Underhill Dec. ... more

Travel

More than 100,000 SmartGate users in one week

22 Jan 2016 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Hon Nicky WagnerMinister of Customs 22 January 2016 More than 100,000 SmartGate users in one week Customs ... more

Wellington ratepayers to pay $8mln for Canberra flights

21 Jan 2016 Travel & Tourism By Pattrick Smellie
Wellington ratepayers to pay $8mln over 10 years for Canberra flights Jan. 21 (BusinessDesk) - Wellington City Council is... more

Sport

Global Racing Teams Attracted to Godzone’s Fifth Chapter

5 Feb 2016 Multisport
70 teams from 11 nations will come together in Kaiteriteri, Tasman this April for the fifth chapter of New Zealand’s premier ... more

Rob Nicol joins Mondiale Aces squad

22 Jan 2016 Cricket
Auckland Cricket Friday, 22 January 2016 Rob Nicol joins Mondiale Aces squad for Ford Trophy Qualifying Final The Mondiale Auckland... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Paula Bennett’s fantasy politics and Iran's election

22 Jan 2016 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
We seem to be living in an era of virtual government, where governments promote only an illusion of policy kapow! rather than the... more

Gordon Campbell on the Dotcom extradition decision

24 Dec 2015 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Dotcom extradition decision Inevitably – and with justification –... more

Kiwi Success

Appointment of GCSB Acting Director

5 Feb 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Christopher Finlayson5 February 2016 GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director... more

Heading to Europe And the Olympics of Architecture

22 Jan 2016 Flying Kiwi*
Warren and Mahoney Heading to Europe And the Olympics of Architecture Architectural graduate Antonia Lapwood has been awarded the... more

Recruitment

Addressing skills shortages in dairy farming

11 Dec 2015 Recruitment
    11 December 2015 Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce and Minister for Social... more

Alignment of NZ and Australian qualifications frameworks

4 Dec 2015 Recruitment
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment 4 December 2015 Tertiary Education,... more