January 21, 2013
Constitution panel seeking public advice
A member of the Constitutional Advisory Panel is looking forward to engaging with the public about what New Zealand's future constitutional arrangements may look like.
The panel, which came out of the Māori Party's support agreement with National, is about to start a round of consultation.
Its terms of reference include whether New Zealand should have a written constitution, the size of Parliament and whether its term should be fixed, the future of Māori seats on parliament and local government and the role of the Treaty of Waitangi within New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.
Bernice Mene, a former teacher and netball great, says the panel chaired by Emeritus Professor John Burrows and Sir Tipene O'Regan has the expertise needed to report to the government on the mood of the nation.
“We're not writing the constitution in anyway. We’re getting the public opinion on whether they want one written constitution and also their feelings on different opinions and issues. We are not telling people what to think or say or what’s happening, our job is to engage and get the public view and bring them back”. She says.
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