This week's poll asks:
Does New Zealand need a new constitution?
*Certainly not one that has the current panel in control. Maurice
*Why waste time on a new constitution whenthe priority of this Government is supposed to be reducing the debt? Mary
*Everyone talks of rights but I have yet to see a definitive list of the actual rights of NZ citizens. Is such a list available and where can it be found? Bernie
*I am horrified at the implications. I doubt that I would trust anyone on that panel. Baxter
*Definitely not if it is based on a poorly worded, poorly understood piece of paper called "The Treaty of Waitangi". The Treaty is almost exclusively interpreted to favour Maori and one can only imagine the ludicrous claims and so-called Maori rights which would be forced upon all New Zealanders under such a Constitution. Doug
*But referendum should be made binding on the government to protect the wishes of the majority of New Zealanders rather than be at the mercy of the few but ever present and loud minotities. John
*As in the UK, we are well served by a set of documents that have evolved over the past 2 centuries and I see no need to abrogate or supplant any of these with a new and binding document. Desmond
*Does New Zealand need a new Constitution?
Should not the question be re-phrased “Does New Zealand need its FIRST Constitution?”
The answer is of course a resounding “Yes”. But how first all, do we frame this Constitution?. Is it set in Stone? by following the American example? Or do we make it flexible for modern conditions, and if so, how flexible do we write it without destroying the original concept?
For a Constitution is as much as to protect the individual from the power of the State as it is to determine how a workable and practical that Constitution can operate.
To quote Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
“A Constitution is made for people of fundamentally differing views.”
This being the case then, there are to be no British New Zealanders, no Samoan New Zealanders, no Dutch New Zealanders, no Tongan New Zealanders, and no Maori New Zealanders, just simply New Zealanders. Really so simple with no ethnic, economic or any individual and or/other privileges to clutter up the system.
Having got a Constitution comes the really hard part....How do we protect our Constitution without the benefit of a senate/upper house which remains the last line of defence against those who would, for our benefit, alter and make “easier laws”.!
There is the rather hard act to follow, that of marrying our “New” Constitution with our existing Bill of Rights. And a further complication in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People which Prime Minister Key signed on our behalf without the bother of consulting the people of New Zealand. (The one exception which was not a surprise, being Maori).
Finally who is going to frame this Constitution?, the legal profession has to be involved, but in these sophisticated days unlike the 1770’s, a few ardent individuals with few pretentions to greatness or high office are unlikely to be included.
One might end with a couplet from the Poet Alexander Pope:-
“For forms of Government let fools contest. Whate’er is best administered is best”.
Should give heart to our bureaucracy. Brian
*Certainly not if it panders to particular social (and unsocial) groups. Peter
*It's time the "maorification" of NZ stopped. It's time someone stepped in and said "enough is enough". Barbara
*Politicians keep your hands of OUR constitution!!! Nick
*I am sick of this Govt always conceding to demands from the Maori party who are just for what Maori can squeeze out of the rest of the country and have little or no concern about the future development of NZ. It is no wonder more people are leaving NZ than new arrivals coming here to live. Arthur
*This is yet another continuation of racist law changes which dicriminate against any New zealand Citizen that is not of Maori Descent - It is about time that our "elected leaders" listened to the people that pay their wages!! Mark
*If all we have at the moment is the Treaty of Waitangi, then we perhaps could do with a new constitution which is crystal clear, and not so open to (mis)interpretation. Sheila
*We need to be one people.No race should have special privileges. Simple as that! Valerie
*2 make us one people not a brown elite. Christopher
*Not at this time. Distrust of politicians of all persuasions has never been higher than it has been in the last 15 - 20 years. We cannot trust them to draw a straight line let alone tie us up with a constitution;specially a constitution with that has been engineered by Maori and/or by their sympathisers. Frank