Category: Constitutional Reform

Dr Muriel Newman

Aotearoa New Zealand

Waitangi Day is an appropriate occasion to reflect on the Treaty of Waitangi. “The treaty cannot be any kind of founding document. The court of appeal once, absurdly, described it as a partnership between races, but it obviously is not."


Bob Edlin

Constitutional Change by Stealth

Just a few days before Waitangi Day the government announced it has earmarked several million more dollars for Maori projects. During Waitangi Day commemorations it may express its willingness to give iwi leaders a greater say in governance, too - but without providing critical details.


Professor Roger Bowden

Referenda and the sway of public opinion

That referendums can lead to disintegration of rational thought and political process has become abundantly evident from the chaos that has followed the UK Brexit referendum of June 2016.


Dr Muriel Newman

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

On behalf of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year! Thank you so much for your encouragement and help over the last 12 months - the NZCPR simply couldn’t achieve what we do without your wonderful support.


Dr Muriel Newman

Submission Opposing the Entrenchment of the Maori Seats

This submission on behalf of the public policy think tank, the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, opposes the Electoral (Entrenchment of Maori Seats) Amendment Bill on five grounds.


Dr Muriel Newman

Return the Coast to Public Ownership

In spite of assurances given by the National Government that under their new law, there would only be claims for remote areas of the coast, that would not impact on most Kiwis, it now appears increasingly likely that our entire coastline could end up under tribal control.


Dr Muriel Newman

The Dangers of Judicial Activism

Ill-advised comments by senior Judges can have a profound and long-lasting impact. We saw this in the 1987 Lands Case between the New Zealand Maori Council - represented by Sian Elias - and the Attorney-General, when the President of the Court of Appeal, Sir Robin Cooke, used the word ‘partnership’.


Anthony Willy

Interventionist judges

"I swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Her heirs and successors, according to law, in the office of Judge and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of New Zealand, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. So help me God." This is the Oath of Office taken by all Judges.


Dr Muriel Newman

Time To Have A Say On Entrenching The Maori Seats

Last month Parliament debated a Private Members’ bill to entrench the Maori seats. The bill would make it more difficult to abolish Parliament’s Maori seats by ensuring that a vote of 75 percent of MPs would be needed to get rid of them.


Anthony Willy

Treatise on Freedom and the 'Isms'

Personal freedom, the right to live one’s life free from the interference of others is the natural bedrock of all human beings. Over the millennia it has been something more honoured in the breach than the observance, but as mankind emerged from societies whose economies were reliant on slavery and serfdom the assertion of personal freedom became unstoppable.