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Press release — immediate release 25 March 2013

Independent constitution group invites submissions

Submissions on New Zealand’s constitutional future may be made to the Independent Constitutional Review Panel, chair David Round said today.

The independent panel has opened submissions because the government’s official Constitutional Advisory Panel (CAP), which begins receiving public submissions this week, has consulted mainly with Maori, with the general public largely unaware of its existence.

“The CAP’s consultation is primarily directed to Maori with almost half of the $4.1-million in taxpayers’ funding earmarked specifically for that purpose,” Mr Round said.

“We are therefore doing what CAP isn’t – appealing to all New Zealanders to make submissions. At the end of the submission process we will be presenting a truly independent report on what New Zealanders feel about a written constitution that has the Treaty of Waitangi ‘principles’ as its basis,” Mr Round said.

Mr Round said the official panel’s agenda was undemocratic.

“The panel was established at the behest of the Maori party with the announced intention of bringing the treaty into our constitution. Its terms of reference clearly aim to subject democratically-established laws to undefined ‘treaty principles’, and also to make parliaments and other institutions less democratic by introducing racial quotas and representation”, he said.

“Because of the funding bias, Maori radicals and malcontents are following it eagerly, and inevitably submissions to the official panel will quite misrepresent public attitudes,” he said.

“There is no point in wasting time and energy before such a biased tribunal. That is why we are urging our fellow-citizens to come to our independent panel, which actually wants to understand and listen to them”, Mr Round said.

“Nations get the governments, and the constitutions, they deserve,” Mr Round said. “Liberty can be lost, just as it can be won. Its price continues to be eternal vigilance,” he said.

Submissions can be made on the website by following the “Make an on-line submission” link.

The independent panel’s other members are professors Martin Devlin, Elizabeth Rata and James Allan, Dr Muriel Newman and Mike Butler.

For further information contact:

David Round


Press release — immediate release 3 February 2013:

Treaty distortions prompt equality declaration

Public concern about race-based policies is being formally expressed this year in a Declaration of Equality being
launched by the Independent Constitutional Review Panel.

David Round, the panel’s chair, said “the Treaty of Waitangi actually did no more than to declare Maori to be equal
with Britons under the Queen’s law.”

“But it is now so misrepresented that to put it or its principles into a new constitution would make all non-Maori
New Zealanders second-class citizens in their own land’, Mr Round said. “It would guarantee the creation of an
apartheid state”.

Mr Round said that the treaty agenda had so captured the bureaucracy that no-one had stopped to ask whether
it was leading New Zealand in a healthy or sustainable direction.

The Declaration of Equality is a response to the Maori Party initiated $4-million review of New Zealand’s
constitutional arrangements, and is a public commitment to one rule for all. It is an opportunity to reject the
racial division of Treaty of Waitangi politics.

The declaration states that New Zealanders founded their society in equality and fairness, and opposes laws establishing or promoting racial distinction or division.

In particular it rejects any references to the treaty or its “principles” in any new constitution and existing legislation, and calls for the abolition of race-based representation in Parliament and local government.

It also asks that the Waitangi Tribunal be abolished.

Mr Round said that since the government’s official but stacked advisory panel clearly did not have an open mind, someone else had to represent the public interest.

The ICRP’s other members are Professors Elizabeth Rata, James Allan and Martin Devlin, Mike Butler, and Dr Muriel Newman.

Further information about the Panel and the Declaration of Equality is available on the website. The Declaration of Equality form is HERE.

For more information contact:
David Round