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 www.ConstitutionalReview.org 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.
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