Media Interest

Media Interest

Find a range of stories about the Panel, the topics and the conversation.

18 July 2013

TVNZ Good Morning

Former Silver Fern, Bernice Mene makes moves in securing a brighter future for the nation, we talk NZ's constitution.

[Watch full video here]

11 July 2013

Te Karaka

The Constitution Question

How do you want the future to look for your grand-children? That is at the heart of conversations taking place all over the country about New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements, says Tā Tipene O’Regan, co-chair of a 12-strong panel of academics, law professors, local government officials, media specialists and Māori community representatives charged with driving the conversation.

[Read full article here]

10 July 2013

Manawatu Standard

Students get mixed media talking

A group of Palmerston North students have created their own submission to add to New Zealand's constitution conversation.

[Read full article here]

27 June 2013

Otago Daily Times

We all need to know how our nation is organised

Reviewing our basic laws would be easier if our schools taught civics, says Peter Chin, of the Constitutional Advisory Panel.

Hundreds of people took part in a range of events in Dunedin recently looking at the shape of our nation's basic laws. It was great to see so many people involved from a broad cross-section of our community.

[Read full article here]

17 June 2013

Otago Daily Times

Opinions sought on constitutional issues

Constitutional advisory panel co-chairman Sir Tipene O'Regan is keen to take the ''pulse of middle New Zealand'' over key constitutional issues.

[Read full article here]

14 June 2013

Rural News

Rural input vital for constitutional reforms

OUR RURAL communities and our rural businesses remain the backbone to New Zealand’s success. The pragmatism and clear-sightedness of rural people is essential to the public debate we’re currently having about how the country is run, and what’s important for our future.

[Read full article here]

10 June 2013

Wanganui Chronicle

Treaty-based constitution for NZ urged

New Zealand's Government is an "elected dictatorship" and a written constitution would improve the situation, David James and Jillian Wychel say.

The two have spent 25 years, in their training and education business the Rowan Partnership, leading Treaty of Waitangi workshops and, more recently, workshops on the constitution.

[Read full article here]

3 June 2013 - Fuseworks Media

Poll shows 'NZers won't choose a politician as head of State'

"The latest polling commissioned by the Republican Movement shows that many New Zealanders don't want a former politician to take the role of head of State once the Queen's reign ends" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement."

[Read full article]

1 June 2013

Wanganui Chronicle

Questions raised on constitution

There was muttering, laughter and applause in Wanganui on Thursday as senior citizens applied their minds to the matter of New Zealand's constitution.

Professor John Burrows is the co-chairman of the Constitutional Advisory Panel that has been working on the question for nearly two years. He talked about the constitutional review after the Grey Power annual meeting held in the concert chamber of the War Memorial Centre.

[Read full article]

30 May 2013

Marlborough Express

Kiwis urged to have their say

New Zealand's constitution is for the people, and they should have their say on its review, Constitutional Advisory Panel member Deborah Coddington says.

The panel is holding a meeting in Blenheim tomorrow in the Wisheart Room at the Marlborough Civic Theatre.

[Read full article]

28 May 2013

McGuinness Institute

Back to the Future of New Zealand

Following the success of the EmpowerNZ: Drafting a Constitution for the 21st Century workshop late last year, the Institute is inviting the participants to come together to finish the task. On the 5 – 7 July they have been invited back to Wellington to prepare a submission for the Constitutional Advisory Panel (CAP).

[Click to download article]

26 May 2013

New Zealand Herald

New waka jumping law proposed

National Party members are pushing for a new "waka-jumping" law to force rogue list MPs out of Parliament.

[Read full article]

26 May 2013

SunLive - Tauranga

Tauranga’s constitution conversation

As part of the Government’s review of New Zealand’s constitution, a public meeting seeking submissions on a range of constitutional issues is at the Historic Village hall next Tuesday.

[Read full article]

24 May 2013

Whakatane Beacon, Whakatane, Bay of Plenty

Chance to have your opinion heard

Whakatane residents will have the chance to contribute their ideas about the constitutional rules for running New Zealand.

[Click to download article]

23 May 2013

Waihi Leader, Bay of Plenty

Constitution comes up for discussion

Waihi Community Resource Centre, in partnership with Baywide Community Legal Services, are hosting a "Constitution Conversation" event, at the Resource Centre, 4 Mueller Street on Thursday May 30, from 1-3pm.

[Click to download article]

21 May 2013

Kaipara Lifestyle, Kaipara

Kaiwaka hosts constitution discussion

An opportunity for people to discuss their aspirations for the way New Zealanders may be governed in the future is being provided in Kaiwaka this week.

[Click to download article]

5 May 2013

What Kiwis want

Paul McCartney's Ebony and Ivory for the national anthem. A chicken as New Zealand's national bird. A republic reigned over by the Briscoes lady. Sheesh New Zealand - it's almost as if you're not taking this constitution consultation thing seriously.

[Read full article]

28 April 2013

Talking about a New Zealand constitution

You might have seen the TV ads. Pio Terei and Bernice Mene leap about a studio asking viewers if they've heard about the "Constitution Conversation", to the sound of a catchy jingle channelling 1970s funk.

[Read full article]

19 April 2013

Maxim Institute Auckland

Trio debate Treaty

Inviting three educated and experienced speakers to discuss the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in how Aotearoa New Zealand is governed was a successful draw card at the Maxim Institute’s latest event.

In response to the current Constitution Conversation currently taking place in homes, community meeting rooms, work places, educational institutions and on Facebook, Maxim Institute hosted a free public panel discussion at the University of Auckland on Monday April 15.

More than 150 business people, students, interns and Maxim Institute supporters came to hear the perspectives of Hon Sir Michael Cullen, David Round and Tai Ahu.

Constitutional Advisory Panel member, Sir Michael was first to present a 10-minute explanation about the role of the Panel and New Zealand’s constitutional status.

The Panel was appointed by the Government to listen to, record and report the views of all New Zealanders about a range of constitutional issues including the Treaty.

“The Panel wants to hear if New Zealanders want to change our constitutional arrangements and what they think is the role of the Treaty of Waitangi,” says Sir Michael.

“The Treaty is an inherent part of our discussions and we’re also encouraging people to consider topics such as the term of Parliament and the Bill of Rights Act, and make submissions.”

University of Victoria, assistant lecturer Tai Ahu (Waikato, Te Paatu) proposed that the inclusion of the Treaty in the future of Aotearoa New Zealand could allow for a broader range of views.

He says tikanga Māori could play a more significant role in communities.

Barrister and solicitor, David Round spoke last with great oratory about his view.

Mr Round is the chairman of the Independent Constitutional Review Panel, a counter-group established and appointed by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research.

He says including the Treaty in a constitution would remove all Treaty arguments from politicians and hand them over to the courts, which he does not support.

Guests were encouraged to write questions, which were assigned to panel members and a lively one-hour discussion followed.

It was asked how people on the street would know about the Constitution Conversation, how the Treaty can be inclusive of all New Zealanders and would writing the Treaty into a constitution cause it to stagnate rather than be progressive.

The Maxim Institute guests possibly left with more questions than answers, stimulated by the event to further consider the future of Aotearoa New Zealand.

People are encouraged to look at constitutional information, host their own workshops or meetings to discuss the topics and develop group or individual submissions.

For the next five months the Constitutional Advisory Panel will listen to a range of views about New Zealand’s constitution and encourage people to make submissions.

The website has resources to assist people and an easy to use submission guide.

Resources are available for groups to host their own constitution conversations and include a facilitator’s guide, quizzes and suggested activities to stimulate discussions.

An online bibliography provides a range of expert opinions on New Zealand’s constitution.

While all the resources are accessible and can be downloaded from the website, printed material can be ordered by calling 0508 411 411.

Submissions on the Constitution Conversation close in July 2013 and can be made online at, by post or email.

The Panel will deliver its final report to Ministers by the end of 2013.

[You can listen to the audio of the Maxim Institute debate here.]


For more information contact:

Jackie Russell
Media advisor, Constitutional Advisory Panel – Te Ranga Kaupapa Ture
Phone: 0275 708 971 or 09 537 1868

17 April 2013

Nelson Mail

Let’s repeat history of civic action

I hope Nelsonians will take on the civic concerns their forefathers had in 1850. They demanded constitutional change then and got it. The agitation in Nelson for greater democracy than Crown colony government afforded was strong.

The 1846 constitution was not regarded as satisfactory and had not been fully brought into force.

The Nelson Settlers' Constitutional Association was formed to promote representative government. Nelsonians had a meeting on December 27, 1850, that lasted from noon until after midnight in Albion Square. Three hundred people attended the "great public meeting", as The Examiner called it. Nothing like this meeting had ever been seen in Nelson before.

[Click here to read the full article]

9 April 2013

3 News

Legal expert warns of constitutional 'apartheid'

A review of New Zealand's constitution threatens to turn the country into an "apartheid state", a Canterbury University law lecturer has warned.

[Read full article and watch interview here]

3 April 2013

Research New Zealand

Review of the New Zealand Constitution

When the National Government entered into a confidence and supply agreement with the Māori Party, one of the key areas was a review of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.

The review has commenced with the appointment of a review panel, and the publication of a document New Zealand’s constitution – The conversation so far. While New Zealand has a constitution, it is not a single document, but rather a collection of laws, court decisions, conventions and inherited British laws and traditions, such as the Magna Carta. It is widely expected that a future New Zealand Constitution would be a single document with that name.

Research New Zealand decided to establish whether there is support for a constitutional review, and for a number of proposals that would need to be canvassed in the course of the review. A number of questions were therefore included in our monthly omnibus survey in March.

[Download Research New Zealand review and results here]

3 April 2013

Te Karere

Debate over the Treaty's role in NZ constitution

The Government has initiated a review of NZ's constitution, and wants to find out what the public thinks. Today they started their first of many meetings that they are hosting around the country to gather thoughts on what people think the constitution should look like. One of the main discussions is including the Treaty of Waitangi. Another main issue is looking at whether or not to scrap the Māori seats in Parliament.

2 April 2013

Te Karere

NZ Constitution Review: Will you have your say?

The Constitutional Review Panel is kicking off another round of hui with Māori tomorrow. We spoke to Hinurewa Poutu, the youngest member on the panel, about what they hope to achieve and why Māori should sit up and take notice.

2 April 2013



This Thursday evening (4 April 2013), residents in Wairarapa have the chance to hear first-hand what the Constitution Conversation is all about and to consider how this country will be run in the future.

The Constitutional Advisory Panel which is an independent advisory group appointed by the Government is currently seeking submissions from New Zealanders on a range of constitutional issues.

The Panel’s terms of reference include seeking people’s views on the role of the Bill of Rights 1990 and the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution; electoral matters such as the term of Parliament; Māori representation in national and local government and whether or not New Zealand should have a constitution written down in a single document.

The Wairarapa Community Law Centre has helped organise the forum, starting at 7pm in the Frank Cody Lounge of the Masterton Town Hall. Centre Manager Murray Henderson encourages all locals to find out more about the Constitution Conversation and to be part of it.

“It’s an issue that is important to all New Zealanders and they should have a say. At the moment, this is the only meeting being held in the Wairarapa that we are aware of, so we are hoping for a good turn out,” he said.

Local Constitutional Advisory Panel member Deborah Coddington, who will speak at the forum, says there’s a wealth of background information available to help people gain more understanding of the issues and some of these resources will be available at the meeting.

“We encourage people in Wairarapa to use this information to have their conversations and to prepare submissions to the Panel before July 1,” she said.

Supporting resources are also available online at or can be ordered by calling 0508 411 411. You can also join the conversation online at

The Constitutional Advisory Panel is due to report back to the Government on New Zealanders’ views about the constitution, with recommendations based on submissions received from the general public, by the end of 2013.


Deborah Coddington, who is based in the Wairarapa, has a long-established journalism career, including feature writing for North & South and Metro magazines. Education and child abuse are issues that capture her attention as well as finance and business. As a journalist, Ms Coddington is a generalist with a broad knowledge of New Zealanders. She gained political experience serving as a list MP, learning the mechanics of government and representing individuals’ needs and concerns. Understanding how to connect with a reader in plain language enables Ms Coddington to bring to the Panel an ability to engage everyday New Zealanders in the constitutional review.

For more information contact:

Lani Kereopa, Media Advisor, Constitutional Advisory Panel - 021 954 975
Murray Henderson, Wairarapa Community Law Centre - (06) 377 4134
Deborah Coddington, Constitutional Advisory Panel - 027 253 5055

22 March 2013

Wanganui Chronicle

A review of New Zealand's constitution must consider every culture's point of view that was a key sentiment aired in a public forum in Wanganui last night.

[Click here to read]

20 March 2013


Auckland’s Pacific community are being invited to take part in a conversation about a New Zealand Constitution with the second of three meetings held on March 18 at Manukau. Former Silver Ferns captain Bernice Mene, who is of Samoan and European descent, was appointed to the New Zealand Constitutional Advisory panel set up in 2011.

[Click here to read]

15 March 2013



The Whanganui Regional Museum is hosting a free public forum ‘Who Are We In Aotearoa’ next week designed to encourage local groups and communities to have their say on the country’s constitution.

An independent panel has been set up to listen and gather New Zealanders’ views on the constitution.

Constitutional Advisory Panel members Peter Tennent, Dr. Leonie Pihama and Hinurewa Poutu will attend the public forum to be held at 5.30pm in the Atrium, Whanganui Museum on Thursday 21 March 2013.

Dr. Eric Dorfman, Director of the Whanganui Regional Museum, said Whanganui people should air their views regarding the aspirations they have for Aotearoa New Zealand and how they want our country to be run in the future. “Hence the question we have posed for the forum ’Who Are We In Aotearoa New Zealand?”

“A constitution reflects who we are as a country – our unique history and values. It involves the fundamental rules that determine how we live together as a country.”

“This is a challenging conversation, but by listening, thinking and discussing the things that are important to us as a country, we can all make a difference.”

The Panel is keen to hear people’s views on constitutional matters including: the Bill of Rights Act 1990; the role of the Treaty of Waitangi; electoral issues such as the size of Parliament; Maori representation in national and local government and whether or not a constitution should be written down in a single document.

Supporting resources have been created to cater to the needs of all people regardless of their current level of knowledge or understanding about New Zealand’s constitution.

They are available at: to encourage all New Zealanders to be part of the Constitution Conversation and to help make their submissions, to the Panel by 1 July 2013.

Hinurewa Poutū (Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) is a doctoral student at Massey University and a teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki. She is a graduate of kura kaupapa Māori, with an academic and work record in studying, researching and teaching te reo Māori. She taught media studies in Maori while working as a presenter and Māori language consultant on various television projects. The content focused on children, youth, sport and cultural diversity.

Peter Tennent is a trained accountant and spent much of his life as an hotelier. Peter served on the New Plymouth District Council from 1995 to 2010, the last nine of those years as Mayor. During his tenure as Mayor, the community truly came of age, economically and socially. It was no surprise to Peter, and most associated with the community that it was judged the best and most liveable community of its size on the planet.

Dr. Leonie Pihama (Te Ātiawa, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, Ngāti Māhanga) is a mother of six and a grandmother of one. Her work focuses on the community as well as researching Māori and indigenous education with an emphasis on Kaupapa Māori. Dr Pihama is a director of Māori and Indigenous Analysis Ltd and a research fellow at the University of Waikato. She has lectured in policy analysis, Māori women’s issues and was director of the International Research Institute for Māori and Indigenous Education, University of Auckland. She served on Māori Television’s establishment board and worked in film and media production.

For more information contact:

Louise Follett, Whanganui Regional Museum (06) 349 1110 or Damiane Rikihana, Media Adviser, Constitutional Advisory Panel 02 20769425

14 March 2013


Constitutional reform or expedient pick ‘n’ mix?

As the Constitutional Advisory Panel launches its public education and consultation campaign, questions about its focus, agenda and independence are as loud as they will be persistent.

[Click here to read]

27 February 2013

Otago Daily Times

Students join constitution discussion

About 20 University of Otago students yesterday took part in a workshop linked to a ''Constitution Conversation'', being run by the country's Constitutional Advisory Panel.

[Click here to read]

26 February 2013


Students hail ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’ constitution review

Students at the University of Otago are among the first in the country to be brought into the public submission process being run by the Constitutional Advisory Panel, known as the Constitution Conversation, starting today (26 February) and continuing until the 1st of July.

[Click here to read]

26 February 2013

New Zealand Herald

Constitution review panel denies 'hidden agenda'

The panel set up to review New Zealand's constitution has hit back at allegations of a hidden agenda as it embarks on a public consultation and education campaign.

[Click here to read]

26 February 2013

New Zealand Herald

Panel puts spotlight on constitutional issues

The Government-appointed advisory panel on constitutional issues will today launch a public consultation process at Te Papa in Wellington.

[Click here to read]

26 February 2013

Newstalk ZB

John Burrows: The Constitutional Advisory Panel

John Burrows, chairman of the Constitutional Advisory Panel, talks to Larry Williams about the panel's role given the criticism it has received lately.

[Click here to Listen]

7 February 2013

Key wants four-year term for Parliament

Prime Minister John Key wants to extend the parliamentary term to a fixed four-year period as part of the Government's constitutional review.

[Click here to read]

6 February 2013

3 News

NZ constitution up for review

The views of ordinary New Zealanders are being sought in a review of the country's constitution.

[Click here to read]

6 February 2013

3 News

Treaty of Waitangi ‘a brick wall’ – Mai Chen

Constitutional law expert Mai Chen says it will be difficult to reconcile the interests of Maori with the rest of New Zealand in a written constitution.

[Click here to read]

5 February 2013


Treaty important, but not only constitutional conversation

The Treaty is important, but it is not the only constitutional conversation New Zealanders must have. Recent McGuinness Institute report outlines way forward.

[Click here to read]