Due to growing interest in the Constitution Conversation, the Constitutional Advisory Panel has decided to extend the deadline for submissions. People now have until 31st July 2013 to put forward their views on our current constitutional arrangements and how they want our country to be run in the future. The original submission deadline was 1st July.
Co-chair Sir Tipene O’Regan says the extension gives people extra time to consider the issues and additional time for organisations to consult with their membership.
He says it has become increasingly clear to the Panel that more time is needed to develop public awareness about our constitutional arrangements and the impact it has on their daily lives.
“What we’re starting to see around the country is a better understanding of the issues and a broader range of ideas. We’ve received more than 1500 submissions so far. We are keen to give more people and organisations the opportunity to submit their views.”
Co-chair Emeritus Professor John Burrows says the deadline extension means the Panel will not have time to undertake a second round of submissions as originally intended however he says “Each one of the 12 Panel members has heard from a diverse range of groups and individuals. I’m confident that as a group we will accurately reflect the range of views we’ve heard to the Government.”
During the first half of 2013 the Constitutional Advisory Panel has heard and continues to hear from individuals and communities around the country. Panel members have attended more than 100 events.
Key themes emerging from the submissions and discussions so far include our common values, our changing population, the checks and balances on the institutions that hold public power in New Zealand, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitutional arrangements, the balance between majority and minority rights, the protection of Māori culture and identity, equality, processes of constitutional change and improving the level of knowledge about our constitution.
The public can find out more information about the constitutional issues and terms of reference by going online to www.ourconstitution.org.nz or by ordering printed resources and meeting toolkits via the free phone number 0508-411-411. You can also join the Conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheConstitutionConversation.
The Panel is due to report back to the Government with recommendations by December 2013.
[NZ Sign Language link on the deadline extension]
About the Constitutional Advisory Panel – Te Ranga Kaupapa Ture
The Panel is an independent advisory group appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Māori Affairs. Its role is to seek, listen and record the views of New Zealanders on our constitutional arrangements. It will make recommendations to the Government based on the submissions received.
The Panel members are Emeritus Professor John Burrows (Co-chair), Sir Tipene O’Regan (Co-chair), Peter Chin, Deborah Coddington, Hon Sir Michael Cullen, Hon John Luxton, Bernice Mene, Dr Leonie Pihama, Hinurewa Poutu, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Peter Tennent and Emeritus Professor Dr Ranginui Walker. For profiles on the Panel go to www.cap.govt.nz