Acknowledging a healthy conversation

The Constitutional Advisory Panel thanks all of those who took part in the Constitution Conversation over the past six months.

Co-chair Emeritus Professor John Burrows says, “The response we’ve received to a wide-ranging conversation on our constitution shows New Zealanders care a lot about the future of our country.”

The Panel wants to particularly acknowledge those groups and individuals who hosted more than 100 Constitution Conversations between February and July this year.

“Hosts gave others the opportunity to consider these fundamental issues in their homes, community halls, businesses and marae. We are extremely appreciative of their generous support,” he says.

The topics for consideration included whether or not Aotearoa New Zealand should have a constitution written down in a single document, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Bill of Rights Act in our constitution, Māori representation in local and national government, and a range of electoral matters.

The deadline for written submissions closed on 31 July and the Panel is currently considering these alongside the views expressed at meetings and via online discussions.

The Panel has received 5270 written submissions via the website, by email or by post. Of these, at least 116 are from groups representing the views of their members including two surveys completed by 1092 young people. Some group submissions reflect a consensus among members while others reflect a range of views.

Professor Burrows says the Panel will take in to account all the different ways in which people have contributed to the conversation.

“The analysis of the Constitution Conversation and the submissions is a thoughtful exercise and one step in a much longer conversation about constitutional arrangements.”

The Panel will provide a written report to the Government by the end of year, including any areas of broad consensus where further work is recommended.

While submissions have closed, people who are interested in the constitutional topics can still access resources online at www.ourconstitution.org.nz or order printed resources by calling the free-phone number 0508-411-411.

ENDS.

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