The Constitutional Advisory Panel will launch a resource-rich website tomorrow at www.ourconstitution.org.nz to encourage all New Zealanders to be part of the Constitution Conversation.
The Panel is seeking submissions from the public about New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements in the first half of 2013.
Panel co-chairs Sir Tipene O’Regan and Emeritus Professor John Burrows say the 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.
“We realise that many New Zealanders are unaware that New Zealand has a constitution or how integral it is to their daily lives,” says Sir Tipene O’Regan.
“We hope these resources encourage people to feel confident enough to make a submission on these very important issues.”
The resources and the submission guide ask questions on topics like electoral matters, the role of the Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution.
The Panel is also asking New Zealanders to consider what their aspirations are for Aotearoa New Zealand and how they want our country to be run in the future.
Emeritus Professor John Burrows says “A constitution reflects who we are as a country – our unique history and values so the responses to these aspirational questions will influence the final report.”
The resources include a submission guide with a quick submission form, postcards, factsheets, booklets and short videos including an introductory video called “Getting the Constitution Conversation Started”. Resources are also available for community 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 resources can also be ordered by calling 0508 411 411.
The Panel will be meeting with groups around New Zealand over the next six months to listen to a range of views about New Zealand’s constitution and to encourage people to make submissions. You can find out more about the Panel at www.cap.govt.nz
Submissions on the Constitution Conversation close in July 2013 and can be made online at www.ourconstitution.org.nz, by post or email. The Panel will deliver its final report to Ministers by the end of 2013.
The public launch will be held Tuesday 26 February 2013 at Te Marae, Level 4, Te Papa.
11.30am Preview of the Constitution Conversation resources and a chance to meet the Panel
12.00pm Mihi Whakatau – Welcome by Te Papa
12.15pm Presentation by the Panel – Professor Burrows & Dr Linda Smith
12.45pm An opportunity to share your aspirations for New Zealand with the Panel.
Panel members will be available for media interviews at 12.45pm following the presentation. Please contact Damiane Rikihana to organise an interview.