Hon Bill English
Deputy Prime Minister
Hon Pita Sharples
Minister of Maori Affairs
Constitutional Review Panel report released
The Government has received the Constitutional Advisory Panel’s final report which recommends that the conversation about New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements should continue, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples say.
The 12-member independent panel spent more than six months having a conversation with New Zealanders about our constitutional arrangements. These included the role of the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori representation in Parliament and local government, the Bill of Rights Act and other matters.
“Alongside meetings and hui, the panel received 5259 written submissions indicating interest in the nation’s constitutional framework, although there is no sense of an urgent or widespread desire for change,” Mr English says. “The Government will now consider the CAP’s report and recommendations, including how the conversation might continue.”
Dr Sharples said he was pleased the panel considered a range of fundamental elements of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
“The Treaty is fundamental to our sense of nationhood, and to who we are as New Zealanders. The question is how we translate that in to increased participation and representation of Maori in our democracy. Those matters will be considered as part of the Government’s response to this report.”
Mr English and Dr Sharples thanked the panel members for their work.
“As the panel itself says, there has been a range of views expressed reflecting the diversity of New Zealand and we appreciate the care that has been taken to ensure New Zealanders’ voices have been heard.”
Copies of the report can be found at www.ourconstitution.org.nz