Southlanders are encouraged to think about their aspirations for New Zealand and share their views on how they want our country to be run in the future.
Next Tuesday, Invercargill residents have the chance to learn more about the Constitution Conversation from Panel member and former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin. The Invercargill City Council is hosting a public forum called “The Conversation So Far” at the Drawing Room, Civic Theatre on 28 May (7.00pm -8.00pm).
The Panel, which is an independent advisory group to the Government, is seeking submissions on New Zealand’s constitution in the first half of 2013. Specific topics for discussion include the pros and cons of having our constitution written down in a single document, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution, and electoral issues such as the length of the Parliamentary term.
Panel member, Peter Chin says that this is an important and exciting opportunity for all New Zealanders.
“These are fundamental matters that affect all our lives so it’s important that people are well informed and take the opportunity to make a submission.”
Panel members, Peter Chin and Hon John Luxton will also be meeting with local community groups and the Invercargill City Councillors earlier in the day.
The Hon John Luxton, who is also the Chair of Dairy NZ, would like to see the farming sector more involved.
“It’s relevant to every individual, and just as important as every vote in a democracy, for people to think about this and express their views,” he said.
“There’s every good reason for rural people to have their say, and to have the rural voice heard. If you keep quiet during the process, then often people think you support the outcome – whatever it is.”
“Rural people are all interested in how we are governed and it’s appropriate they consider what the constitutional issues are.”
The Panel is due to report back to the Government by the end of 2013. Its recommendations will be based on submissions received.
Public submissions are due by 1 July 2013 and can be made online at www.ourconstitution.org.nz by email or post. People can find a wealth of information and meeting resources on the website or by phoning 0508 411 411.