Jan 15, 2008

Constitutional Debate

on 10 January The Hive called for renewed debate on the New Zealand constitution. We were delighted today to read similar views being expressed in today's NZ Herald by former PM Mike Moore. John Armstrong, fresh back from his holidays, doesn't agree. He thinks the time is wrong, and that neither of the major political parties have an appetite for this type of debate in election year. He also argues - "if it ain't broke don't try and fix it.." But like Moore we see things becoming increasingly broke, and the current Government should take responsibility for doing the breaking. Moore notes, New Zealanders have witnessed the abolition of the right of appeal to the Privy Council, the failure of the political executive to provide another referendum on the future of MMP, and the breaching of an old multi-party consensus on issues such as electoral finance laws. Age-old values are, says Mr Moore, being eroded in a way that is "visionless, dangerously ad hoc, short term and confusing".

John Armstrong correctly interprets Moore as targeting the PM in his article. She should feel uncomfortable for what she has presided over.

We repeat our view from 10 January: The Hive welcomes discussion on our constitution. We think we need a written constitution and US style protection of this constitution to avoid the abuse to our constitutional conventions that have occurred under the current Government. Our name, and our links to the UK and UK monarch need to be considered carefully in the context of a written constitution. We would be completely happy to see New Zealand a Republic, and likewise we would be open to name change. Aotearoa-New Zealand would be just fine.

Out of concern for causing further offense to David Cunliffe we won't repeat its ending....