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The New Zealand Constitution

Put New Zealanders in charge of the Constitution not the politicians.

Since the move to MMP unforeseen changes have been made to how the country is governed. To get enough votes to form a government or to pass some Acts of Parliament political parties have started to make unexpected adjustments to the way New Zealand is governed. In the process of cobbling together governments political parties have started bending the rules of the game, the constitution, to suit themselves.

New Zealanders have become bystanders in how their country is governed.

Into this situation have come some different views on how we should be governed.

For instance some political groups interpret the Treaty of Waitangi to say that not all power was passed to Parliament.

They consider that the country should be ruled as a ruled as a partnership. Some also say that their status as indigenous gives them different rights from those that are not. They also say that as the people of the land and the first people to inhabit the country they have different rights to those that came later. There is a view that the Treaty of Waitangi should included in the constitution and that the 'principles' of the treaty should be included in the ways laws are made.

Better New Zealand says any changes to the rules that govern the country must be decided by all New Zealanders. It is they who should decide. They have to live with the consequences. Politicians come and go. The rules remain for generations.

We have a solution to the problem.

Better New Zealand will put a written constitution to the voters. The proposed Constitution will be a plain statement of the present constitutional arrangements as they now stand. No changes will be proposed.

If approved by a vote of over 50% of voters (who must be citizens) in a referendum the proposed Constitution shall become an Act of Parliament. The proposed constitution shall affirm the Sovereignty of Parliament. Courts may make a declarity judgement as to what the constitution says but they will not be allowed to change it.

From that date forward any changes to the Constitution Act will be by amendment propositions.

If 10% of the voters at a previous election put forward a proposed change to the constitution in an 'amendment proposition' and it is approved by over 50% of voters in a referendum held at the next general election the Constitution Act will be amended accordingly by Parliament.

This process will allow those who wish to change the rules on how we are governed to put forward their proposed changes for the approval of the people of New Zealand.

The propositions that are approved will have the voters consent, an acceptance and permanence, which the present political deal making can never give them.

For instance

It will allow those who think the Treaty should be part of the constitution and who consider that Maori and parliament should share the governing of the country to have this view made part of the constitution and have that agreed to by the voters.

It will allow those who think that the Treaty should not be part of the Constitution to put that proposition to the voters and have that agreed to by the voters.

It will allow those who think New Zealand Should be a Republic to put that ptoposiyition to the people of New Zealand

Better New Zealand believes that the rules on how the country is run should not be in the hands of politicians with their own agenda.

The Constitution should be owned by the people of New Zealand.

Better New Zealand will place it in their hands. It is unsafe in any others.