The Constitutional Advisory Panel (CAP) is an independent advisory group established to oversee the consideration of constitutional issues currently being undertaken by the government. The Panel are required to listen, facilitate and record New Zealanders’ views on constitutional issues and report back to government by the end of 2013. The CAP’s terms of reference outline the specific constitutional issues for consideration.
As part of their engagement strategy the CAP have launched a website - The Constitution Conversation - with resource material on New Zealand’s constitution, information on how to make a submission and a set of questions aimed to encourage feedback in line with the terms of reference. These questions are:
- What are your aspirations for Aotearoa New Zealand?
- How do you want our country to be run in the future?
New Zealand’s Constitution
- Do you think our constitution should be written in a single document? Why?
- Do you think our constitution should have a higher legal status than other laws (supreme law)? Why?
- Who should have the power to decide whether legislation is consistent with the constitution: Parliament or the Courts? Why?
Bill of Rights Act
- Does the Bill of Rights Act protect your rights enough? Why?
- What other things could be done to protect rights?
- Do you think the Act should have a higher legal status than other laws (supreme law)? Why?
- Who should have the power to decide whether legislation is consistent with the Act: Parliament or the Courts? Why?
- What additional rights, if any, could be added to the Act?
Treaty of Waitangi
- Thinking of the future, what role do you think the Treaty of Waitangi could have in our constitution?
- Do you think the Treaty should be made a formal part of the constitution? Why?
- How should Māori views be represented in Parliament?
- How could Māori electoral participation be improved?
- How should Māori views and perspectives be represented in local government?
- How many members of Parliament should we have? Why?
- How long should the term of Parliament be? Why?
- How should the election date be decided? Why?
- What factors should be taken into account when the size and number of electorates are decided? Why?
- What should happen if a member of Parliament parts ways with the part from which he or she was elected? Why?