PRE-ORDER NOWfrom Victoria University Press
15 proposals for a better democracy
1. Write it down
Write the rules of government in one place so people can find them.
2. Make it superior law
So governments can’t ignore democratic rules and human rights.
3. Entrench it
So Parliament can’t easily change basic rights and democratic rules.
4. Strengthen the Bill of Rights
Protect new rights and give all rights constitutional protection.
5. Discuss the treaty
Have a national conversation so we can agree on what it means.
6. Make it Kiwi
Have a New Zealander as head of state and kaitiaki/guardian of the constitution.
7. Define the state
Create the state of Aotearoa New Zealand and define the branches of government.
8. Improve Parliament
Have a 4-year term, an independent speaker, and less use of urgency.
9. Provide clarity
Define the powers of government agencies, and the limits on those powers.
10. Protect the judiciary
Ensure that judges are independent and can uphold the constitution.
11. Make treaties democratic
Let Parliament vote on whether to adopt treaties and declare wars.
12. Be more open
Require governments to be more open, transparent, and inclusive.
13. Have regular reviews
Review the constitution every 10 years to ensure it remains relevant.
14. Be prepared
Allow Parliament to temporarily suspend the constitution for national emergencies.
15. Involve the people
Let the people decide what is in the constitution.
5 Apr – Justice Minister cautiously greets proposed constitution. More >>
12 Apr – Maori need constitutional protection, says UN. More >>
5 Apr – Towards Democratic Renewal was formally launched in Wellington today. More >>
5 Apr – Democracy seems to be losing its mojo but a robust constitution can protect it. More >>