Why a constitution alone is not enough

New Zealand’s political culture needs to change, starting with civics education that shows young New Zealanders the difference they can make, writes Peter McKenzie.

NZ’s habit of big, bad law

New Zealand passes too much law, too quickly, and the Government has too much control of Parliament, argue Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler.

Why judicial oversight is nothing to fear

Granting judges a right to invalidate legislation will strengthen the rule of law while leaving lawmaking power in Parliament’s hands, argue Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler.

Should the use of urgency be restricted?

Parliament can take urgency whenever it wants, allowing it to rush new laws into force with limited consideration and public scrutiny. Sir Geoffrey Palmer explains the case for change.

Why we favour a four-year term

A four-year term, along with other constitutional reforms, would help Parliament to function better and improve the quality of lawmaking, argue Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler.

Four-year term better in theory than practice

There’s no evidence that a four-year Parliamentary term would lead to better legislation, argues Wellington lawyer Graeme Edgeler. And nor is there evidence that the current three-year term prevents Parliament from completing major law reform projects.

A four-year term: would it make a difference?

A four-year Parliamentary term won’t on its own improve the quality of New Zealand legislation, argues Professor Margaret Wilson. What’s needed are broader reforms to protect citizens’ rights and change Parliament’s adversarial culture. 

What’s fair for families who care?

In 2013 Parliament passed law under urgency allowing it to discriminate against people who care for disabled family members. Angela Hart gives a parent’s perspective.

When will Parliament strengthen the Bill of Rights Act?

In 2013, many New Zealanders asked an independent constitutional review panel for stronger protection of their human rights, and the panel recommended change. Three years later, the United Nations made similar recommendation. When will New Zealand act?

Why we don’t support an upper house

History shows that an Upper House is unlikely to provide an effective check on government power, write Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler.