A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand launched

The new book A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand proposes a modern, codified constitution so all fundamental rules of government can be found in one place.

A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, by Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler, was officially launched on 21 September and is now on sale.

The book proposes a modern, codified constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing all of the rules under which New Zealand is governed into one document.

It aims to provide certainty and clarity about the use of public power, which is currently contained in numerous documents and conventions, and is difficult for most New Zealanders to find or understand.

The proposed constitution preserves the core branches of government and affirms the central importance of free, fair and democratic elections. It guarantees fundamental civil and political rights long recognised in New Zealand’s constitutional tradition.

It also proposes overhauling some aspects of the system the authors believe need changing.

For example, the book proposes the creation of a new head of state, elected in a free vote of the House of Representatives, with duties similar to those of the current Governor- General, and replacing the concept of “the Crown” with the legal establishment of the State.

It also proposes a fixed four-year Parliamentary term, a politically neutral method for electing the Speaker of Parliament, enhanced protection for human rights and rights under the Treaty of Waitangi, and various other reforms to enhance openness, transparency, and integrity.

Sir Geoffrey and Dr Butler are seeking New Zealanders’ views about these issues, and will publish a revised edition after considering public comments.

The book, published by Victoria University Press, is available here or through all good booksellers.



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