A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand proposes to preserve New Zealand’s system of government, while enhancing citizens’ democratic rights to participate in political decision-making and strengthening checks and balances on state power.


A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand preserves New Zealand’s existing system of Cabinet government, with minor changes. It proposes to limit the size of Cabinet to 20, and to define the Prime Minister’s roles and responsibilities. The proposed constitution also strengthens transparency and open government, enhances checks and balances on state power, shifts some important decisions from the government to Parliament, and requires greater public input into decision-making.


There needs to be an evening up in the distribution of powers between the three branches of government. Parliament should be more powerful, the judiciary a little more powerful, and the executive government a little less powerful.

Geoffrey Palmer