Party hopping in spotlight

By APN News & Media


The issue of whether MP Brendan Horan should resign from Parliament now his party has expelled him could be part of the legitimate public "conversation" on a wide range of issues relevant to New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

The Government-appointed advisory panel on constitutional issues will today launch a public consultation process at Te Papa in Wellington.

One of the issues under discussion is electoral integrity legislation - also known as party-hopping law - and whether MPs that leave parties from which they were elected can continue to remain in Parliament.

Mr Horan was expelled from New Zealand First and now sits as an independent MP, depriving New Zealand First of its full representation.

Among the other issues the panel wants discussed is whether Maori representation in local government should be guaranteed, whether the Treaty of Waitangi should be entrenched in law, if the Bill of Rights Act should be made higher law (enabling the courts to invalidate laws that are inconsistent with it), the size of Parliament and the length of the parliamentary terms, and whether New Zealand Zealand should have a written constitution.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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