Speak up on Constitution

By Kelli Hooks

Wairarapa Community Law Centre manager Murray Henderson is urging residents to join the discussion about New Zealand's constitution.

Residents in Wairarapa will have the chance to hear first-hand what the Constitution Conversation is all about at a meeting held in the Frank Cody Lounge of the Masterton Town Hall this Thursday at 7pm.

Constitutional Panel member Deborah Coddington will be attending the meeting to answer any questions.

The Constitutional Advisory Panel is an independent advisory group appointed by the Government.

They are currently seeking submissions from New Zealanders on a range of constitutional issues such as, the role of the Bill of Rights 1990 and the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution, electoral matters such as the term of Parliament, Maori representation and whether or not New Zealand should have a constitution written down in a single document.

Mr Henderson encourages all locals to find out more about the Constitution Conversation and to be part of it. "It's an issue that is important to all New Zealanders and they should have a say. At the moment, this is the only meeting being held in the Wairarapa that we are aware of, so we are hoping for a good turn out.

"If there's a decision to have a written down constitution as a single document the outcome will affect everybody so it's pretty important everyone has a say before decisions are made. Without people having a say their voice is not going to be heard," Mr Henderson said.

Public submissions to the panel need to be in by July 1. The Constitutional Advisory Panel is due to report back to the Government on New Zealanders' views about the constitution, with recommendations based on submissions by the end of the year.



Supporting resources are available online at www.ourconstitution.org.nz or can be ordered by calling 0508 411 411. You can join the conversation online at www.facebook.com/TheConstitutionConversation.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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