AR Andrew Reitemeyer Public Seen by 463

There are only two countries in the world that do not have either a second chamber and no written constitution. New Zealand and Israel. That means only the judiciary is a safety guard against unjust legislation. Is that sufficient or do we need a written constitution like most countries, a second chamber like the UK (also with no written constitution) or something else?


Adam Bullen Sun 25 May 2014 9:25PM

I think it is important that there is a set of basic rights for every citizen, I also think that these should be written down and protected by law.

I have often wondered if the average kiwi assumes that we have a similar constitution to the US. As in passing I have heard conversations with references like "pleading the 5th" (refusing to speak due to self incrimination) etc...maybe this is a holdover from US movies and TV?


Andrew McPherson Tue 27 May 2014 4:57AM

We don't have an equivalent to pleading the fifth.
In fact we have the opposite as law.


Hubat McJuhes Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:09PM

A constitution would be very important thing to have. And i will support a proposal that is grand enough for this grand task.

I am a bit worried, though, if we - in our current state - would be the right advocate for such a thing. We cannot even get our own party constitution right.


Andrew Reitemeyer Thu 5 Jun 2014 7:51PM

We can advocate for the process to be started and I would very much recommend the Crowd sourced method the Icelanders used to draft a new constitution.
We should also look at that to review our own constitution.


Danyl Strype Tue 4 Aug 2015 4:43PM

A referendum on a constitution would be far more useful than one for the bleeding flag. I agree that we need to get version 1.0 of our own new constitution in place before we start drafting one for the country ;) However, constitutional reform would be a relevant policy area for us to work on, in keeping with our advocacy for human rights and deep democracy, even if our policy is simply what Andrew R suggests above.


Andrew McPherson Tue 11 Aug 2015 9:27AM

I think that a crowdsourced constitution would be best, then a referendum process can formalise the decision.


Andrew Reitemeyer Fri 2 Dec 2016 6:40PM

The Pirate Party of Iceland has been given a mandate to form a government. This means the 'crowd-sourced' Icelandic constitution has a chance of being ratified in parliament.



Danyl Strype Wed 7 Dec 2016 2:13AM

It appears I'm still a member of a number of Pirates subgroups, so I thought I'd share this important news. For those who haven't already seen it, Geoffrey Palmer gave a talk at OS//OS about the community-driven constitutional consultation project he and another constitutional lawyer have launched. I'm excited to hear that they are running online consultation ("crowdsourcing") as part of their project, and I'd like to see kiwi Pirates participating in this, and encouraging other kiwis to do the same.

I agree with Palmer and his colleagues that refactoring the tangled mess of our current "constitutional arrangements" into a single formal document makes sense, and also that working on the text of that document creates a good opportunity to have a robust public debate about possible reforms to the way Aotearoa is governed. Imagine, for example, a constitution that required a supermajority win in a referendum to sell public assets?