A constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand?

Establishing a constitution, no longer having the Queen as the head of state, locking in a four-year election cycle, and enshrining the Treaty of Waitangi are all proposed in book by Sir Geoffrey Palmer and  Andrew Butler that will be launched next week.

There is already a website set up: A CONSTITUTION FOR AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

Our proposal: a modern constitution that is easy to understand, reflects New Zealand’s identity and nationhood, protects rights and liberties, and prevents governments from abusing power.

NZH: Do we need a Queen anymore?

The short answer to that headline is no we don’t need a queen from the other side of the world who never comes here any more. The key questions are:

  • When will a majority of New Zealanders not want our country to be a monarchy?
  • When will our politicians give us the opportunity to become an independent country?

But the book is about a lot more than that. It aims to start ‘a conversation’ about important issues regarding the future of New Zealand.

Along with fellow lawyer Andrew Butler, Palmeris about to release A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, a book that explains – in a surprisingly easy to understand manner – why New Zealand needs a written constitution and what a first draft of that constitution entails.

It has what some would call emotive elements – ditching the Queen as the head of state, locking in a four-year election cycle, enshrining the Treaty of Waitangi – but at its heart is a fierce commitment to both protecting the rights of all New Zealanders and ensuring we all, politicians especially, know and understand the rules by which we run this little club called New Zealand.

Constitution Aotearoa might sound eye-rollingly dry but the fact is New Zealand’s current constitution is, frankly, a mess

Because we have not had any major issues with being tied to the British monarchy and with not having a constitution politicians and many people have preferred to defer to the status quo.

Some people strongly believe in the monarchy being attached to New Zealand, others see that doing nothing is the easiest or cheapest option.

“In a democracy you ought to know what your rights and responsibilities are and you ought to know how the system of government works, you ought to know what the rules are,” Palmer says. “In New Zealand you can’t find out because the constitution is all over the place, it’s inaccessible.

“What you want is a document that sets out who the head of state is and what the head of state does, what the Parliament is, how it’s elected and what it can do and what the judiciary can do.

Sounds like a sensible tidy up but it is likely to be highly contentious.

Bizarrely, New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world (alongside Britain and Israel) that doesn’t have a written constitution. The fact we don’t have a clear set of rules to follow, or any of the checks and balances inherent in a written constitution, means our politicians can do whatever they like as long as they get a majority in the house.

Great Britain at least has the House of Lords to act as a checkpoint for legislation while Israel has 11 basic laws that set out how the country should be governed.

Without those rudimentary measures, New Zealand is open to a worst case scenario where one powerful person could influence Cabinet, which in turn controls Parliament, which enacts laws the courts cannot overturn … if you think it sounds like a dictatorship you’re not far wrong.

Those who call John Key a dictator will feel vindicated.

The potential for that dictatorship has been muted by MMP but “New Zealand is still very friendly to executive power”, Palmer says, meaning Cabinet can turn anything it fancies into law.

“There are considerable dangers in that,” he adds. “Parliament can easily be dominated by the governing party, and Parliament will do what the governing party wants. The system we call parliamentary sovereignty, which means Parliament can do whatever it wants, becomes, in New Zealand, that the executive [Cabinet] can do whatever it likes.”

Most of our Cabinets have been reasonably responsible, but many will remember Rob Muldoon’s increasingly messy attempts to mould the economy and country by his dictat – the country ended up teetering on the brink of going broke.

And some on the left still wail about the reforms of Roger Douglas and the Lange led Labour government that supposedly imposed a neo-liberal disaster.

Head of State

Palmer believes it’s inevitable New Zealand will become a republic – in fact, he argues that we are already a “de facto” republic in as much as the Queen doesn’t exercise any power here. What power she does have, the so-called royal prerogative, is described as “shadowy”, “murky” and so poorly defined it may as well be abolished.

Palmer rules out an elected president, saying it’s too contrary to our national personality and character. He rules out the Prime Minister taking on the largely ceremonial role as he or she is overburdened as it is.

In the end, Constitution Aotearoa lands on an updated variant of the Governor-General, appointed by Parliament for a term of five years. A public vote on the Head of State is rejected for the simple reason there would be no power invested in the role. Plus, he adds, if the public voted for a head of state it risks becoming a political process.

The Royal Family, as a result, would remain “popular celebrities” and New Zealand could send a message to the world – and to ourselves – that we are a mature and independent nation, but one that stays within the Commonwealth, maintaining our historical links to Britain.

I agree that a powerless figurehead should be appointed by Government rather than voted on.

I shudder to think how bad the bitching would become if we had a chance to vote for John Key or Helen Clark as head of state, the petty bitterness against both is entrenched.

Treaty of Waitangi

Constitution Aotearoa has the Treaty of Waitangi unambiguously at its heart. In fact, Palmer, argues, it is effectively New Zealand’s first constitutional document and the Government’s “moral and political claim to democratic legitimacy rests of the Treaty”.

By its nature as a founding document and in the way it is now interwoven in modern society, the Treaty is integral to New Zealand’s current (unwritten) constitution. But like that complex and confusing constitution in the clouds, the Treaty itself is shrouded in uncertainty and “jagged legal recognition”. In other words, it has no independent legal status.

Palmer wants to give the Treaty “clear and certain” status.

A Supreme Court, acting under the new constitution, would also bring thoughtful analysis of how the Treaty works in modern New Zealand, ending the current “ungainly, unclear and untidy” legal treatment of the Treaty.

How we treat the  Treaty is also certain to be highly contentious but the reality is we have the Treaty of Waitangi and need to work out how to deal with it sensibly and fairly.

Constitution Aotearoa will officially be released at Parliament on Wednesday and has a complementary website where Kiwis can make submissions. Palmer says the book and website should be seen as the “start of a conversation”.

Once the submissions have been taken, he and Butler will write a revised version. After that it would be up to government to take hold of the issue. Palmer’s hope is that within five years New Zealanders will be voting in a referendum on whether to adopt Constitution Aotearoa.

“New Zealand is relatively well governed compared with a lot of countries but it could be a lot better.”

A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, by Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler, Victoria University Press. Available September 21. $25.


The proposed Constitution: the full text

I’d like Your NZ to be a part of the conversation. Whether we end up changing anything or not we should seriously talk about it.


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 17, 2016

    Hasn’t this man done enough damage to NZ with the RMA?

    I would like to see a proper constitution that protects individuals but if it is going to enshrine the Treaty idiocy then no way.

    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2016

      Seems like a good idea to have a website for Palmer & Butler to gather the thoughts of folk who want to drop them a line or a thousand.

      The Teaty is only partly a founding document because The Sovereignty of the Queen of England & her succesors was signed up to as well – so therefore some British law became part of the deal, didn’t it?

      I might withhold further coment for now until I see the considered opinions of a few more of our more thoughtful and neutral centre commenters like Lurch.

  2. Blazer

     /  September 17, 2016

    Look at how sacred the Constitution in the U.S has…become.*sarc*.

  3. “The organisation of the future … requires a balancing play of the powers of the individual and the collectivity, of the particular and the general … recognition of the protection of rights of man [individual people] and rights of groups …

    Hence that which is individual [and minority] requires special protection in order to be able to stand up on equal terms against [or alongside] the natural predominance of the collectivity and the many … [the majority or any dominant group]” – Frank E Warner, ‘Future of Man’ pp 133

    The fundamental problem of any Constitution is to establish the right [or ethical] relation between the individual and the community as a whole, and between individual groups and the nation as a whole.

    I am tremedously gladdened that Geoffrey Palmer will make his contribution to our new written Constitution – which, given his experience and integrity, may be sizeable – and that he is recommending it happen sooner rather than later. The content of it remains to be seen, of course, and the most widespread possible debate and consultation will be required and must be encouraged …

    We must rise to this challenge as never before … forgive those who trespass … put aside past wrongs … and be our very best in order to create the very best possible Constitution for everyone’s future … EVERYONE …

    ” … in such a way that it [the Constitution] can develop its full effects without destroying, that it is always mobile, but always leads to an equilibrium”

  4. Geoffrey

     /  September 17, 2016

    Yes indeed, he has wrought far too much damage already. Was it not he who set the Treaty Industry juggernaut in motion with his careless creation of the “Partnership” concept? If a constitutional basis for our governance was truly to eliminate the vague, airy and unstructured arrangement that we have cobbled together over the years, it could not possibly hinge on what the so-called “founding document” does not say. Te Tiriti was the instrument granting British citizenship to the Polynesian migrants to these shores and which declared to the world in general (and France in particular) that any competing intrusion would attract Her Britannic Majesty’s displeasure. That is all it is and as such, it is hopelessly inadequate as the basis for a written constitution.
    If New Zealand is to usefully debate whether or not to become a Republic, I perceive only heart ache if the tiny cabal of earnest suicidal socialists forcing the issue are allowed to insist that its constitution must rest on the inherently unstable and widely unpopular foundation of the Treaty of Waitangi. Perhaps the Flag debacle served a useful purpose after all in demonstrating that, on such issues of national significance, there can be no rigging of the polls by pre-defining the outcome.

    • The ‘we shouldn’t listen to anyone we have disagreed with in the past’ approach to dismissing something.

      • Gezza

         /  September 17, 2016

        What’s wrong with that? I don’t pay much attention to Kyle Chapman for that reason.

        • What’s wrong with that is it proclaims, “My mind is closed. Sealed against free speech. I cannot change. Anyone with a different opinion is my adversary and, like me, my opponent cannot change. Nothing ever changes. Change is impossible. To adapt is to lose.”

          And yet the neoliberal mantra is “Change is the only constant” … Go figure!?

          • Gezza

             /  September 17, 2016

            “Anyone with a different opinion is my adversary and, like me, my opponent cannot change. Nothing ever changes. Change is impossible. To adapt is to lose.”

            What a crock of shite! How do you manage to get all of that bollocks out of someone just not having the same opinion as you and not thinking much of Geoffrey Palmer ? ??? ??? ???

            Is this how you perceive things when someone disagrees with you!? ??? ???

            • I concede there is an element of extrapolation involved Gezza. I extrapolate “all that bollocks” from these two fairly straightforward statements –

              1) @ PG – “The ‘we shouldn’t listen to anyone we have disagreed with in the past’ approach to dismissing something.”

              2) @ Gezza – “What’s wrong with that?”

            • Gezza

               /  September 17, 2016

              I feel both of you may have been extrapolating to the point where you are telling somebody else what is they are really thinking. But as neither of you is a mind reader I am unable to accept your opinions as fact.

            • “I feel both of you may have been extrapolating …”

              Oh Gezza, I find that deeply offensive … !!!

              On another hopefully lighter note Gezza, you sound TO ME like an absolutist in a comparative world … a pre-modernist in our post-post-modern epoch …

              I do admit that I really ought to have said, “What it proclaims TO ME is … ” but you have clearly recognised it as opinion, not fact, which it can never be … and opinion is what I consider us to mostly be here at YourNZ for … to speak and to hear … to talk and to listen …

              A great deal of ‘conversation’ will be necessary to construct the best possible Constitution for this nation which I ardently love and wish only to improve …

            • Gezza

               /  September 17, 2016

              “On another hopefully lighter note Gezza, you sound TO ME like an absolutist in a comparative world … a pre-modernist in our post-post-modern epoch …”

              To be honest I often feel more like an ablutionist in a messy barracks in the middle of the wop wops.

              Re the constituion I agree with your final sentence & sentiments. ❤️

      • Geoffrey

         /  September 17, 2016

        Pete, is that the misrepresenting the argument approach to dismissing something that you don’t agree with?

        • The attrition by reductionism argument … better known as futility …

          • @ Geoffrey – “Perhaps the Flag debacle served a useful purpose after all in demonstrating that, on such issues of national significance, there can be no rigging of the polls by pre-defining the outcome.”

            1) Precisely why I would be considerably more wary of a National government proposing a written Constitution “deliberation process”. Oh … I tell a lie … I just plain wouldn’t trust them! We saw how their idea of officiation, ministration, arbitration and consultation worked on that ‘deal’ …

            2) More difficult to engineer the process on a Constitution than on a Flag IMHO …

            For all we know, National might be as happy as Larry that Palmer is suggesting this? Regardless, if the idea takes hold, the Nats will be pressured from both ends – to instigate and oversee the process fairly and honestly AND to satisfy their own voters – which can only be a good thing because the two may be incompatible or even mutually exclusive? They may be proven incapable of it?

            A new flag for our nation will be one of the natural outcomes of the Constitution creation process …

  5. Corky

     /  September 17, 2016

    We the people of Aotearoa New Zealand believe in the unalienable right of every Aotearoean New Zelander to enjoy liberty and the expression of free will. We believe in the sovereignty of our Nation and right of every individual to enjoy protection under that

    Yeah right. These following proposals clash and contradict big time:

    “Our proposal: a modern constitution that is easy to understand, reflects New Zealand’s identity and nationhood, protects rights and liberties, and prevents governments from abusing power.”


    “Constitution Aotearoa has the Treaty of Waitangi unambiguously at its heart. In fact, Palmer, argues, it is effectively New Zealand’s first constitutional document and the Government’s “moral and political claim to democratic legitimacy rests of the Treaty”.

    Thank god there’ll never be a constitution in my life time.

    Haere Ra.

  6. A couple of things to consider. Do you agree or disagree with the below statements? Or have comments which modify, adjust or temper them?

    “a constitutional model (or models) can only be properly developed once there is clarity about the values it should be based upon.”

    ” …the identification of such values indicates a very real desire for a more open constitutionalism and … a conciliatory and consensual democracy rather than an adversarial and majoritarian one.”

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 17, 2016

      I have never seen any evidence that Palmer is open to changing his mind. His arrogant pomposity will not be deflected.

      • @ Alan – To me this reads, “I don’t like the man and he’s quite a lot like me, which totally discredits him”?

        What would make you change your mind?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 17, 2016

          I think he is a decent man. But he is a poor listener and a didactic communicator which is why he only lasted a year as an unelected prime minister compared with Key’s three and likely four terms.

          • Blazer

             /  September 17, 2016

            hey Al….Key was elected…thought you might know that!

            • Gezza

               /  September 17, 2016

              The point is, Palmer was so generally unpopular as PM he got dumped as Labour leader & never even got a chance to get elected as PM at the next election. Thought you might realise that.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Blazer, I thought most people would understand that a Parliamentary term includes an election – and I didn’t care if you didn’t.

          • Blazer

             /  September 17, 2016

            ‘ I thought most people would understand that a Parliamentary term includes an election ‘….maybe, but you never mentioned anything about a Parliamentary term,as I’m sure you know.What a great defence it would be ,if we all assume people extrapolate our comments to support our own …premise,when we have effectively shot ourselves in the …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Are you blind as well as dumb,Blazer? Reread.

            • Blazer

               /  September 17, 2016

              no I’m being pedantic..you said..’as an unelected prime minister compared with Key’s three and likely four terms.’……ergo as ‘unelected’!No contest.

          • @ Alan – ” … he [Palmer] only lasted a year as an unelected prime minister compared with Key’s three and likely four terms”

            Comparison between Key and Palmer is not only odious, it is pointless in the extreme. They are as comparable as chalk and cheese. Amoral pragmatist Key has repeatedly won the popularity contest, then had his minions do the work, whereas highly academic, eminently ethical Palmer did the work himself regardless of popularity …

            “Two months before the 1990 elections, it was clear that Labour would not win. The perceived damage done by Roger Douglas’s reforms, as well as Palmer’s lack of general charisma, caused too many Labour supporters to abandon the party. In addition, Palmer was perceived as being too academic and aloof, reminding people of the paternalistic attitude that Douglas was accused of. Palmer was replaced by Mike Moore,”


            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Your quote just confirms my comments.

              didactic = in the manner of a teacher, particularly so as to appear patronizing
              arrogant, poor listener => too aloof, lack of general charisma

              Key listens, communicates well and adapts policies accordingly. Palmer doesn’t.

        • Nick Ellis

           /  September 17, 2016

          They say we most despise in others that which we recognise from ourselves.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 17, 2016

            They say all sorts of crap and idiots believe it. Me, I despise scum like ISIS most. God knows what you do.

            • Blazer

               /  September 17, 2016

              so how do you feel about ..DAESH ,Al Quaida,the Taleban,and Thomas the Tank Engine?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Stick with the last, Blazer. It should be right up your alley.

            • Blazer

               /  September 17, 2016

              I don’t think you’re on the ..right…track!

          • Blazer

             /  September 17, 2016

            where did that succinct wisdom originate?

      • Conspiratoor

         /  September 17, 2016

        That, and the fact he didn’t want the job, didn’t have the stomach for it, and lacked the stamina for meetings…

        Lange’s “weaknesses” had destroyed the government, Sir Geoffrey says, and the leader’s job “was a poisoned chalice”.
        “I didn’t really want it but I felt it was necessary to have a stable hand at the helm while we tried to finish what we’d started.”

    • The two statements I cited above come from the Executive Summary of Matike Mai Aotearoa, the Iwi Leaders Working Group report on Constitutional Transformation …

      Whatever else it is, and I could pay it many compliments, the report is a model of consultative processes within a so-called “ethnic minority” … hapu iwi …

  7. Kevin

     /  September 17, 2016

    We already have a Constitution – it’s just not a written one. We do have the Bill of Rights. Which is something. I suppose. Although compared to the American Constitution it’s like comparing a skinny pale nerd to Mike Tyson in his heyday.

    If we were to have a written Constitution the TOW would certainly be in it. That’s just reality. Other things to consider would be how it would define freedom of religion with the laws of the State and the rights of the individual vs the State? Would people be able to use it to overturn existing laws? Or would it just put down on paper a description of how the government already operates?

    • @ Kevin – I think ideally the Constitution is both the descriptive and prescriptive document which Laws can be tested against in the highest Court. A Constitution must also be amendable, given carefully defined parameters and much consideration.

      I personally doubt that Aotearoa New Zealand can truly “go forward” using “how the government already operates” …

      I think we are up against the very difficult but not insurmountable conundrum facing every nation where two or more peoples or cultures have interacted, clashed and/or coexisted due to colonisation – almost every nation – perplexing almost to the point of paradox …

      The right of any people or cultural group to live its own life, as a rule, includes the claim to make the territory it occupies into a separate State. However, there are countries with different or greatly mixed populations in which the respective groups cannot be allocated a definite territory. Group or ethnic autonomy is not necessarily bound up with territory, although this can hardly be said of Maori?

      Minority rights have been developed for so called national or ethnic minorities. These will require further development. Maori Trusts and Incorporations might be seen as such a development? A way of maintaining communal ownership within a pakeha individualistic legal framework? However, this “needs must fit the pakeha way” requirement is devoid of ethical integrity in a post-colonial world IMHO.

      Many branches of administration permit of several authorities or ‘polities’ existing side-by-side in the same or overlapping territory, e.g, District and Regional Councils. Another example might be the administrations of the various Churches? There’s no reason to believe different administrations couldn’t work side-by-side in the same territory, with some matters bieng dealt with separately and others in common …

      All these are questions of organisation which each people must in principle decide for itself.

      It is in the common areas – which I predict will be many – and particularly when conflicts arise that some “federal principle” or authority is required …

      Along with the rights of the individual there must be no less important collective rights, including rights belonging to every human group, be they political or not …

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 17, 2016

        Collective rights are no more nor less that the accumulation of individual rights. The attempt to make more of them is inevitably divisive and destructive. Any group is entitled to make rules and conventions within compliance with the national laws applying to all and within that constraint the constitution should have nothing to say.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 17, 2016

          The only sensible way to deal with the ToW is to pass legislation annulling it as soon as the settlement process is completed.

          • Gezza

             /  September 17, 2016

            Only if it is replaced by a written constition that has been voted on by Maori & Pakeha with NZ citizenship.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Why? No legal necessity for that.

            • Gezza

               /  September 17, 2016

              * constitution.
              Feckin Ipad.

            • Gezza

               /  September 17, 2016

              There’s no legal necessity for any law until someone decides there is.
              I don’t particularly want to see the ToW in a new Constitution, but whatever the Constitution provides for I don’t want to see it deprive Maori of anything they were entitled to under the Treaty. So some things will have to defined. And it’ll probably take forever.

              E.g. Airwaves? Piss off.

              Am appreciating reading other views though.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Under the Treaty they were entitled to the protection of the Crown for themselves and their property. Nothing more nor less. How could that be threatened by annulment?

            • “INSTITUTIONAL RACISM (also known as institutionalised racism) is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions, as distinct from racism by individuals or informal social groups.

              It is the differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society. When the differential access becomes integral to institutions, it becomes common practice … Eventually, this racism dominates public bodies, private corporations, public and private universities, and is reinforced by the actions of conformists and newcomers.

              Another difficulty in reducing institutionalized racism is that there is no sole, true identifiable perpetrator. When racism is built into the institution, it emerges as the collective action of the population.

              … defined by Sir William Macpherson in the 1999 Lawrence report (UK) as: “The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.

              Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael) and Charles V. Hamilton in Black Power: The Politics of Liberation, “When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society. But when in that same city–Birmingham, Alabama–five hundred black babies die each year because of the lack of power, food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutional racism.”


            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              The obvious solution is privatisation, PZ. A private company can’t afford to be racist as otherwise it leaves opportunity and profit to its competitor who isn’t.

              I know you’ll enjoy the logic of that.

            • I would Alan … Oh I would … if your “logic” wasn’t the defective, convoluted, sick logic of racists like Von Mises and Rothbard … [I told you they were unwell] … and if there were examples of it working in reality.

              Jim Crow particularly and to a lesser extent Apartheid were essentially privatised systems – insomuch as anarcho-capitalism has also never existed in reality – and they could certainly “afford to be racist” …

              They worked by the very fact “profit” can be derived from being racist FOR and ON BEHALF OF equally or more racist customers … This is sociopathic psychometry 101 …

              It’s basic – as in “base” – and highly disgusting “niche marketing” hardly worthy of people who call themselves human beings …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              You are wrong as usual in most respects. Only a monopoly company and a bureaucracy can afford to be racist. The Ford car assembly line workers in Auckland when I was there spoke 15 languages.

            • Do you mean back in the “socialist” days of permitted, protected and subsidized auto assembly factories in this country Alan? The ones’ ruled by lascivious, combative, “egalitarian” unions?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              I started contracting to Ford in 1985 when the neo-liberal revolution was in full swing, PZ. That partly encouraged me to depart the educational bureaucracy into private business. The unions were still a factor and buying a new car was out of question for ordinary people but change was in the air and competition in the car industry was fierce, particularly between the American and Japanese brands in all directions.

            • This possibly explains the 15 languages Alan? The emerging contract labour, union-busted, cheaper immigrant worker movement perhaps …?

              But also, what were the 15 languages? They might have been English, Maori and 13 Polynesian Island languages or dialects?

              So this was when “buying a car was out of the question for ordinary people” like the people who assembled the cars?

              I’d be more inclined to say “Competition was fierce, particularly between Japanese brands FROM all directions”. Deregulation and the Jap Import industry set out to and succeeded in destroying the NZ auto assembly industry … as part of Labour and then National’s “union busting” ideology …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              All the island languages as well as Asian and European. Toyota, General Motors and Ford/Mazda were the main mass market competitors with Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi second tier. Eventually, removal of import restrictions ended the nonsense of NZ assembly and together with second hand imports enabled almost all NZers finally to be able to afford a car.

        • ‘Individual Rights and Collective Rights’ by Will Kymlicka (Oxford Scholarship Online)

          “Investigates the connection between collective rights and individual rights, and challenges the liberal hypothesis that there is an inherent conflict between the two.

          It argues the need to distinguish between two meanings of ‘collective rights’, which can refer either to the right of a group to limit the liberties of members in the interest of group solidarity or purity (internal restrictions), or the right of a group to limit the powers of a majority to curtail the interests of minorities (external protections).

          It [further] argues that the latter need not conflict with individual liberty, and indeed that what distinguishes a liberal theory of minority rights is precisely that it accepts some external protections for ethnic groups and national minorities while being very sceptical of internal restrictions.”

          http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0198290918.001.0001/acprof-9780198290919-chapter-3 [UPSO is a subscriber website]

          ” … individual rights are rights held by individual people; even if they are group-differentiated, which most rights are, they remain individual rights if the right-holders are the individuals themselves.”


          “Constitutionalism is descriptive of a complicated concept, deeply embedded in historical experience, which subjects the officials who exercise governmental powers to the limitations of a higher law.”


          “Indigenous rights are those rights that exist in recognition of the specific condition of the indigenous peoples. This includes not only the most basic human rights … but also the preservation of their land, language, religion, and other elements of cultural heritage … their existence as a people. This can … form a part of the national law in establishing the relation between a government and the right of self-determination among the indigenous people … or in international law as a protection against violation by actions of governments or groups of private interests.”


          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 17, 2016

            The last paragraph is merely a veiled claim to other people’s money.

            • Is yours a veiled defence of swindling other [indigenous] peoples’ land off them …?

              “other people’s money” is just too easy; a lazy Right-Libertarian catch-cry. It denies the existence of the community other people share with you … and all the things “other people’s money” pays for which you happen to agree with …

              Do you seriously expect to personally agree with each and every dollar of other people’s money spent in a diverse Parliamentary democracy?

              But we digress from “a Constitution for Aotearoa” do we not?

              To borrow from bjmarsh1, a subject “not for the faint hearted” …?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Given individual human rights there is nothing to stop a minority group doing all of those things for themselves. The claim to them as rights is nothing more nor less than a demand that other people pay for them.

            • @ Alan ” … nothing to stop a minority group doing all of those things”

              Yep, in ethics-free Von Mises/Rothbard Land, but here in Aotearoa New Zeal Land I think institutionalised racism would intervene.

              Nonetheless, to pursue the theoretical occurrence, if an ethnic or other grouping was to form its own nation, you would have no objection, is that correct?

              What percentage of a area’s population would be required to do this?

              Given the existence of others or “strangers” within this territory, plus existing infrastructure, [so-called] ‘ownership’ rights and general ‘sovereignty’, what happens about sharing the territory and resources?

              Simplistic as it may sound; this is essentially ONE POSSIBILITY of what we’re talking about here.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              NZ has already formed its own nation and effected self determination so that boat sailed long ago in this country. The experience of native reservations in Canada did not fill me with the slightest expectation that would have been or could now be a tolerable let alone improved situation for Maori. It doesn’t sound simplistic, it sounds idiotic.

      • Kevin

         /  September 17, 2016

        I’m all for a written Constitution if it creates enforceable restrictions on what the State can do regarding the individual. Otherwise it is a complete waste of time.

        For example it it enshrines the right to free association and free expression then I should then be able to turn around and have bans on gang insignia and association be overturned.

        • @ Kevin – Gang insignia and association is an excellent example. Gang members are all individuals, as are individual members of say a sports club, community group, business or corporation. Each has its own ‘corporate’ or group culture and ‘uniform’. Their individual rights are partially group-identified and part of that group identification may be ethnic or racial.

          A lot of the talk about Constitutionalism and ‘Maoridom’ seems to ride on the massive presumption that pakeha or ‘European New Zealander’ is somehow NOT an ethnic or racial group and therefore NOT group-identified. “I’m a pakeha and I’m not influenced by my racial identity, therefore I cannot be racist. We pakeha are not racist. You’re a Maori. Your identity is entirely bound up with your ethnicity, therefore you must be racist”. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but such a presumption is to deny the existence of reason.

          Free association and free expression are not really the issues in a purely legal sense. The boundary that none must cross is surely a criminal one? Harm to self and particularly others?

          Yet there are grey areas. What about intimidation? What about active and actual intimidation; and what about passive or perceived intimidation?

          How does this pertain to a Constitution? Well, one thing is, I can’t have a Constitution based purely on what outcomes I as an individual do or don’t want to happen as a result of that Constitution. It must at least try to illucidate substantial principles, higher ideals and larger, accepted truths?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 17, 2016

            Conspiracy to commit an offence is a crime. That is the point where gangs become outlaws and not merely the sum of individuals.

  8. artcroft

     /  September 17, 2016

    The irreducible fact of the matter is, New Zealand is a pluvial country.

    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2016

      Sure is, & it’s absolutely pissing down in north Welly right now. 😡

    • Blazer

       /  September 17, 2016

      not forgetting….alluvial….as well!

    • Corky

       /  September 17, 2016

      What the hell, Arty. Did the Flim Flam Man sell you some of Ma Johnston’s Consumption Remedy? I wouldn’t trust her Chap Oil either.

      • artcroft

         /  September 17, 2016

        Well with the weather the way it is, its a day for trying new potions I guess.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 17, 2016

          I have. A coffee in front and a dog either side on the sofa. Very cosy.

          • Blazer

             /  September 17, 2016

            sofa!!I would have thought a …throne ..more appropriate..Emperor Al,flanked by two neopolitan rottweilers as he drains the …royal goblet.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Nope, a kelpie and a Sheltie – very cuddly. And much prefer a sofa I can stretch out on once the dogs have gone or at least shifted along. We have three triple sofas in a U shape so we can all fit on.

            • Corky

               /  September 17, 2016

              neopolitan rottweilers ??

  9. Blazer

     /  September 17, 2016

    @Corky-Neopolitan Mastiffs.

  10. ” … prior to 1840 Iwi and Hapū were vibrant and functional constitutional entities. That is, they had the right, capacity and authority to make politically binding decisions for the well-being of their people and their lands.” – Matike Mai Aotearoa Report …


    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 17, 2016

      … just so long as they had more guns than anyone else. Really that is utter nonsense.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  September 17, 2016

      A quaint thought parti boy but the reality is somewhat different. Prior to 1840 Iwi and Hapu had discovered the musket and were hard at work culling themselves. To the extent that on the eve of the signing they had successfully managed to reduce their numbers by around 20%. Not a bad effort in a mere 30 years or so .

      • @ Conspiratoor – “30 years or so” of contact with the pakeha who supplied the muskets … and possibly incited the violence or at least some of it? Who stood to gain …?

        But “prior to 1840” also means prior to European settlement and even European contact.

        “Māori once were warriors only at certain times of the year. You can think of it like ‘war season’.” With food to plant, gather or catch, “how on earth could peoples be off making constant war and still survive?” It’s a crazy idea but for some strange reason one that has spread like proverbial wild fire.

        Unlike countries now who employ a professional class of warrior (called armies) that can be sent off to do battle for [oil] freedom, Māori did not find their people quite so disposable.

        Archaeologists … haven’t been able to find evidence of large scale battles prior to colonisation. No evidence of widespread flesh-eating (as in human) either, but that hasn’t stopped that particular myth from doing the rounds every 20 years or so.”

        Bearer of Discomfort – https://turangawaewae.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/exploding-the-myths-i-10-things-your-history-teacher-never-told-you/

        “It is probable that in earlier times intertribal encounters were less serious affairs and that the number of fatalities was not very high. Moreover, the odds were more even in that combat was hand to hand; missiles were not greatly used and were not very effective.”


        @ Alan – a “functional constitutional entity” does not need to have a piece-meal, partially written Constitution like ours – or written Constitution – or a Westminster House of Parliament. The North American Indian ‘Long House’ and almost certainly the Polynesian/Maori ‘marae’ existed before Westminster, along with the various ‘forums’ of most other so-called ‘primitive peoples’.

        A “functional polity” needs only to “function” for the well-being of its people and their lands, which hapu iwi with their marae, kainga and pa appear to have done rather well.

        • “The second issue covered in the Report is the historical and contemporary relevance, in constitutional terms, of tikanga, He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti, and other indigenous instruments. On this matter our people were clear – they were fundamentally relevant because they all express the right for Māori to make decisions for Māori that is the very essence of tino rangatiratanga.”

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 17, 2016

            You don’t have to read revisionist history written by PC apologists to understand the past when you can go directly to the writings of the first explorers, settlers and missionary families and read what they experienced directly. The universal theme is arbitrary brutality, the rule by force and superstition and the pursuit of revenge.

            Furthermore you can travel to the Cook Islands and read the same stories from the same branch of our human family there. Obviously the lack of a written language bars us from discovering if there were hidden Acquinases, Humes and Descartes buried in Polynesian history but equally we can be certain there was no Magna Carta or democratic government or common law.

            That the land is covered with pa sites as Britain was covered with castles points to a feudal-like era of conflict while the lack of an equivalent to Britain’s churches suggests a lack of their moderating and (somewhat) civilising influence. This is just simple realism and no reflection whatever on present day Maori who are able to draw on the wisdom and discoveries of the intellectual giants of our common history like everyone else. But let’s not be stupid about pretending that there was not a huge gap between the two cultures two centuries ago.

            • @ Alan – ” … arbitrary brutality, the rule by force and superstition …”

              Okay, they had an awful lot in common with us then!

              ” … lack of a written language bars us from discovering if there were hidden Acquinases, Humes and Descartes buried in Polynesian history …”

              Yes it does, unless you are Polynesian and speak the language …

              ” … we can be certain there was no Magna Carta or democratic government or common law …”

              Yes, and fat lot of good any of these things did the common people of England and the UK during their respective ‘times’. Why, behold, the institution of slavery abolished just 4 years before the signing of Te Tiriti … But nowadays, revisionistically, the evil, heathen Maori are derided for keeping slaves …

              ” … a lack of their [the Churches] moderating and (somewhat) civilising influence … ”

              Oh Jesus! You have got to be kidding me …

              ” … present day Maori who are able to draw on the wisdom and discoveries of the intellectual giants of our common history like everyone else …”

              But we pakeha refuse to draw on the practical, spiritual and community wisdom of Maoridom …

              There wasn’t such a huge gap between the cultures two centuries ago Alan. Ours was an iron age, feudal industrial culture, hell bent on conquering the world for empire building and increasing superiority, theirs was a stone age folk culture, bent upon survival and increasing mana …

              We still used sailing ships … They had long ago given them up …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              There is no “we” involved, PZ, only “they”. The past is a different country. One “they” was a very small and isolated, oral stone age culture. The other was a world culture drawing on European, African and Asian roots with written languages dating back to the Egyptians, a variety of religions ancient and modern, a philosophical tradition dating back to the Greeks and having experienced quite recent transformations in political, religious and technological revolutions. That is reality. It would be good for you to have at least momentary contact with it.

        • Conspiratoor

           /  September 17, 2016

          Parti boy I have just done something I swore I would never do. I battled bravely through one of your literary masterpieces and found it to a wonderful example of abstract diversionism and obfuscation. If I have time later I might attempt to flesh out a counter argument. In 250 words or less. Cheers,c

  11. How about we focus on a couple of things rather than getting into a slanging match about racialism etc. Firstly, is the Current Constitutional Monarchy model broken? I would venture to suggest the answer that it isn’t while QEII is still alive. However, I also venture to suggest that the majority of Kiwis do not have the same confidence in Chuckles as a King, but then I would also remind everyone that the function of the Monarch has few prerogatives left in it. The bit I don’t like is that Chuckles is a Pommie (Prisoner of Mother England) and is not a Kiwi by any measure, and I would like the final threads of the Colonial Power to disappear.
    Why, because the Treaty of Waitangi did promise to give to all New Zealanders the same rights and protections of all English citizens. But they have abrogated that by joining the EU and erecting immigration barriers to New Zealanders moving to England to enjoy the fruits of citizenship and contributing to the common wealth by their assets and labours of Kiwis. In other words, the Treaty is a farce. It was produced by English Colonial force and they have failed to deliver as promised. That is why present day Kiwis have agreed to compensate Iwi for the illegal acts of the English colonists and that has cost us Kiwis billions. Where is the fairness in that?
    So yes we need to get some things sorted. To get that going our first step is to define the universal truths that we all subscribe to. I would start by saying Truth 1 “All humans are born equal, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Truth 2 is that some humans have a disadvantage in comparative intellect and physical structure. They are therefor entitled to the Community’s assistance so that they can maximise their physical and intellectual capabilities. Truth 3 is that there can be only one law for all and Justice is blind. Truth 4 Equality of opportunity is mandatory in all aspects of human endeavour. Truth 5: Excellence in any human endeavour should be recognised and rewarded. Truth 6: Consensus is a target, but not an absolute.
    and so forth. I mean we all can contribute to a description of the tests that MUST be met and those that SHOULD be met by our statement of the will of the people that we need for the formulation of a Kiwi Constitution. We really do need to get this right.
    Elect or appoint a “King/Queen” or a President ? What are the pros and cons of appointment or election. Is there any possibility for a hereditary Head of State in NZ? (I would think NO is the answer given the intrusion of the hereditary Maori King into politics which is unacceptable.

    Hmm lots of homework to do, but can we treat this as a serious question and treat it in a well-mannered way?

    • Conspiratoor

       /  September 17, 2016

      Not a bad idea Colonel…

      “Do such things matter? They certainly do. We suffer in this country from a lack of emotional focus… New Zealand will become a republic just as Britain will be blurred into Europe.”- Prime Minister David Lange

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 17, 2016

      Excellent comments, BJ. I agree with almost all of it except I don’t think the constitutional monarchy is broken even if “Chuckles” becomes King. The reason for that is that if he steps out of line, the NZ Parliament can always act to break the chain.

      However, I think we should regard the constitutional monarch just as a professional Trustee, there to make sure the rules and conventions are properly followed and give out smoke signals at any signs of serious misbehaviour. Looked at it that way we don’t have to engage in forelock tugging or silly pomp and ceremony but we can give proper respect to someone doing their duty conscientiously.

      There is also the possibility of Brexit restoring a great deal of what was lost to the Old Commonwealth when the EC/EU experiment began. The UK-Canada-Australia-NZ axis is and would be a highly regarded and ethical pillar of world affairs in all respects.

    • @ Beejay – I want to make it clear I don’t disagree with everything you say. Time allows only for critique though, not praise, other than my respect for your considered opinion and freedom of speech.

      1) Why is it assumed a Head of State must be an individual? I think we might consider A) An Upper Representative Forum or Federal House of Counsel (I say this because I want us to drop ‘Westminster’ and “Parliament” from our vocab) or B) a Triune or Quinune Legislative Tribunal.

      Unfortunately, your “truths” are contestable which means they are not “universal” …

      1) “All created Equal” … except that Gender and Ethnicity are both subject to “institutional bias” embedded deep in our socio-political system and HIStory. Perhaps if the system functions somewhat differently and perhaps after one or more generations of satisfactory ethical education …?

      3) “One law for all and Justice is blind”. Two truths? 1) When members of the Western dominant ethnic grouping, European or pakeha – the colonisers – say “one law for all” they actually mean “Only our Western Law for all”. 2) It can also be argued that Justice isn’t blind at all, indeed we were doing so right here just days ago regarding young Mr Delegat.

      4) How do we define, let alone confirm or guarantee “equality of opportunity”? To exaggerate: Is the distance to one’s first school and whether one is driven there or walks “equal”? And we know that most damage to opportunity – to learning acquisition – is done before a child gets to school? (Personally I’d argue our current school system then takes over some of the role of injurer. In short, you can’t get healthy education in an unhealthy environment …)

      5) Same as above for “Excellence”. If, as predicted, it becomes more sensible and ‘sustainable’ to leave the oil and gold in the ground than extract it, how will we measure “excellence”? By the amount of oil each person DOESN’T use? You’re surely talking about a narrow definition of economic or entreprenuerial excellence?

      6) “Consensus is a target …” I could not agree more! “To outvote someone and in this way impose upon them ideas and institutions which they reject, is not in keeping with respect for human personality.” (Stubbornness and refusal to be enlightened likewise). “Political opinion should aim at a synthesis of conflicting views, and should turn objections to account as a positive element …Voting … must not form a convenient method, a substitute for lack of arguments which carry conviction” (Warner)

      Here’s food for thought – The six indicative models are –

      1. A tricameral or three sphere model consisting of an Iwi/Hapū assembly (the
      rangatiratanga sphere), the Crown in Parliament (the kāwanatanga sphere) and a joint
      deliberative body (the relational sphere).

      2. A different three sphere model consisting of an assembly made up of Iwi, Hapū and
      other representation including Urban Māori Authorities (the rangatiratanga sphere), the
      Crown in Parliament (the kāwanatanga sphere),and a joint deliberative body (the
      relational sphere).

      3. A further three sphere model consisting of an Iwi/Hapū assembly (the rangatiratanga
      sphere), the Crown in Parliament (the kāwanatanga sphere), and regional assemblies
      made up of Iwi, Hapū and Crown representatives (the relational sphere).

      4. A multi-sphere model consisting of an assembly of Iwi/Hapū and other Māori
      representation (the rangatiratanga sphere) and the Crown in Parliament (the
      kāwanatanga sphere). It also includes a relational sphere which would have two parts –
      a constitutionally mandated set of direct Iwi/Hapū/Crown relationships to enable direct
      Iwi/Hapu-Crown decision-making plus a unitary perhaps annual assembly of broader
      Māori and Crown representation.

      5. A unicameral or one sphere model consisting of Iwi/Hapū and the Crown making
      decisions together in a constitutionally mandated assembly. This model does not have
      rangatiratanga or kāwanatanga spheres. It only has the relational sphere.

      6. A Bicameral Model made up of an Iwi/Hapū assembly and the Crown in Parliament. This
      model has distinct rangatiratanga and kāwanatanga spheres but has no provision for a
      relational sphere.

      Matike Mai Aotearoa Report.

      • Apologies for gaps in text copied from Matike Mai pdf document. It looked perfect in the box before I posted it …. Damn!

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 17, 2016

        @PZ, supposing that Maori “law” is better than our existing law for Maori then I see no reason why it should not be better for everyone and therefore be incorporated into our general law applicable to all NZers. I await your suggestions.

        • @ Alan – I suspect you are thinking a bicameral or tricameral model is going to result in making two different laws, one for hapu iwi Maori and one for pakeha? And is it a matter of “better OR worse”? It might just be different.

          Would this be such a terrible thing? Presently Maori must live under pakeha law, just as Maori must be bilingual even if they speak te Reo, whereas pakeha can easily speak only English. Enforcing Maori “law” on pakeha might be just as innappropriate as the other way around, which is what we have today.

          I believe the Tricameral “three spheres” will be working mostly [and perhaps entirely] on the same legislation, although it may be considered, decided, expressed and enacted somewhat differently in the world … bilingually to begin with. Consultation might be greatly improved, for instance.

          An example might be Justice, where Courts may have regional or district differences in approach and judicial makeup due to the Maori population, but pass the same or equivalent sentences on the same charges, some of which might then be carried out in marae-based situations rather than by imprisonment or ‘community work’. Discretional justice might be greatly enhanced, in place of the rather inconsistent ‘mechanical’ or formulaic justice we seem to have today?

          We might tailor the punishment not only to fit the crime but to fit the criminal as well?

          The makeup and actions of our Police force might change somewhat? I don’t really know … Education will be effected I suspect … as will other spheres of life.

          It’s been a long day. What a great topic though. Arguably the most important issue the nation will engage about since Te Tiriti o Waitangi itself or perhaps since the lie was exposed at Parihaka?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 17, 2016

            No, PZ, I am just interested in discovering what, if any, improvements you can envisage Maori culture contributing to NZ law.

            No, Maori must be bilingual only if they speak Te Reo.

            AFAICS, your various camerals would provide endless hui and little if any doie. But if they want them, let them go ahead and pay for them. Just don’t expect me to.

            • @ Alan – “what, if any, improvements you can envisage Maori culture contributing to NZ law”

              See Matike Mai Report –
              The Value of Tikanga. . . . . . . . . 70
              The Value of Community. . . . . . . . 74
              The Value of Belonging. . . . . . . . . 79
              The Value of Place. . . . . . . . . 81
              The Value of Balance. . . . . . . . . 84
              The Value of Conciliation. . . . . . . . 89
              The Value of Structure. . . . . . . . . 92
              The Rangatahi Values . . . . . . . . 94
              The Well-being of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. . . . 94
              Mana Motuhake. . . . . . . . . 95
              Traditional Knowledges. . . . . . . . 96
              Kotahi Aroha. . . . . . . . . . 96
              Education, health and Well-being . . . . . . 97

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 18, 2016

              After reading a few pages I abandoned hope of finding anything substantive enough to hold an idea that could be implemented.

              While the elite entertain themselves with endless platitudes at the taxpayer’s expense, ordinary Maori subsist.

          • Gezza

             /  September 17, 2016

            In a system of differential sentencing for offenders, who chooses which sentencing option applies? Does the victim have any say?

            • @ Alan – Have you read Matike Mai Report? I think you said you wouldn’t waste your time? There are some significant contributions Maori could make in that. “Consensual and concilliatory” comes to mind …

              @ Gezza – The victim certainly would have a say in anything approaching a wholistic or organic justice system … Not the only or final say but certainly a say …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              The principal proposal, as I understand it from the summary, is for 24 years of hui before implementation in 2040. The rest is so fuzzy as to be pointless fantasy.

            • The rest is so fuzzy TO YOU Alan … TO YOU …

              I wait in fascinated anticipation to see to what extent Palmer’s vision of a Constitution coincides with Matike Mai and CAP – Constitutional Advisory Panel, which reported in 2011 (I think) … something akin to the Flag Consideration Panel thing IMO … mostly a fob off … but nonetheless some useful material …


              We don’t want to rush things now do we? … Look at some of the examples we have of rushing things … Rogernomics FFS!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 18, 2016

              I read the recommendations of that lot too. Just as fuzzy and pointless. Another bureaucratic door stop.

            • My Gosh Alan …. the system’s perfect then!

              It suits your agenda … so its perfect … No changes required?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 18, 2016

              No, it’s far from perfect. But there is no way those working groups are going to fix anything that matters.

  12. “respect for persons from diverse cultures, the dignity and worth of each individual human person, a commitment to the upholding of civil, political and human rights”

    human being See MONSTER.
    Ballentine’s Law Dictionary (1930)


  13. Blazer

     /  September 17, 2016

    ‘Several party manifestos sketched a progressive, semi-utopian blueprint for New Zealand’s future as an egalitarian, ecologically sustainable society. The party appealed especially to those elements of the New Left who felt alienated both by the small Marxist-Leninist parties of the day, as well as by the bread-and-butter centre-left politics of the New Zealand Labour Party. The party is widely regarded[by whom?] as the first national political party promoting social renewal that incorporated restoring a respectful relationship to nature. From its beginning, the Values Party emphasised proposing alternative policies, rather than taking only an oppositionist stance to the ruling parties.[2]

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 17, 2016

      There were three strands to the Values Party – some loony Left, environmentalists and feminists. My wife and I came from the last. While I was co-Leader I ensured that economic policy and presentation was kept in the hands of the leaders and not the loony Left who were substantially weakened when Tony Kunowski left. My fellow co-leaders were Janet Roborgh, married to a New Plymouth doctor and Jon Mayson who became a highly successful CEO of Ports of Tauranga and now chairs a number of companies.

      As you can see my experience of the loony Left is deep as well as broad.

      • Blazer

         /  September 17, 2016

        yes Al, it is an interesting, but common path…ideological,community aware ,youthful exuberance,to materialistic,selfish driven conservative.What a conformist you turned out to be …swerved,and..shaken!

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 17, 2016

          You wouldn’t know, Blazer. I’m so far from materialistic my wife calls me her little urchin and I spend most of my time doing things for other people, animals or the environment. As for conformist, ha ha. Neither am I a conservative. I am a classic liberal which gives me the freedom to be non-conformist.

          • Blazer

             /  September 17, 2016

            sure AL…quite clearly you are a ..schizophrenic!BOL.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2016

              Possibly unlike you, I know first hand exactly what one is like, Blazer. But I am not.

  14. PHEW !!!! Oh thank goodness … this ‘Constitution for Aotearoa’ topic will drop off the list in another day or so … and we can all go back to complaining and bickering … avoiding the subject and ad-hominem … What a relief !!!

  15. Hi Corky, which of the many meanings of Tautoko do you mean. For those who deny one law for all, I can only quote this: “Ko ia tangata kua whapaea mo tetahi hara e ahei nei whiu e tika ana kia ki ia kahore ia i hara tae noa ki te wa e whakata ua ai ae i hara ia e ai ki ta te ture i roto i tetahi whakawatanga i te aroaro o te katoa a i reira i whiwhi ia i te katoa o nga huarahi karo , tautoko hoki i a ia .”

  16. Pete Kane

     /  September 26, 2016

    They were both interviewed at RNZ on Sunday morning. I’ve mixed feelings. I certainly don’t believe ‘current’ arrangements’ to be as dire as some would have us believe.