Peter Dunne on Constutional Issues

February 3rd, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Peter Dunne has blogged his wishlist/policy for . Worth taking them one at a time.

A referendum on the future of MMP, in 2010, to allow the New Zealand people to review the effectiveness of the system to date

Is going to happen as was an election promise. Timing not certain though.

A referendum on the future of Maori seats in Parliament to be held in conjunction with the MMP referendum, with a view to abolishing the seats by 2014. This would give effect to the recommendation in the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System.

I do support implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations, but you need to do all three of their outstanding recommendations – reduce the threshold from 5% to 4%, waive the threshold for Maori parties and then abolish the Maori seats. I think a waived threshold is a superior way to have Maori representation than separate seats.

Moving towards New Zealand becoming a republic within the Commonwealth by 2017, with a referendum in this term of Parliament on having our own Head of State.

No surprise I support this one, but I doubt a referendum will occur in the near future.

Establish a New Zealand Day separate from Waitangi Day to celebrate our nation’s history, multicultural society.

I support this one strongly. I think Waitangi Day should stay, but it would be good to have a New Zealand Day also that is celebrated like national days are in Australia, France and the US. A possible date for this would be Dominion Day in mid September.

Investigate an extension of the Parliamentary term to four years, with a fixed election day.

Again support both of these. The second one is a bit harder than the first, but not impossible. A longer term would lead to much better policy making.

Introduce a Multicultural Act, similar to Canada, for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in New Zealand.

Not so sure on this one. We are already obviously a multicultural society and have anti-discrimination laws. I’m sceptical of the benefits of such a law.

Ensure that school pupils understand their civic rights and responsibilities, the structure of the New Zealand Parliament and of Local Government and their means of access to them.

I would hope this gets covered in senior years already.

Nationally televise the Youth Parliament to give credence to the efforts of young people to lift the bar.

Now we have in house TV in Parliament, I would hope this could be done for almost no cost on Sky.

Require immigrants to take a civics course as part of becoming a New Zealand citizen, to promote civics understanding and teach immigrants what it is to be a “Kiwi” & what the norms & expectations of New Zealand society are.

Very good idea. Ideally some of this should be done even before they apply, so immigrants get as much information as possible to decide if they will be happy here.

Introduce a graded system towards citizenship to develop the idea that citizenship is a privilege and not a right.

Yes, but more than that we need to look at whether certain entitlements should be reserved to citizens, rather than all permament residents. There is little incentive for people living here to become a citizen.

Tags: ,

27 Responses to “Peter Dunne on Constutional Issues”

  1. big bruv (13,718 comments) says:

    Dunne missed one;

    “Investigate as a matter of urgency all political parties and politicians who have yet to repay money stolen from the tax payer during the last six years, if and when they are found guilty prosecute them to the full extent of the law, if our current laws do not allow for a lengthy term of imprisonment then introduce new legislation that will”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    You’re absolutely right on that last statement. I’m a permanent resident, married to a Kiwi with kids born here and I’m not going anywhere…there’s just no point in spending the hundreds of $$’s it costs to have the right to spend another chunk of cash to get an extra passport. The only reason to get Kiwi citizenship would be if I wanted to move to Australia. Go, and indeed figure.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    big bruv – you beat me to it. exactly!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Some wise political guru once said:

    Democracy
    Immigration
    Multiculturalism

    Pick TWO.

    But Peter is right with THIS:

    “Require immigrants to take a civics course as part of becoming a New Zealand citizen, to promote civics understanding and teach immigrants what it is to be a “Kiwi” & what the norms & expectations of New Zealand society are.”

    I would add to that, that these immigrants NOT expect their cultures to get special recognition in NZ law, where they conflict with that; e.g. on the number of wives they might expect to have.

    I don’t know what Peter Dunne expects “multiculturalism” to mean. If it means more restaurants serving exotic food, or more exotic musicians playing at our festivals, fine.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. casual watcher (289 comments) says:

    Please don’t encourage Peter Dunne by commenting on anything he says. That prick chaired the EFB committee and then claimed he didn’t understand the implications of his expedient endorsement of the legislation. He is a fuckwit !

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    casual watcher – Judy Turner was UnitedFuture’s rep on the expanded Justice and Electoral Committee that looked into the EFA.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    DPF: One important criteria for judging the “goodness” of political systems is the ease of throwing out bad politicians. That’s a hell of a lot easier with official Maori seats than with a lower threshold for the Maori Party or other party so-designated. Under your rule, Peters would have recast himself as a Maori-based party and gotten back into Parliament.

    Theorem 1: Any electoral system that re-elects Winston Peters, or raises the probability of same, is worse than a system that does not.

    You’re violating Theorem 1. It’s in all the undergrad pols textbooks (or at least ought to be).

    [DPF: I do like Theorem 1.]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Helensphotogenicimposter (244 comments) says:

    To waive the Threshold for Maori parties only requires strict definition of what a Maori party is. Otherwise, the National Front could claim to be a Maori party just to get elected to parliament.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Peter Dunne on ‘ anything, is a waste of space, unless it’s ‘ his way out ‘.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Jack5 (5,051 comments) says:

    Possum Pete has been thinking, thinking, thinking.

    Some interesting ideas, but multiculturalism is a woolly concept. India and Indonesia are hailed as multicultural societies, but India’s Muslims get a fairly rough deal, and so do its Christians. Its neighbour Sri Lanka isn’t going too well with its multiculturalism at the moment. Ask the Papuans of West Irian what they think of Indonesia’s multiculturalism, or the Tibetans and Uighurs what they think of China’s, or the Koreans into their third or fourth generation in Japan, what they think of Japan’s multiculturalism. Similarly with Fiji’s relative to the Indian community. The Chechens and many Tatars will also have reservations about highly multicultural Russia.

    Many folk from such societies come to Western countries and are “recruited” by lefty-liberal fogheads who harp on about multiculturalism and generally try to spread their shame at being born white or light brown, being fed and securely housed, being able to bludge on the state easily, and being allowed to whinge without being batoned by riot police.

    Multiculturalism in fact is worse than woolly. It’s a crock of PC nonsense. If people come to politically and genetically bicultural NZ they come to become Kiwis not to so set up another cultural stream. Kiwis mostly blend into Australia and Britain when they settle there. We should require the same of people we allow to settle in NZ.

    Besides, with New Zealand’s emerging economic position we are in no position to impoverish ourselves for multiculturalism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    I disagree with the NZ day thing – Waitangi IS New Zealand day!

    The people that moan about “The Maoris this, the Maoris that” are just as guilty as anyone else of contributing to the recriminations and negativity that currently surround Waitangi Day.

    But the Treaty is real, and has meaning, and the signing of it *really, really was* the birth of the modern nation of New Zealand. It deserves to be the pre-eminent celebration of our country and everything we have.

    [DPF: You can play the blame game but I'm a realist. Waitangi Day will never be a day of celebration about all things good about NZ. That is partly because of course there were many Treaty breaches and naturally that does not lead to celebrations. Let Waitangi Day be about Waitangi, but NZ Day about everything good about NZ]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    >>Waitangi IS New Zealand day

    Too political. Too one sided.

    We want something inclusive, positive and celebratory.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Camryn (538 comments) says:

    Germany, from whence our MMP hails, already has ethnic threshold exclusions. However they work there could be a start for here. Does anyone know how the Germans define an ethnic party?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Poor old Peter. Must have rained where he went on holiday, or his family, like his political comrades, want to have as little to do with him as possible and so he sits out in the garden shed cogitating. Big bruv is right.

    PS Peter – most of the 4 million just want a fucking holiday. Inclusivity has nothing to do with it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    “reduce the threshold from 5% to 4%, waive the threshold for Maori parties”

    What happened to being all equal under the law? Racism is bad in either direction. This country will never move on when there is the Maori and everybody else.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,887 comments) says:

    Abolish the Maori seats and waive the threshold for Maori parties only. Madness. Suddenly all Maoris will be white. Like that fulla with all the hair and bullshit. What’s his name again? Pita Pau. Not to mention old Hemi Anatene.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    >>most of the 4 million just want a fucking holiday. Inclusivity has nothing to do with it.

    On the contrary. I suspect many people would like both a holiday and a cause to celebrate the nation.

    Having lived elsewhere, I feel that opportunity is missing here.

    Waitangi should be that day. I guess it might be if the issue ever gets settled.

    Sometime in 3055, perhaps…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    How do you define a Maori party?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. slijmbal (1,230 comments) says:

    As an immigrant…

    I don’t have the stats for NZ but practically every other country (other than GB with ludicrous EEC rules) that I’ve seen has stats that validate the immigrants are better citizens than the incumbents.

    Less unemployment
    Less crime
    Less use of the welfare state

    etc

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water – there is a specific class of immigrant, typically economic or (so called) refugee, who do cause issues but don’t hurt the ones who improve the country in the process.

    oh – I was told to purchase various tomes and read up about X, Y, Z before coming here – abosutely usesless – summarised by “spitting is not acceptable”. There is no support for immigrants – thank god – we’ll sort it out ourselves – I can mover around the planet – I think I can sort out getting a house, a job , a life – better than 1/2 the kiwis on the benefit. Immigration, of the right sort, is good.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    I find it hard to get behind the idea of the “Civics course” without knowing more about what it would actually teach.

    If it is simple nuts & bolts stuff (what the road rules are, the mechanisms of our democracy, basic NZ history) then cool.

    If it strays into “A good New Zealander should behave like THIS…” territory then I would be strongly opposed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. slijmbal (1,230 comments) says:

    Ratbiter,

    the stuff I was told to read (20 years ago) was surprisingly PC – but then again I moved from Holland, a left of centre country, to NZ, a damn site more left of centre country.

    The way to bring in citizens is to remove all social aspects and be whorish – NZ is attractive to many Europeans – get the best in.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. georgebolwing (793 comments) says:

    I find it interesting that Dunne seems to equate “constitutional reform” with electoral reform and public holidays.

    How, or indeed who we elect is slightly secondary to what powers they have.

    In New Zealand, electoral law is pretty important, since our parliament can enact laws that take away all our rights.

    Thus, top of my list would be a Bill of Rights, allowing the Supreme Court to strike-down as unconstitutional laws that abridged those rights.

    As to what rights, the US Constitutions list is a good start.

    The US States tend to have more modern versions.

    Florida’s is worth looking at: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?Mode=Constitution&Submenu=3&Tab=statutes&CFID=77462818&CFTOKEN=67773551#A01S23

    I particularly like Section 23: “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life except as otherwise provided herein.”

    This provision was used, in part, to strike down the law attempting to allow the state to keep Terri Schiavo alive. In that case, the courts were not concerned with what might be good for Ms Schiavo, but what she wanted. The evidence was that she would not want to be kept alive in her circumstances.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. florence (1 comment) says:

    Hi there,
    Since the Maori seats are part of the listed constitutional issues, I thought you might be interested by this event we’re organising at Te Papa: on Thursday 5 February, 6.30-8pm, we’re having a debate between Professor Philip Joseph and Derek Fox about the future of Maori seats in Parliament.
    This will be webcast live from Te Papa’s website, so anybody can watch it. We’ll also allow people to ask their questions through our blog, by email or via a live chat.
    So join us on Thursday, we really want to hear from anybody who’s interested in this subject.
    http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/treatydebates

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Bob R (1,363 comments) says:

    “Introduce a Multicultural Act, similar to Canada, for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in New Zealand.

    Not so sure on this one. We are already obviously a multicultural society and have anti-discrimination laws. I’m sceptical of the benefits of such a law.”

    Exactly, any further “enhancement” would presumably be more active ‘positive discrimination’ against whites.

    The research on ‘multi-culturalism’ by Harvard’s Robert Putman shows that it reduces community trust and engagement. Accordingly, I’m not sure why Dunne thinks it should be ‘enhanced’.

    Perhaps a better idea would be to ensure that migrants, while they may come from different cultures, don’t have basic values that will be inconsistent with Western enlightenment values (freedom of speech, equal rights for men & women & people of different sexual orientation etc).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    “extend the parliamentary term to four years”, Yeah why not but limit the time a prime minister can remain in office to two terms like the yanks. Imagine three terms of four years with someone like Dear Leader at the helm, the place would be a fucking circus.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. big bruv (13,718 comments) says:

    Lets look at who it is that is suggesting the term be extended to four years before we rush to agree with the MP for Ohariu (who has yet to return the stolen money)

    What difference would it make if the term was four years instead of three?, I refuse to believe that a longer term would make any difference whatsoever in the quality of polices drafted and passed by idiots such as Dunne, is anybody really suggesting that the EFA would have been better drafted given more time?..of course not.

    This suggestion of Dunne’s has nothing to do with better government and everything to do with people like him getting his nose in the trough for an extra year at our bloody expense.

    And please….does anybody really think that the Youth parliament is anything but a complete and utter waste of our money and our time?

    There is a simple rule to observe here, if Dunne suggests it…then it a stupid idea and a waste of tax payer funds.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.