Labour should be consulted

NZPA report:

Labour expects the Government to consult with it over a constitutional review to consider such issues as Maori representation, leader says. …

Mr Goff said should be decided on a non-partisan basis but the Government had made no effort to contact his party over the review.“The Government, I presume, will make an approach to try to get a cross-party agreement on something as fundamental as constitutional change in New Zealand,” he said.

“I think the whole process should be inclusive, and that includes talking to all the parties across Parliament.”

I agree with Phil Goff. Labour, and indeed all parliamentary parties, should be consulted at an early stage on constitutional issues. These should be dealt with as openly as possible.

Of course Labour did not consult themselves on major constitutional issues such as the Electoral Finance Act and the Supreme Court establishment, but the record of the last Government should be seen as what not to do – not a benchmark for future Governments.

Prime Minister John Key said the Government had not yet decided when it would consult other parties.

“That’s something we’re going to have to consider, not just Labour but other political parties,” he said.

“You’ll remember that its genesis came from the confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party so that’s been our initial body of consultation … between National and the Maori Party.”

However, the nature of the review meant it was likely other parties would be consulted.

Sounds like they will, which is the right thing to do. Also, maybe ask the public for our views on what the terms of reference for the review should be. Ultimately the constitution belongs to the people, even if indirectly.

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