The students’ constitution

September 7th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Isaac Davison at NZ Herald reports:

The Waitangi Tribunal would have binding powers to remedy Treaty breaches in a drawn up by 50 of the country’s brightest young people.

The draft constitution, developed by law, history and communications students at Parliament, also called for New Zealand to become a republic and for four-year parliamentary terms.

I agree with a four year term (essential in fact) and a republic. The Treaty issue is more difficult.

Lead facilitator Dean Knight, from Victoria University Law School, said the group made it very clear that the should be central to a new constitution.

The final document, which is published online today, said: “The tribunal may provide a remedy to a claimant if a breach of a right arises from a breach of the principles of Te Tiriti.”

Mr Knight noted that the gathering did not reach a consensus on this clause. “What they’re signalling is enhanced powers for the Treaty of Waitangi, moving towards binding recommendations, but not necessarily going as far as striking down legislation.”

At present, the tribunal could make recommendations which Government could choose to ignore.

Otago University law student Louis Chambers said the biggest sticking point in developing the document was how strong the constitution would be. “We had to ask: ‘Is the constitution a symbolic document that guides the New Zealand public or is it something that you can actually go to the courts and enforce if it is not complied with?”‘

The group eventually decided that the Bill of Rights would be strengthened, and the Waitangi Tribunal would be given greater powers. But ultimate responsibility would be left to Government, and the judiciary would not be able to declare any law invalid if it breached the constitution.

I support there being a written constitution. Having seen a Government retrospectively amend the Electoral Act to keep a Minister in Parliament, I am convinced we need safeguards from a non-benign Government.

I’m not against the Treaty of Waitangi being part of a constitution, but with two caveats.

  1. It must be the Treaty itself in the constitution, not these nebulous “principles of the Treaty” that have taken a life of their own.
  2. The constitution, and hence the Treaty, must be amendable

You can not put something into constitutional or supreme law, which is unamendable. The US Constitution and Bill of Rights is amendable. The US Declaration of Independence is not, and hence has no status in law.

If people want the Treaty to be part of our constitution, they have to provide for a mechanism which can update it

 

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56 Responses to “The students’ constitution”

  1. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    “a written constitution drawn up by 50 of the country’s brightest young people.”

    Oh God no.

    That this fatuous idiocy actually gets any traction at all is proof of the oft heard claim that this is “the era of bullshit”.

    Nobody “educated” in NZ’s school system over the last thirty years is fit to author anything as important as a Constitution. They’re almost all the most sad mind numbed socialist robots you would see anywhere.

    Revolution or major reform is the only way any such document will ever have any worth.

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  2. Manolo (14,038 comments) says:

    The damned Treaty of Waitangi has caused enough division and damage to NZ already. It’s time to ditch this anachronism.

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  3. nonpartisan (41 comments) says:

    If the Treaty of Waitangi forms a part of a newly written constitution, New Zealand will forever lose any hope of becoming one nation of people. Any constitution should be completely free of reference to race or it should be scrapped.

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  4. Longknives (4,868 comments) says:

    “The group eventually decided that the Bill of Rights would be strengthened, and the Waitangi Tribunal would be given greater powers”

    So effectively the Waitangi Tribunal becomes more powerful than the government- Surely this would infringe on most New Zealander’s Bill of Rights??
    (Or is it only the rights of a select few that matter?)

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  5. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    It’s crazy nonsense. The Treaty is meaningless, the Tribunal an association with less credibility than the Mongrel Mob and the so called brightest , indoctrinated socialists and anarchists.

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  6. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    The Waitangi Tribunal would have binding powers to remedy Treaty breaches in a written constitution drawn up by 50 of the country’s brightest young people.

    If our brightest young people come up with this then we really are screwed.

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  7. Griff (8,166 comments) says:

    The Treaty
    The Tribunal
    Two simple words Fuck off

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  8. anonymouse (721 comments) says:

    What a hopeless piece of reporting,

    The Waitangi Tribunal would have binding powers

    “What they’re signalling is enhanced powers for the Treaty of Waitangi, moving towards binding recommendations, but not necessarily going as far as striking down legislation .”

    err so what exactly was decided about these “binding” powers, they would apply to breaches, but the government would remain free to implement legislation that did not meet these recommendations,pretty binding that….

    Hmm, so not that much different to now, It is my understanding that under the 1987 Maori council court of appeal case binding powers were allowed for breaches involving crown forest land, SOE, education and railways land, ( or land that was previously owned by these and a memorial existed on the title.

    It is just that the tribunal doesn’t use them very often..

    At present, the tribunal could make recommendations which Government could choose to ignore.

    And under this proposal Goverments would be free to make legislation that ignored tribunal recommendations, so not much change there really

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  9. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    “What a hopeless piece of reporting.”

    True. Take a look at a few more examples of what this useless drooling idiot Progressive has written lately.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/isaac-davison/news/headlines.cfm?a_id=586

    And the Herald with its paywall idea expects people to pay to be insulted by this kind of worthless pandering politically jaundiced liberal crap??

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  10. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    “1.It must be the Treaty itself in the constitution, not these nebulous ”principles of the Treaty” that have taken a life of their own. 2.The constitution, and hence the Treaty, must be amendable”
    Totally agree.

    “drawn up by 50 of the country’s brightest young people.”
    Bahahahahaha. Have you actually met Otago law students. Or any law students FFS.

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  11. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    WHat makes you think a written constitution will be a safeguard from a non-benign Government?

    How’s Russia going under its one? Or Cuba, or Pakistan, or Indonesia, or Sri Lanka, China, Belarus or Kazakstan.

    A Constitution/constitution is just a piece/s of paper. It’s the will of the people and institutions to defend it that protects us.

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  12. Longknives (4,868 comments) says:

    Redbaiter- “and the renaming of the Prime Minister as a Tumuaki ”

    God fucking help us…

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  13. loonybonkersmad (27 comments) says:

    As Francois Guizot said : “Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”

    It’s not a surprise that this group of young leaders produce a liberal document – ask they same people in 10 years and you will get a very different answer …

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  14. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    “Having seen a Government retrospectively amend the Electoral Act to keep a Minister in Parliament…”

    Actually, I think the exact opposite. This is why we should not have a “written constitution”. If we had, there would have been a byelection in New Plymouth. A totally unnecessary one, that Duynhoven would have won anyway. His breach of the Electoral Act was accidental and technical, and I was actually disappointed that National did not back him.

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  15. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    “God fucking help us…”

    Exactly..!!

    As is said above- if these are truly our “best and brightest” we are seriously fucked.

    A measure of how utterly worthless the education system has become under the influence of the Progressives.

    No critical thought or diversion from mainstream socialist conditioning permitted.

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  16. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    Actually, to be truthful here, they are probably far from our “best and brightest”.

    They will be agreeable and malleable socialist/ racist arse-lickers hand picked by a conniving politically corrupt government agency with the ultimate objective (the Treaty as the over-arching document) already well in mind.

    The whole review consult and consider process is just the usual cynical propaganda fraud that typifies this era of government.

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  17. kowtow (8,753 comments) says:

    And nowhere is there a reference to a referendum.These tossers know where their Treaty and Constitution would end up ,if any real democracy was applied to the process.

    looneybnkersmad (I like)

    these tossers will still be bleating this anti democratic shite in 10,20 30 years time as they are going to spend their whole working lives subsidised by big governmet and will never experience the fear of the wolf at the door.

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  18. peterwn (3,302 comments) says:

    About the concern of a retrospective Electoral Act amendment, the section in question was to deal with potential treachery, ie a MP becoming a citizen of an ‘enemy’ nation. I doubt for one moment that it was intended to ‘hit’ a concientious MP. This is especially as the distinction between ‘Commonwealth’ and ‘foreign’ has become blurred – UK and Holland are both EU countries and Holland is just as democratic and homan rights conscious as UK.

    It was such a pity that Labour at the time had dragged its Parliamentary conduct to such a low level that the amendment became a political matter. If there was some semblance of goodwill between the main parties, the House surely could have passed the amendment unaminously with only one or two constitutional idelists being concerned.

    In the 19th century, Jamacia legislated retrospectively to affairm unlawful but necessary actions by the Governor to deal with an uprising and the Privy Council affirmed the legislation despite it being retrospective. Some UK retrospective legislation concerning taking of land and property valuations adversely affected some slumlords was more dubious but was upheld (the issue was whether slums could be valued ‘as is’ or assuming ‘greenfield’ land laid out as a subdivision to contemporary standards, the latter valuation meaning that slumlords got less compensation when the land was taken for slum clearance).

    Agreed some retrospective legislation could be quite inappropriate and unfair. For example an Act to make homosexual behaviour an offence backdated to 1986 would be grossly inappropriate and the Supreme Court would no doubt quash any convictions under such a law. But other retrospective legislation, especially to remedy ‘balls-up’s’ is quite appropriate as long as no one is disadvantaged by it. An example is to ratify expenditure incurred in good faith but found to be technically unlawful.

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  19. david (2,561 comments) says:

    ….. ” … developed by law, history and communications students at Parliament, …. ”

    What were their names?

    Not the 3 “C’s” by any chance?

    Chauvel, Cullen and Curran match the description. Now doesn’t that put a slant on the “findings”.

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  20. thedavincimode (6,869 comments) says:

    A measure of how utterly worthless the education system has become under the influence of the Progressives.

    No critical thought or diversion from mainstream socialist conditioning permitted.

    They will be agreeable and malleable socialist/ racist arse-lickers hand picked by a conniving politically corrupt government agency with the ultimate objective (the Treaty as the over-arching document) already well in mind.

    Give Polly a cracker.

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  21. MH (810 comments) says:

    Obviously these bright students must have been celebrating being legally able to be supplied with RTD’s from their professors whilst they typed this up. Where is Sir Geoffrey Palmer in all this?

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  22. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    This carry on is simply proof that people brains do not fully develop until they are at least 25.

    How could this lot comeup with such a divisive concept and idea. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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  23. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    It is well overdue that the Treaty be given the rightful status as the founding document of New Zealand and that the Articles contained within it are recognised as the guiding principles for formulating law within New Zealand. The history of this young nation is one where Governments, influenced by business interests, have flagrantly abused the Treaty and misused political power.
    There should be no caveats as suggested by DPF, and further to that the Treaty should not be amendable simply because history proves that politicians are not trustworthy enough and will legislate to suit themselves and their particular ideaology.

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  24. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    “The history of this young nation is one where Governments, influenced by business interests, have flagrantly abused the Treaty and misused political power.”

    This commenter is no doubt one of those kind of “star” pupils and a fine example of what is really meant by “best and brightest”.

    This is the bigotry and ignorance and perverted view of history our education system produces.

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  25. thedavincimode (6,869 comments) says:

    That’s much better.

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  26. flipper (4,198 comments) says:

    “best and brightest”.

    Yeah, right.

    That the so called [carefully selected???] “best and brightest” can seriously propose that the Waitangi Gravy Train “ [be given] enhanced powers …. moving towards binding [ ‘err .. How can you have a binding recommendation?] recommendations, but not necessarily going as far as striking down legislation .”

    We have spent hours this week debating a proposed administrative change to enable the MSD to cut of arrest warrant miscreants, and rightly so. We have in the past spent hours covering Bridgecorp, Hanover, South Canterbury, Blue Chip (ad nauseum.)while the Crown (Police, MFA, SFO etc. have spent millions tracking down and prosecuting apparent and real fraud.

    But meanwhile, back at the piggy bank in the sky above The Beltway, the Crown (we, us, & co) pays out millions upon millions to fund specious brown mail claims for water – with wind and the milky way still to come. (Never thort I would praise them, but Swain and Clark were 100 correct in telling their brown[sic] cousins to get stuffed over oil and gas ownership.)

    All of this because Cooke of Thorndon had a brain explosion.

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  27. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    The Davincimoron has clearly lost the fight with his painfully obvious obsessive compulsive disorder.

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  28. Griff (8,166 comments) says:

    It is well overdue that the Treaty be given the rightful status as not the founding document of New Zealand and that the Articles contained within it are not recognised as the guiding principles for formulating law within New Zealand. The history of this young nation is one where Governments, influenced by moari interests, have flagrantly abused the Treaty and misused political power.

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  29. Steve Wrathall (284 comments) says:

    “…50 of the country’s brightest young people…”
    So what screening procedure was employed to identify this higher caste? Did they have to diasassemble a megaphone, clean the dried spittle out and reassemble it in under 2 minutes? Or did they just have to submit how much pub quiz bar tabs they’d won?

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  30. alephnaught (18 comments) says:

    The trouble with incorporating Te Titiri as is is that as a historical document it’s open to a wide variety of interpretations in a modern context; ambiguity is generally something to be avoided at all costs in a written constitution. I would rather see an approach based on clearly defining and incorporating the principles of the Treaty in a constitutional document which would supersede it.

    This would of course take a lot of conversation and negotiation and it would surely be contentious; there’s a risk there of political hijacking and I’m not sure public education around Te Titiri is currently sufficient to have a meaningful debate about this. I don’t think defining the Principles of Te Titiri is essentially that difficult though – heck, I’ve never studied it in any great depth beyond reading a few annotated versions of the document, and it’s quite clear to me what people broadly mean when they talk about the Principles. Maybe my understanding is different to others but it doesn’t seem that hard.

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  31. Roflcopter (465 comments) says:

    “It must be the Treaty itself in the constitution, not these nebulous ”principles of the Treaty” that have taken a life of their own.”

    I disagree, because as long as the treaty exists in it’s own right, there’s going to be ongoing problems. It’s the various interpretations of the articles in the treaty that cause all the problems.

    By honouring the principles of the treaty as a part of the constitution (particularly Articles 2 & 3), in such a way as both Māori and non-Māori achieve a majority consensus on what those principles really mean, there’s no need to have the treaty at all except as a nice piece of paper in a museum with an explanation that it formed the basis of NZ’s modern constitution.

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  32. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    We could also simply pass a “Treaty of Waitangi Abolition Act” and put the treaty back where it belongs – forgotten about in the history books.

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  33. rg (214 comments) says:

    Why would anyone want the Treaty in our constitution? By establishing a right under the constitution that only one race could enjoy consigns all others to second class citizens. The only acceptable constitution for NZ would be one that enshrines equality, otherwise count me out.

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  34. Rightandleft (670 comments) says:

    This is just asking to open a can of worms. If you enshrine the Treaty in the Constitution which version of the Treaty is it? That’s the whole reason we have the Tribunal, because no one agrees on which version of the Treaty is correct. If we use the Maori version it would change the nation into something unrecognisable. And no party will have the courage to say we enshrine the English version. Having an amendment process sounds nice but that’s also just opening the door to decades of struggles to re-define the Treaty. My view is the Treaty should be left completely out of the Constitution and equal rights for all should be guaranteed.

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  35. RRM (10,002 comments) says:

    :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: Redbaiter (666) Says:

    September 7th, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Actually, to be truthful here, they are probably far from our “best and brightest”.

    They will be agreeable and malleable socialist/ racist arse-lickers hand picked by a conniving politically corrupt government agency

    :shock: That would have to be one of the most distasteful, and disgraceful comments I’ve ever read on here.

    What a grotty little individual you are.

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  36. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    “equal rights for all should be guaranteed.”

    Bullshit.

    It is not the governments role to legislate for equality.

    If we ever have any constitution of any worth its over-arching purpose will be to safeguard us from government.

    Especially legislation that has as its prime purpose the pursuit of “equality” a concept so often perverted by certain sections of society to arrive at objectives completely contrary to the stated purpose.

    “Equality” is a Marxist concept.

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  37. Redbaiter (9,516 comments) says:

    “That would have to be one of the most distasteful, and disgraceful comments I’ve ever read on here.”

    Flattery will get you everywhere.

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  38. Roflcopter (465 comments) says:

    “Why would anyone want the Treaty in our constitution? By establishing a right under the constitution that only one race could enjoy consigns all others to second class citizens. The only acceptable constitution for NZ would be one that enshrines equality, otherwise count me out.”

    This was the original intention, but when it’s written in 2 days by a couple of people so as to stop the French coming in and causing havoc, there’s always going to be shortcomings. Couple that with an overnight translation into Māori, and using a word such as “kawanatanga” to which Māori leaders signed up for, there’s been nothing but problems ever since.

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  39. Griff (8,166 comments) says:

    Equal rights for all and the rule of law for all was the original principal of the treaty.
    The whole partnership invention is a perversion of article one. Total Sovereignty was seeded to the crown
    We do not need to include the nebulous and poorly written treaty into our constitutional arrangements to insure these two principals are upheld
    of more concern to me is any inclusion of the wiatangi tribunal into our constitution.The process of law is rightly confined to the judiciary why add a separate and racily divided system to this? One law One people is the only way forward.

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  40. Manolo (14,038 comments) says:

    I disagree, RRM. Red’s comments are pretty accurate in describing liberal organisations and their overt agendas.

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  41. justmy opinion (8 comments) says:

    At the risk of being far too moderate for one of your commentators, I would be interested if Dean could clarify what is meant by a ‘binding recommendation”/ It seems like a contradiction in terms to me.

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  42. Paulus (2,659 comments) says:

    Other than a four year Parliament how disappointed that our children have been so indocrinated that they come up with this silliness.

    Can they not think for themselves and do some real investigation before spouting such inanities.

    And they are supposed to be the cleverist of our youngsters – just sad.

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  43. PaulL (6,042 comments) says:

    So, I think the process by which it was decided that these students were best and brightest were:
    1. They’re law students at Otago
    2. Lawyers are self declared as smarter than average people
    3. Otago students are self declared as smarter than average people
    4. Therefore, these students are our best and brightest, even the ones that are at the bottom of the Law School in Otago

    In other words, usual newspaper hyperbole.

    As for putting the treaty into legislation in this way, I agree with DPF:
    – principles are nebulous, we can’t enshrine those
    – we need a way to amend – great concept. I’d suggest that we don’t amend the treaty itself, but we permit amendments / extensions in the legislation that enshrines – so the treaty is point in time, our current agreement is what is in the legislation

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  44. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    These students will wake up one day and realise they are participants in society as opposed to observers.

    I’ve had enough with ‘maori’ issues and I hope we are heading towards a tipping point where people will revolt against racist legislation.

    I don’t blame maori for chasing this particular meal ticket as who in their right mind would reject free money/benefits.

    Perpetual ‘treaty’ settlements and preferential maori treatment are a significant economic drag on the country. Government and businesses should be concentrating on economic development, but in fact significant energy is instead being diverted into solving ‘maori’ issues that are inevitably blocking progress. I wonder if any ‘academics’ have tried to measure the ‘treaty’ economic drag.

    eg, I know some councils have tried to figure out how to rate maori property and have basically given up. So, some maoris do not pay their rates — if i decided not to pay taxes i’d be thrown in jail or lose my house so why do we let maori get away with this? Ask taupo council why they allow it.

    The biggest criminal(s) in this country should be the ones who forced government to uphold the ‘principles of the treaty of waitangi’ in their general operating procedures. That feel-good but open-ended clause has caused untold damage.

    Absolutely fed up!!

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  45. RRM (10,002 comments) says:

    A constitution is a handy reference guide for how the state should behave going forward into the future. So I think any constitution of New Zealand needs to totally exclude any mention of the Treaty of Waitangi, and it should be written in a way that presupposes all Treaty of Waitangi obligations have been met, or else the resolutions are in the pipeline.

    If Treaty of Waitangi obligations haven’t been met, that should be a completely separate matter from a constitution of New Zealand.

    As for the ToW itself…there are only three things wrong with the Treaty of Waitangi:

    1 – people signed it,

    2 – it contains words that mean what they say.

    3 – Far too many people want to argue from the “why are we giving Maori all this stuff?” p.o.v. without properly reviewing what the words in 2 above are, or considering the binding nature of the signatures in 1 above.

    There needs to be a focus on the actual content of the Treaty of Waitangi, and people need to forget about this endlessly fluid sphere of “the principles of…” which apparently means that the list of Stuff the Maori are Owed can get added to without limit.

    If we have an agreement that I’m going to purchase your house, that’s it. The chattels are specifically listed on the attached schedule, and if they’re not listed then they’re not included and it’s a simple as that. So I can’t turn around on settlement day and say, “hang on, under the principles of our sale & purchase agreement I should get all your furniture, your car, and your eldest daughter too..” The agreement is what it actually is, and nothing more.

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  46. Bob R (1,388 comments) says:

    ***in a written constitution drawn up by 50 of the country’s brightest young people.***

    Unfortunately they have probably swallowed considerable leftist propaganda as part of their education. Another problem is occasionally the highly intelligent can lack common sense (eg Geoffrey Palmer who IIRC inserted the “Principles of the Treaty” into the SOE Act).

    As Professor Bruce Charlton writes:

    ” The cognitively-stratified context of communicating almost-exclusively with others of similar intelligence, generates opinions and behaviours among the highest IQ people which are not just lacking in common sense but perversely wrong. Hence the phenomenon of ‘political correctness’ (PC); whereby false and foolish ideas have come to dominate, and moralistically be enforced upon, the ruling elites of whole nations.”

    http://medicalhypotheses.blogspot.co.nz/2009/11/clever-sillies-why-high-iq-lack-common.html

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  47. MH (810 comments) says:

    A prerequisite of a good Constitution is that it should be short and preferably written by a songwriter from a NZ has got the guts talent contest with Sir Geoffrey Palmer as sole judge and ending with the words”I have been to the mutton shop” Bring back the Statute of Westminster or Buck.

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  48. simonway (387 comments) says:

    You can not put something into constitutional or supreme law, which is unamendable.

    Yes you can. Lots of countries do it.

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  49. rouppe (980 comments) says:

    I have a big problem with the Treaty being part of a NZ Constitution.

    1) It is not a well articulated document
    2) It is too vague

    Far too much intention has been applied to a document which when you boil it down says:
    1) Maori will cede soverignty to the Crown
    2) Maori will not have their property confiscated
    3) Maori will become citizens of England

    There is not a shit show that any intention of water ownership, foreshore ownership, and all that rubbish was intended by this document. Recent history of England colonising countries demonstrates that they come in, take over, take what they wanted and shoot the rebellion. This was true in India, Singapore, Australia, anywhere.

    It is inconcievable that the English colonisers intended anything particularly different. All they were trying to do with the Treaty was avoid a massive war and ongoing bloodshed.

    Claims have gone way too far. I wish government would have the balls to start making counter claims for intellectual property.

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  50. thedavincimode (6,869 comments) says:

    simonway

    You can’t. Parliament can’t bind subsequent Parliaments because the subsequent Parliament can simply repeal the legislation that purports to entrench the constitution.

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  51. Michael (910 comments) says:

    This constitutional proposal will politicise the court system – we’ll end up with politically appointed tribunal members who will automatically veto (or approve) any proposal that goes against the government of the day – all depending on the colour of the government. Not thought through.

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  52. PaulL (6,042 comments) says:

    @RRM: you forgot to add the bit where it was translated into another language, and both versions signed. And there is question as to:
    1. Are the two versions the same (under current translation, under contemporary translation, under any translation?)
    2. Which version takes precedence?

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  53. MT_Tinman (3,255 comments) says:

    50 unworldly school children recommend apartheid.

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  54. Frustrated (8 comments) says:

    Re-interpret the Treaty replacing references to Maori with NZ citizens, and I think you’ve got a pretty good start to a constitution: –

    1) (something about the government runs the country)
    2) NZ Citizens have exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties.
    3) All NZ Citizens have equals rights.

    We could discuss the wording forever as to ownership, governship etc., but I’d be pretty happy having clauses 2) & 3) as the constitution.

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  55. kirsty (1 comment) says:

    I was a participant at the conference, and though there are many comments I would like to reply to I’ve tried to boil it down as short as possible. Sorry it’s long anyway.

    PaulL: you described all participants as Otago law students. As an Otago law student I find your comments to be ignorant, uninformed and entirely irrelevant to the discussion. There were 50 participants and only 10 were from Otago, and not all of us were law students either. Just from those I spoke to I know that there were participants from Auckland, Waikato and Victoria universities.

    So firstly, we had two days in which to write this “constitution”. So before ripping it apart consider that the point of the workshop was more about the process of thinking about hot issues, as opposed to producing something that could be enacted tomorrow.

    Secondly, the comments describing those who participated as “socialists” and the workshop itself as having a “slant” (impliedly left wing) are entirely incorrect. A little bit of investigation and I think you’ll find Paul Goldsmith was Wendy McGuinness’ companion in arranging the whole thing. Our invitations actually said “Paul Goldsmith MP invites you…” and we had a range of speakers from various areas on the political spectrum, such as Jim McLay and Metiria Turei.\

    Thirdly, yes the Treaty was incorporated into the document. We were divided into various groups with different focuses, and the Crown-Maori relations group came up with the best solution they could in the very short amount of time they were given (a matter of hours on the second day). Of course the Treaty will always be surrounded by controversy, but disregarding it completely will not make the issues go away. It symbolises the integration of two cultures and the inherent difficulty that that inevitably brings, but regardless of that difficulty New Zealanders cannot simply erase such a critical part of their history. The SOE, Fisheries, Foreshore/Seabed and more recently asset sales are examples of the government and Waitangi Tribunal giving the Maori voice and standing in the way the ancestors of all New Zealanders guaranteed in 1840. If you have an issue with our current process and the incorporation of Treaty principles in our laws, your issue lies with the government of the day. Talk to them instead of attacking the participants of the Empower workshop.

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  56. my 2 cents (1,091 comments) says:

    MT TINMAN
    Got it in one, thank you for being so clear.

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