Exciting times ahead for constitutional reviewers. The National-led government has promised to establish a group by 2010 to review our constitutional arrangements as part of their agreement with the Maori Party.
The membership of this group will be fascinating, and the Maori Party will be keen to have a say, given many Maori have spent more time thinking about this than the average Pakeha.
How many of the new Justice and Electoral Committee – probably the closest fit in terms of select committees – will be involved? Lawyers like National’s Simon Bridges, or the Green’s Kennedy Graham?
Meanwhile, the latest poll on whether New Zealanders would like to be a republic asked:
“Australians are considering becoming a republic, which means the Queen of England will no longer be their Head of State. Do you believe New Zealand should also consider this?”
43% said yes, 48% said no. Support for the monarchy was lowest with those under 39, and highest for those over 60. Published poll results show New Zealanders becoming increasingly likely to support constitutional change in the direction of a republic over the last 20 years:
Might be something to think about over the next year or so – how we want our constitution to frame us. What values we think are important. How we measure what being a New Zealander means.
Personally, I’d be happy to lose the colonial irrelevance of the Queen as nominal head of state. But where does that leave Te Tiriti o Waitangi? Without which, of course, the majority of those who call Aotearoa New Zealand home now would not be here. Big questions indeed.