The Constitutional Advisory Panel was appointed in August 2011 to conduct the Constitutional Review as required by the Confidence and Supply agreement formed by the National and the Māori Party following the 2008 election. The Panel will make a final report to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Māori Affairs by April 2014 with advice on constitutional topics.
The Panel has released an Information Booklet to inform and encourage conversations among New Zealanders about constitutional issues. The Booklet contains a summary of the current constitutional arrangements, the conversation and issues raised so far, and the questions and perspectives that have arisen. The issues explained in the Booklet include:
- The size and term of Parliament
- The number and size of electorates
- Māori representation in Parliament and local government
- The role of the Treaty of Waitangi
- Bill of Rights issues
- Issues regarding a written constitution
The Booklet is part of the Panel's first phase of its engagement strategy. The Panel has been holding "early conversations" with a range of organisations and active networks representing a range of New Zealanders, including Māori and community organisations. A wider public engagement programme will commence later this year.
The Booklet can be accessed here.