Good idea Geoffrey, let’s hope it won’t involve you in the drafting

Sir Geoffrey Palmer thinks it is time for a proper constitution to be drawn up.

It’s time for New Zealand to draw up its own constitution and a 40-page document would be enough, says constitutional law expert and former prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

Palmer has long advocated greater attention to the country’s constitutional laws but said he had reached “a new plateau”.

In Nelson to address the Spirited Conversations group on this subject, he said he hadn’t before advocated a full written constitution.

The architect of the 1986 Constitution Act and the 1990 Bill of Rights Act, he said an entrenched bill of rights was no longer enough.

Yes, well, those dopey pieces of legislation are part of the problem not part of the solution, so let’s hope no one thinks Sir Geoffrey would be a good candidate for any constitution panel.

Whilst it sounds like a noble and grand idea the biggest problem I see with this is that Kiwis just aren’t mature enough to even have a debate on what should and shouldn’t be in a constitution. Look at the carry on over the flag referendum for proof of that.

The very best constitutions though come about as a result of an event like a coup or a revolution or the overthrowing of a corrupt or despotic regime. I fear that any constitutional process in New Zealand would be hijacked by lefty knobs.

Before we change our flag we will have to look at our constitutional arrangements, but I fear that in the current environment we would be looking at a nasty political shit fight.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.