Another option, and one which might be favoured by those wishing to codify the essence, rather than the letter, of the current status quo is something like the Swedish monarchical model.
The Swedish constitution nominates a monarchical succession but grants that monarch more or less no powers.
An NZ constitution modelled on this would replace all the various powers exercised by the G-G on governmental advice with powers directly exercised by the government/parliament, so bills would become law on third reading, governments would be formed by vote of parliament, etc.
I suspect this would be highly unpopular amongst the many who hold a poetic view of reality.
Anyway, I tend to the view that we'd be better off trying to change our constitution in the bright light of a crisis (as Icelanders has tried and so far failed to).
We may then be inspired. I'd see the key points as:
- entrenched and enforceable human rights
- entrenched and enforceable social and economic rights
- the right to devolved self governance (by communities including iwi, cities and neighbourhoods)
- the entrenchment of the Treaty
I'd consider that layer one and immutable. Layers below that, changeable by referenda, could specify organisational details and below that would sit the general laws.
a no-change constitution
The difficulty would be determining what that amounts to. Take ‘royal assent’, for instance. It hasn’ t been denied ever since 1878 in NZ (at the behest of Britain), or in the UK since 1707.
Is it now a nullity? Or could a minority government that was faced with a bill that it disapproved of and couldn’t veto financially decide to advise the G-G to refuse assent? And if it was in the constitution in black letters: the G-G will assent to or decline assent to laws on the advice of the government, would it then become a government veto similar to that wielded (frequently) by US presidents?
Or indeed, could a G-G decide to act without advice – would a written constitution prescribe that they could not (and if it didn’t, would they then have reasonable grounds to judge it a matter of discretion)?
It's an odd stance, because I would have thought, and it would be good if one of the distinguished lawyers on PAS could clarify, that by encouraging and benefitting from people breaking the law, Uber are a party to the offence. But maybe that doesn't apply to traffic offences?
(It certainly would seem more clear-cut than Kim Dotcom's legal troubles, where he didn't (at least) actively advertise that people should upload copyrighted content).
And what about houses where somebody is prescribed Ritalin or Adderall - they might drop a pill and crush it into the carpet, presumably rendering the neighbourhood uninhabitable..
Mike ought to read
I bet Rutherford wouldn't have got very far with such a process.
Ah thanks. Though I'm sure there will need to be a bit of scrutiny of books, movies and websites, including the governments own Te Ara in order to purge history of that which must be forgotten.
How does the select committee think that knowing about NZ suicides will cause others to kill themselves while knowing of foreign ones won't?
Do we have to refer to the Japanese tactics in WW2 as “high risk aerial strike operations”?
Not to mention what happened to Hitler - I guess children we now be taught that he was alive on the morning of 29th of April and wasn't by the end of the day, and we aren't going to go into what happened...
And will Unity Books have to clear out their history, autobiography and music sections? Not to mention Wikipedia - is the coroner going to be attempting legal action against them?