I think having an apolitical head of state is important in ensuring a final check on the power of the government. How would the written constitution ensure that this part of our system of government is executed?
I understand that this is a clause in Te Tiriti O Waitangi, but shouldn't natural resources instead be enshrined in protective legislation by the Govt, that they might be conserved rather than potentially exploited? Outside of having the government control unsold resources, the rest of NZ (like 80% of Kiwis) would have no guarantee that any natural resources placed under the care of an external agency would remain in good nick, regardless of whether that non-Govt agency was Maori or not. Maori access (that their traditions may be upheld in a way that is sustainable for those natural resources) should be a condition of any protective legislations (for example, the tradition of harvesting pingao from the dunes, which is a threatened species but also one of 4 important fibres used in Maori weaving), but surely the government (DoC??) should ultimately be responsible for the stewardship and upkeep of those resources?
The right to be non-religious must be protected alongside the right to religious freedom. Any statement about freedom of religion must also include the freedom to be irreligious. The right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of religious or other belief needs to also include an atheist's right to freedom from discrimination. This subtle point was lacking in the HRC's Statement on Religious Diversity and it would be nice to see it clearly stated in any TOP rights and any NZ constitution.
Why does TOP tax people who have spent their working lives paying off huge mortgages and then tax them again after they have paid it off. Add to that the extra costs of insurance, rates and maintenance. Property is fast becoming just a financial burdon. The Germans have it right. They have stabilized prices by building more homes than required. This shuts out speculators and gives young people a chance to own a home.
What broadcasting policy does TOP propose to break the monopoly on major events (like significant national and international sports matches) now held by SKY TV behind its pay wall system> This arises when you say a TOP policy is: "Ensuring citizens know their rights through civics education and strong public interest journalism. To fund this we will sell the commercial state owned enterprise TVNZ. "
The constitution should include a clause saying that the primary role of government is to improve the lot of the population. It should state that a government's role is to improve the mean "quality of life" of the citizens. Progress towards this goal should be measured and required to be declared annually in an opening statement in the Budget speech.
How can we have a free democracy when 90% of us are reduced to the status of economic slaves to private corporations and the political elite? Any effective Constitution for 21st century Aotearoa MUST INCLUDE AN ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS. 1. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; 2. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; 3. The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; 4. The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home orabroad; 5. The right of every family to a decent home; 6. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; 7. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness,accident, and unemployment; 8. The right to a good education; 9. The right to live in a safe, healthy, sustainable environment and community.
1. A comprehensive written constitution would allow the Courts to exercise their role of keeping Parliament honest and remove the necessity for the Upper House. How do you propose getting MPs to agree to limit their power by agreeing to be bound by a constitution - they wouldn't even agree to make the Bill of Rights any more than advisory?
2. Did you consider that the main impediment to democracy might be political parties?
3. You seem to be making TOP into a replica of all the current problems: why is deliberative democracy only being permitted on the minor topics and not on the TOP7?
I disagree with compulsory reo in schools. I think we should take a long term approach and think about context first. Our kids need to be introduced to history, the Treaty, ethics - as a 'package' & that should be available to all primary school kids whereas language should be slowly and deliberately introduced because of folks initial resistance; which I think needs to be engaged with as opposed to being seen as racist. Its a language and its tied to a past and a culture but its all up against commonplace ignorance. The language is so important to the people (and our whakapapa) that we shouldn't just allow the bureaucratic machinery to control it in its own image. That's what making te reo compulsory does. It rips the 'soul' out of the language, the culture and our history. Ideally, in a democracy - babies from birth would just start picking up te reo as naturally as they do English or any other language. There would be no talk of compulsion; language is just there because its a good thing. Babies could get to know reo and English as a foundation in NZ and hopefully a few more languages too. How about encouragement & spending some months or a year or two putting resources into persuading the general population population first? I fear reaction from a significant portion of the population (compulsion) will backfire.