I would like to share my thoughts about how government could be structured in our new republic
There is an urgent need for New Zealand to have a written constitution to
· Guarantee equal rights for all before the law and
· Curb the excesses of executive power.
The Labour Government’s shameful act of legitimising its breaches of Electoral Law with retrospective legislation is just one recent example of unbridled executive power. New Zealanders have no way to challenge or seek redress from excessive and unjustified acts of the executive. A written constitution will change this.
The Constitution will
· become our founding document
· set out the basic principles upon which our democratic system of government is based
· guarantee equality for all before the law
· set out the rights of all residents in New Zealand
· set out the responsibilities of all residents in New Zealand
· affirm the status of New Zealand as one nation inhabited by different peoples
· Define the structure and operation of our system of government.
The Treaty of Waitangi and Reconciliation
I acknowledge that there are historical grievances arising from breaches of the Treaty by the Crown. We should reconcile these grievances on a fair and final basis so that we can all move forward together under our new constitution.
Structure of Government
I believe that the development of New Zealand as a strong independent nation is hamstrung by our status as a constitutional monarchy.
Paying allegiance to a foreign monarch in another hemisphere and following the anachronistic practices of the imported Westminster system are denying New Zealanders the opportunity to claim their identity as a modern forward-looking nation in the South Pacific.
We believe that New Zealand must claim this identity now by becoming a republic.
The Republic of New Zealand Party proposes a presidential model consisting of three distinct arms of government
· the Executive
· the Legislature
· the Judiciary
The President will form and lead the Executive
The President will be commander in chief of the armed forces
The President will be elected for a four-year term by popular vote and allowed a maximum of two four year terms
Every candidate for President must be a New Zealand citizen and have resided in New Zealand for at least 10 years.
Every candidate for President will select a running mate who will become Vice President if the Presidential candidate who chose him/her wins the election.
Every candidate for Vice President must be a New Zealand citizen and have resided in New Zealand for 10 years.
The President will form the administration by nominating members of the Cabinet,
Members of the Cabinet will be known as Secretaries, e.g. The Secretary of Defence, The Secretary of Economic Development.
Cabinet members do not have to come from the legislature.
The President will have the power to veto legislation passed by the Legislature unless passed by two thirds of members.
The Republic of New Zealand will have a unicameral legislature
The legislature will be the only arm of government with legislative powers
Policy proposals from the Executive will have to be approved by the legislature to become law.
The legislature will be able to initiate legislation
The legislature will review and vote on the President’s nominations for Cabinet
The legislature will review the President’s nominations for Judges of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court
The legislature will have powers to impeach the President (2/3 vote of representatives required)
The Basis for Representation
New Zealand will be divided into electoral districts based on one representative per 40,000 population.
All electors will register on the General Roll
Each representative will represent an electoral district.
The voting system for deciding representatives will be STV.
The legislative term will be three yearsThere will be a term limitation of four terms for members of the legislature.
The Judiciary will be the guardian of the constitution
The court system will consist of a
· Supreme Court
· Court of Appeal
· High Court
· District Court
The President will nominate candidates for the bench in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court.
Nominations for the bench in these courts will be reviewed and voted on by members of the legislature
Candidates approved will be appointed for a five-year term.
A second and last term in any one court must be approved by the legislature
Judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal who have served two terms will be eligible for appointment to a higher court.
District Court judges will be elected by registered electors in the community their court serves.
Justices of the Peace will be elected by registered electors in the community their court serves
The term of office for District Court Judges and Justices of the Peace will be 4 years.
A maximum of two four terms will be permitted
District Court Judges who have served two terms will be eligible for appointment to a higher court.
In the first instance actions against the state citing the constitution will be heard in the High Court, but there will be a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal and then the Supreme Court as the final arbiter