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The New Zealand Herald reports on the presentation of EmpowerNZ's "Draft Constitution for the 21st Century", published online on Friday. The draft constitution was written by a group of 40 law, history and politics students from across New Zealand at a workshop run by the McGuiness Institute. Our constitutional adviser, Dean Knight, took part - albeit as a facilitator.
The most important aspect for our campaign is this section:
We create a Republic of Aotearoa New Zealand.
3.4 All obligations owed to Maori by the Crown under Te Tiriti o Waitangi are now transferred to the state of the Republic of Aotearoa New Zealand.
3.5 The Prime Minister shall be appointed by Parliament, and will be known as Tumuaki.
3.6 The Tumuaki will be a member of the Government.
3.7 The Tumuaki is head of the Executive branch of government.
Unsurprisingly, the workshop decided to declare a parliamentary republic. The head of State, to be known as the Kaitiaki, would be elected by a three-quarters majority of parliament:
3.15 The Head of State is the Governor-General and will be known as the Kaitiaki. They shall:
a. Be elected by 75% majority of the House of Representatives; and
b. Exercise the existing powers of the Governor-General not otherwise expressly revoked by this Constitution on behalf of New Zealand.
Of course there's one or two who are grumpy and bitter about this.