A House Divided

In 2011, the Fifth National Government set up a Constitutional Advisory Panel (CAP) as part of a confidence and supply agreement the National Party had with the Maori Party.

Although there was no pressing need to make any changes to New Zealand’s unwritten constitution, and despite the fact that there had been a constitutional review just six years before that date which found that there was no need to make any changes, the new panel set out on a two-year process of poorly-attended public meetings and seeking submissions.

The goal appeared to be to create a written constitution that was based on a particular interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Government panel sparked the formation of the hard-left Independent Constitutional Working Group, which promoted the constitution of the “plurinational” socialist state of Bolivia as the way to go.

Another group called the Independent Constitutional Review Panel appeared and did its own consultation and this became the basis of a report titled A House Divided.

Constitutional law establishes the very basic framework of how our society is run, and short and simple changes there can have immense and irrevocable effects.

It seemed to the authors of A House Divided that the official constitutional advisory process was fundamentally flawed, being designed in its terms of reference, personnel and procedures to operate and produce predetermined results without any actual genuine public awareness or input.

They had little confidence that the official CAP would reflect the widespread public unease and discontent with the ongoing progression of the Treaty industry.

Worst of all, it seemed to them that the CAP, and the intellectual and political interests it was designed to serve, were unaware, or at least not concerned about, the immense dangers into which that continued progression was leading our country.    

The Independent Constitutional Review Panel suspected that its own public meetings, advertisements and general agitation did at least as much as the official panel’s activities to bring the issues to public attention.

Their findings may be read here. See https://www.nzcpr.com/a-house-divided/