Submissions on independent constitutional review close today

Submissions on the independent constitutional review close today.

The New Zealand Centre for Political research has a submission form which covers most areas of discussion.

My view:

The parliamentary term should be four years and fixed.

Three years leads to short-term thinking and governing, hampers productivity, is more expensive for the state and increases the costs and workloads of volunteers in political parties.

A fixed term would prevent governments playing politics with the election date, and provide certainty for planning and administration.

The number of electorates should increase and the population tolerance increase from 5% to 10%.

Provincial electorates already cover far too great an area. Retaining the same number of MPs as the population increases or reducing the number would make that worse.

The number of South Island seats should be increased by at least one to reduce the geographic size. That would then lead to more North Island seats to retain a similar number of people in each electorate.

The population tolerance should increase from 5% to 10% to allow more flexibility over communities of interest. Adding another couple of thousand people to a city electorate would have little impact but could reduce the size of a rural electorate significantly.

The Maori electoral option and seats should be abolished.

They provide poorer representation owing to the large geographical area they cover.

MMP helps address diversity and Maori are more than capable of being elected in general seats.

Treaty breaches should be addressed and compensation made but the Treaty should not be enshrined in the constitution.

Property rights should be included in the Bill of Rights.

Our current flexible constitutional arrangements should remain.

A written constitution is not necessary.

Constitutional changes should require a public mandate through a referendum with a majority of at least 75% or a parliamentary vote with a similar level of support.

Constitutional matters should not be changed by bare majorities.

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