News Item

April 2018

New book "Towards Democratic Renewal" presents fresh ideas for Constitutional Change in New Zealand

“Towards Democratic Renewal”, by Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler, was launched at a function at Unity Books on Thursday 5th April.

It sets out the authors’ vision for a modern constitution that is aimed at strengthening democracy, protecting rights and liberties, reflecting New Zealand’s identity and nationhood, and preventing governments from abusing power.

The book is the result of extensive consultation and feedback received from the authors’ 2016 publication, “A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand”, written to generate discussion about New Zealand’s rules of government. Since its release the authors have travelled the country, discussing with the public the nature of New Zealand’s identity and where the country is headed. They have received hundreds of written submissions and emails about their proposed constitution. And their proposals have been debated in news and social media.

As a result of the feedback, Palmer and Butler have made extensive changes to their original proposals and these are reflected in their new book “Towards Democratic Renewal”. They remain committed to the central element that the main rules of government should be written in one place so that New Zealanders can find and understand them.

They hope, by publishing this new book, to continue the debate, and to provide a basis for ongoing discussion about New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.

Link to photos of Unity Books launch on Thursday 5th April

Another Law Foundation funded publication, “The Case for an Uncodified Constitution”, puts forward alternative arguments in favour of retaining New Zealand’s uncodified constitution, and highlights issues with Palmer and Butler’s proposal. The researchers and author behind this about-to-be-released 28-page paper are The Rt Hon. Paul East QC, Laura Hardcastle and Sophie Davis.

More information about Towards Democratic Renewal
Information about Law Foundation funded research publications available on our website

The Law Foundation has contributed $36,000 to the production of these two publications, including translation into M?ori for “Towards Democratic Renewal”