Proposed constitutional reform in New Zealand: Constitutional entrenchment, written constitutions, and legitimacy

Noel Stanley Cox

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Abstract

This article addresses the question of possible constitutional reform, specifically in the New Zealand context, but also more generally. In any process of constitutional reform, an understanding of how the existing system works and how it came into being is important. It is also important to ask just what is meant by national identity, and how far this can be reflected in the existing system of government. This should be addressed before any detailed consideration of parts of the governmental structure, and then be permitted to inform the discourse and influence the development of proposals for change. Public opinion is of paramount importance, and indeed it may be questioned whether significant constitutional reform proposed by politicians rather than resulting from popular demand has legitimacy; but public opinion and direct or representative democracy alone is not necessarily sufficient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-70
Number of pages20
JournalRound Table
Volume102
Issue number1
Early online date08 Feb 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2013

Keywords

  • New Zealand
  • Constitutional reform
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Unwritten constitution
  • Constitutional legitimacy
  • Entrenchment
  • Constitution Act 1986
  • The Crown
  • National identity

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