Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Treaty and Constitution - Further Thoughts

My earlier post has drawn some references from Holden Republic and Other Che. Che refers to my work as an overanalysis with some justification. Certainly it is a premature analysis but I "analysed" only a small portion in fine detail. My intention was

1) to illustrate what a "constitution giving effect to the treaty" might look like
2) to identify issues that such a constitution must address
3) to offer a specific solution (the codification of "Mana Whenua") to some of these issues.

The position of the Treaty of Waitangi is closely analogous to that of the US Declaration of Independence. It is an affirmation of the principles that drive us and that define the sort of society New Zealand ought to be but it's language is too imprecise to be enacted as law or to form a constitution. The founding fathers did not seek to "exlude the principles of the declaration from the constitutional debate" or let the declaration remain "slightly aloof" from the whole thing. They did the hard work and developed a legally sound framework that gave practical effect to the principles of the declaration. And where necessary the "inalienable rights" to life and liberty became rights that could not be forfeited "without due process".

I do not understand why the NZPSA or anyone else should wish to exclude the treaty from the "constitutional debate" for it is the treaty issues that are of the greatest urgency. Nor, I hope, is it a desire to confine the discussion of treaty issues to a specific group for ALL constitutional issues require a broad concensus for successful resolution.

What I would most like to see is some Maori opinion on these issues (even if it's just to tell me to butt out of matters I don't understand). I've opened this Blog to public (anonymous) comments so please fire away.

21 Comments:

Blogger the other 'Che' said...

shade, refer over to my reply to your comment.

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