Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler propose that New Zealand should have a written constitution. If you're in Dunedin this Wednesday night, come along to the Museum and hear why.

As has been noted previously on this blog, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler  have published a book advocating that New Zealand enact a “written” constitution. They have also set up a Twitter account and a website to both promote the book and seek out comments, which they say in the book’s description “will be reflected in a second edition to be published in 2017.”

As a part of their indefatigable efforts to advance their vision, they're visiting Dunedin this Wednesday (November 30th). Whilst here, they'll be holding a public "conversation" about their proposal, which your humble author will facilitate. So allow me to take this opportunity to invite those Pundit readers in Dunedin or its environs to come along and participate!

Details are:

UBS Otago proudly presents 'Constitution Conversation: Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler in conversation with Prof. Andrew Geddis from the University of Otago Faculty of Law'.

When: 7.30pm – 9pm, Wednesday 30 November 2016

Where: Otago Museum

TICKETS $5.00 from UBS Otago | 03 477 6976 |

[email protected]

Should we have a written constitution? Why? Why not? What would we gain? What would we lose? What do you think? Have you thought about it? 

To discuss these questions and more, join us for what promises to be a fascinating and insightful evening.

Comments (4)

by Dennis Horne on November 28, 2016
Dennis Horne

We don't need a constitution, we need leadership.

So the question is, will democracy, as we practice it now, facilitate that?

When global climate change seriously disrupts mankind there won't be any time or place for waffle and niceties.

by Megan Pledger on November 29, 2016
Megan Pledger

We do need a constitution because we need protection against leadership.  

The only thing that protects American citizens now that the Republicans control all three houses is there rights under the constitution and the courts.


by Dennis Horne on November 30, 2016
Dennis Horne

"We do need a constitution because we need protection against leadership."

Well, we'll soon see how well a codified constitution works. We know is stops gun control, let's see if it stops global warming.

Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it.  George Monbiot

Yes, Donald Trump’s politics are incoherent. But those who surround him know just what they want, and his lack of clarity enhances their power. To understand what is coming, we need to understand who they are. I know all too well, because I have spent the past 15 years fighting them.

Over this time, I have watched as tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of thinktanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups. Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich. Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government.

I first encountered the machine when writing about climate change. The fury and loathing directed at climate scientists and campaigners seemed incomprehensible until I realised they were fake: the hatred had been paid for. The bloggers and institutes whipping up this anger were funded by oil and coal companies.

Among those I clashed with was Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The CEI calls itself a thinktank, but looks to me like a corporate lobbying group. It is not transparent about its funding, but we now know it has received $2m from ExxonMobil, more than $4m from a group called the Donors Trust (which represents various corporations and billionaires), $800,000 from groups set up by the tycoons Charles and David Koch, and substantial sums from coal, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.

For years, Ebell and the CEI have attacked efforts to limit climate change, through lobbying, lawsuits and campaigns. An advertisement released by the institute had the punchline “Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution. We call it life.”

Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, like other members of Trump’s team, came from a group called Americans for Prosperity. It has sought to eliminate funding for environmental education, lobbied against the Endangered Species Act, harried climate scientists and campaigned in favour of mountaintop removal by coal companies. In 2004, Ebell sent a memo to one of George W Bush’s staffers calling for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to be sacked. Where is Ebell now? Oh – leading Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency. (continues)

by Ross on December 03, 2016

We do need a constitution because we need protection against leadership.  

The only thing that protects American citizens now that the Republicans control all three houses is there rights under the constitution and the courts

In other words, who cares about voters! Let's hear it for unelected lawyers and judges who get to decide what policies get implemented!! Surely, you couldn't seriously think that is democracy?

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