Our Role - Tō mātau kaupapa

The role of the Panel is to listen, facilitate and record New Zealanders’ views on constitutional issues; it will report back to government by the end of 2013.

The Panel is responsible for:

  • Informing the public of current constitutional arrangements, ensuring the information provided is balanced and clear.
  • Seeking the views of as many people as possible.
  • Reporting to the Government with advice, including any points of broad consensus where further work is recommended.

Our job is to listen to a wide range of New Zealanders, not make decisions. Any actual constitutional change would be a lot further down the track, after the Panel has reported.

Terms of Reference

You can view or download a copy of the Panel’s terms of reference here.

The Engagement Strategy

The Panel has taken a staged approach to ensuring we hear from as many New Zealanders as possible:

  • Stage 1 Whakaoho i te tangata/Preparing the ground: Focuses on developing the tools and relationships necessary for successful engagement.
  • Stage 2 Whakamārama/Understanding: Starts to build understanding about our current constitutional arrangements and build participation in the constitutional conversation.
  • Stage 3 Wānanga/Thinking together: Engaging with a broad and diverse range of networks and communities and encouraging those networks to feed those views to us through the website and face-to-face meetings.
  • Stage 4 Wānanga/Deliberation: Conversations will include wānanga/deliberative fora whose members will be selected from a range of groups. These wānanga/deliberative fora will consider the views of New Zealanders gathered in stage three.
  • Stage 5 Whakapūrongo/Reporting: We will present a final report to the responsible ministers by the end of 2013.

The Panel has now completed stage one and we are about to launch stages two and three.

The focus of stage one was on early conversations with community networks, academic institutions, iwi and hapū. The focus for stages two and three is to ensure all New Zealanders have a range of opportunities to participate in the constitutional conversation and through a range of media.

You can download the full Engagement Strategy in Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) format, or Microsoft Word (.DOCX) format.

The longer conversation

A key outcome of our work will be an informed conversation with and amongst the people of Aotearoa New Zealand about constitutional issues.

We do not expect that the conversation will stop with our report: we trust that our work will contribute to and support the “long conversation” about New Zealand’s constitutional arrangement.

Constitutional Advisory Panel Meetings

In addition to members participating in engagement activities, the Panel meets from time to time to make strategic decisions and to direct the Secretariat’s work.