4 Aug 2011

Government names constitutional advisory panel

5:21 pm on 4 August 2011

The Government has named an independent panel to lead public discussion on a constitutional review.

The review will consider the place of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Maori parliamentary seats.

It will also look at the size of Parliament and the length of the parliamentary term.

The panel is made up of political and community representatives and will be co-chaired by Law Commissioner John Burrows, QC, and Sir Tipene O'Regan of Ngai Tahu, who has extensive academic, governance, Treaty negotiations and Maori leadership experience.

It also includes New Zealand Post chairman Dr Michael Cullen, Maori researcher Dr Leonie Pihama, former mayors Peter Chin and Peter Tennent, and ex-Silver Fern netballer Bernice Mene.

The panel will report back to Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples in September 2013.

The review was one of the key parts of the Relationship and Confidence and Supply Agreement between the National and Maori parties.

Panel members

Emeritus Professor John Burrows: has led or jointly-led several Law Commission reviews and is the author of a leading text on statute law in New Zealand.

Sir Tipene O'Regan: has extensive academic, governance, Treaty negotiations and Maori leadership experience.

Peter Chin: a former mayor of Dunedin and lawyer, now a consultant at a law firm.

Deborah Coddington: a journalist, author and former MP.

Dr Michael Cullen: New Zealand Post chairman, a principal Treaty claims negotiator and former deputy prime minister.

John Luxton: An agribusiness entrepreneur, company director and consultant. He is a former government minister and MP.

Bernice Mene: a former Silver Fern netballer, now a television presenter.

Dr Leonie Pihama: a senior researcher in Maori and Indigenous education.

Hinurewa Poutu: a doctoral student at Massey University and teacher.

Professor Linda Smith: a Pro-Vice Chancellor (Maori), Professor of Education and Maori development at Waikato University and author.

Peter Tennent: a former mayor of New Plymouth, who trained as an accountant and has spent much of his life as a hotelier and in public life.

Emeritus Professor Ranginui Walker: a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and well-known Maori author and academic.