The Constitution of New Zealand

Surprisingly for some, The New Zealand Constitution Act of 1852 was an act of the British Parliament not NZ! It’s intent was to grant self-government to the new colony of New Zealand.It was the second such act, the previous 1846 act was not passed due to Queen Victoria’s desire to be reasonable to the natives (relatively speaking), as the epoch of slavery on Earth this millenia was drawing to a close.
It passed30 June 1852 with the inclusion that the natives could vote so long as they paid at least $5/week in rent. So kind! The long title of the Act was “An Act to Grant a Representative Constitution to the Colony of New Zealand”.
I think it didn’t pass the first time because of this 1835 document….  or that it was intended to ratify this 1835 document. As you can imagine the time delay involved with these great distances means that each countries parliaments was responding at different rates.
New Zealand’s other constitution,The 1835 Declaration Of Independence was glazed over in my history books (I’m a nineties child), with a focus more on the 1840 date is my memory of my education.  It seemed to be repealed by the 1840 agreement is my recent conclusion of how things played out.

Along with Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840, The New Zealand Constitution Act of 1852 remained in force as part of New Zealand’s constitution – by virtue of common law inheritance of the laws of England – until it was repealed by the NZ Constitution Act 1986, which, as Wikipedia puts it:

The Constitution Act 1986[1] is an Act of the New Zealand Parliament that forms a major part of the Constitution of New Zealand. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles of governance and establishes the powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state. It outlines the roles and duties of the MonarchGovernor-Generalministers and judges. The Act also repealed and replaced the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 and the Statute of Westminster, and removed the ability of the British Parliament to pass laws for New Zealand with the consent of the New Zealand Parliament.

This new constitution should, in the words of Geoffrey Palmer:

  • Limit the use of urgency in the house
  • Forge our own identity
  • Result in more respect and rule of law generally
  • Integrate The Treaty of Waitangi of 1840
  • Integrate The Declaration Of Independence of 1835
  • Increase the ability of courts to rule on matters of human rights, but not quite as much as the American system.
  • Include freedom of speech, freedom of thought
  • But most likely no right to bear arms