19 Mar 2013

Pacific people urged to grab chance to get involved in NZ constitutional debate

11:47 am on 19 March 2013

A representative of Pacific people in New Zealand says Cook Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans should take the opportunity to give their views on New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

Electoral arrangements, the relationship between Maori and the Crown and other constitutional matters are under review at the moment.

The chairman of the Pacific People's Advisory Panel on the Auckland Council, Reverend Uesifili Unasa, says people of those countries have an interest in the process and such conversations have been stifled in the past.

"This is an opportunity for those who are New Zealanders but happen to be living in Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau to have their say. Ultimately it's about their citizenship and their rights as New Zealanders in the future."

Reverend Unasa says all Pacific people in New Zealand need to speak up because constitutional matters, while complex, affect people's everyday lives.