7 Feb 2012

Independent iwi hui on constitution in March

10:34 am on 7 February 2012

A tribal-led group looking at the basic rules which New Zealanders should all live by says it will consult with iwi throughout the country from March.

The Independent Constitutional Working Group reported back to an iwi chairs' forum during its first hui for the year in Paihia in the Bay of Islands.

The group is looking at how a constitution might be based upon Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Chair Margaret Mutu says the first hui will be held in Ngati Kahungunu.

Dr Mutu says iwi need to remember that a constitution already exists through marae protocol, which provides simple rules which tangata whenua live by.

She says they will also be asked to think about the meaning of the Declaration of Independence of 1835 and Te Tiritiri o Waitangi signed with the Crown in 1840 and consider what these documents say in terms of setting out the baselines for this country.

Dr Mutu says the findings are to be reported back to the iwi forum in November.