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NEWS RELEASE: Rotary Club of Wellington

Friday, 18 October, 2012

Rotary Forum on New Zealand’s Constitution set to arouse passions and debate.


Is the New Zealand Constitution a yawn to many New Zealanders? It would seem not. The Constitution generates any amount of passionate debate when considering the specifics of how peoples’ basic rights and opportunities can be affected.

How do peoples’ electoral votes count, how should our liberties be protected, what role should the Treaty of Waitangi play, will the environment be protected for future generations, how is New Zealand’s international reputation good for exporting business?

These are just some of the questions about peoples’ rights and opportunities, within our constitutional framework, to be covered in a comprehensive one-day forum to be held in Wellington this Tuesday 12 November.

The 2013 Rotary Forum, titled ‘The Constitution Question”’ will bring together experts, thinkers, leaders and people who can make a thought-provoking contribution to the constitutional debate.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Wellington in partnership with Victoria University, Rotary spokesperson Nigel Gould said the forum is a unique opportunity to hear a programme of leading speakers and have a say as well.

“The Constitution appears to hold little interest for people. Yet it is at the heart of our democracy and provides a kind of genetic code for so much of our individual and collective endeavour. For example, business people should appreciate that New Zealand’s reputation as a strong constitutional democracy, with a public sector that is amongst the three least corrupt in the world, is a key competitive advantage for New Zealand exporters,” Mr Gould said.

Notable Rotary Forum speakers include Deputy Prime Minister Hon Bill English, Prof Jonathan Boston, Phil O’Reilly, Susan Blaikie, Dr Matthew Palmer, Grant Robertson,Whaimutu Dewes, Prof Elizabeth Rata, Nigel Gould, Muriel Newman, Hon John Luxton, Dr Mike Reid.

“This is now the third in a successful annual forum series. Previous topics covered questions about Wellington’s future and how Wellington organisations could learn from the Canterbury earthquakes. This year there’s perhaps even more at stake and this forum will provide an important input into the debate about our national future”, says Mr Gould. “We know the speakers will have very insightful things to say and we expect many of the attendees will have some strong views as well.”

The one-day 2013 Rotary Forum is on Tuesday, 12 November at Rydges Hotel, 75 Featherston Street Wellington. The full programme and registration is available at



Rotary Club of Wellington

Media contact: Nigel Gould (Chair of the Rotary Forum Organising Committee)

Mobile: 021 430 101

Phone: 04 499 3768



Media are welcome to attend. To register your interest please contact Nigel Gould (above) or

Fraser Carson, FRESCO, phone 04 475 9500 or 021 669 101 or

Rotary Forum on New Zealand's Constitution set to arouse passions and debate

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