ACT is today warning that Government plans to stop appeals to the Privy Council is part of an elite agenda for creeping
constitutional change without letting ordinary New Zealanders vote on it.
The warning comes from ACT Justice Spokesman and senior commercial lawyer, Stephen Franks who believes that if national
sovereignty was driving the Government’s push it would first protect New Zealanders from the Kangaroo court authority of
United Nation committees and treaties which override our law. “These committees have no commitment to our historical
liberties. Many members are from countries with no record of respecting human dignity,” he said.
“Instead the Labour/Alliance Ministers are considering more subsidies for appeals to United Nation bodies, even while
threatening our right to appeal to the Privy Council.
Stephen Franks said that taking away New Zealanders very cheap access to the best common law judges in the world will
affect the quality of New Zealand law. “The Government can then subject New Zealanders to politically correct judges
they appoint. An external court of high reputation is more of an obstacle,” he said.
The announcement to do away with appeals to the Privy CounciI is the third signal since the constitutional conference of
the Government’s constitutional agenda. Stephen Franks, who attended the conference said it “festered with scorn for
equal rights before the law”. “ ‘One person one vote’ was sneered at as ‘outdated’. The need to ‘steer’ ordinary people
was taken as given. Now it all falls into a pattern,” he said.
“First it was the honours system. Then the Prime Minister criticised citizen referenda. Now we have the foreshadowed
removal of New Zealanders right to appeal to the best neutral judges in the world. I also fear New Zealanders will not
be given a say on other planned constitutional changes – like preferential Maori places on local councils,and Area
Health Boards based purely on race and not democratic elections.
Mr Franks said it showed contempt for ordinary New Zealanders who would not stand for these changes if they were all
seen together. It is simply unacceptable that the Government is taking away the rights of New Zealanders to have a say.
“They expect New Zealanders to go along quietly while they replace the corner stones of our legal system with their own
politically correct views. New Zealanders should get a chance to vote before our legal system is distorted by this
Government’s political correctness,” he said.
“I very much doubt that a fully disclosed agenda of Labour and Alliance Ministers would get past a people’s referendum
or even receive majority support in Parliament?” said Stephen Franks.