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September 6, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Victoria Looks at Reconstituting the Constitution

Challenges and changes to New Zealand’s constitution were on the agenda at a recent conference organised by Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies.

Held at Victoria University’s Pipitea campus and then at Parliament, ‘Reconstituting the Constitution’ covered changes to the constitution in the last decade, such as the creation of a Supreme Court, the passage of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 and New Zealand’s involvement in climate change.

The conference included a diverse range of speakers including several international experts. Seventeen-year-old Wellington College student Rayhan Langdana also spoke at the conference, praising the presence of young politicians and the increasing engagement with Parliament.

“I think people my age should be more involved in Parliament. The voting age could be lowered by one year and there should be youth seats in Parliament.

“Elsewhere in the world, people our age are fighting for their country and for their religion. Here, we need to be challenged and to feel our opinions are valid.”

Conference co-organiser and Victoria University legal academic Dr Petra Butler discussed the importance of Langdana’s presence and the generational passing of the Bill of Rights.

“We are very conscious of the need to pass the Bill of Rights mantle to the next generation. Rayhan’s presence at the conference sends an important message in that regard.”

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