With the regional council election deferred until 2016 democracy isn’t exactly functioning in Canterbury. Chris Trotter has written about it in the Press here. I’m yet to establish Commodore Bainimarama’s view on the matter.
Despite this, there is an exercise in enhancing our democracy underway. Written in the standard gobbledegook associated with such agencies, the Ministry of Justice has launched a website about “New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements”. The website is here. An information booklet can be downloaded from here.
The exercise will involve a five step process. We are currently at Stage 1.
Stage 1 Preparing the resources and building relationships that will form the foundation of the process
Stage 2 Building public understanding of New Zealand's current constitutional arrangements
Stage 3 Engaging with a broad and diverse range of communities
Stage 4 Working with a cross section of New Zealanders to consider the views reported to the Panel
Stage 5 Reporting to Ministers by the end of 2013
If memory serves me right this review is a sop to one of the minority parties propping up the current government, so chances are the exercise may go nowhere. If current practice is followed we are unlikely to be noticed, let alone considered, unless a noise is made. The engagement strategy can be downloaded here.