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The People’s Jurisdiction

“Definition of a Constitutional Vehicle for the Good and Proper Governance for the Nation of New Zealand by the People of New Zealand”.

 

The governance document for the future inclusion for all New Zealanders into the governmental process.

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This is a live document and subject to revision and expansion over time as the details for the implementation and operation of this governance system are refined.

The People’s Jurisdiction
Preamble.

In 1840 New Zealand was established using the parliamentary system which evolved in the United Kingdom under the English legal system and a “First Past the Post” electoral system. I would describe this system as one of the best of the numerous governmental systems humanity has devised, albeit with its propensity for corruption.

The political spectrum ranges across all forms of government from the worst, which the discipline of Political Science describes as, a Malevolent Dictatorship, to the best which they describe as a Benevolent Dictatorship. The first is self-centred for the benefit of the ruling individual and his or her party with the general public being subservient slaves to the government. The second is populace centred for the benefit of the entire population controlled by one individual who has the sole interest of providing the very best framework for the people and for the individual.

Mankind has seen the extremes at the malevolent end of this spectrum, however all tyrannies eventually implode because everyone in the system has only their own personal best interests to serve. The second could never be performed by man because only a benevolent, loving, omnipotent and omniscient God would be capable of implementing such a system.

Having said that, the Parliamentary Democratic system is on the right hand side of that spectrum and in general, if well run by right thinking people, is a good system to live under (A Constitutional Republic is also listed amongst the best). However, the Parliamentary system is very susceptible to being hijacked by people that lean most assuredly to the far left in despotism and so can become, quite easily, as we have seen in New Zealand and Australia, a tyrannical and authoritarian government.

The First Past the Post electoral system has its failings as well. In most political systems based on this model two major contending parties arise, sometimes three, but the politics of a major party will be very similar to one or more minor parties so coalitions are formed to enable government. This system engenders bodies of electorates that lean heavily one way or the other. These become safe seats in which the political party places its favourite politicians, guaranteeing them a place in the parliament. These people are not elected by the people, they are political placements, given out because they toe the party line.

We have discovered that, world-wide, such placements have been made across all political parties that enjoy a significant enough following to be able to ‘own’ safe seats in many electorates. These placements are on both sides of the aisle, but we now know that they all lean to their own self-interest and reveal their position when voting in parliament to ensure that legislation, which is actually harmful to the population but beneficial to their own self-interest, is passed into law.

The second unfortunate effect of a this political system is, in the event of a political / constitutional crisis, the proliferation of political parties with platforms opposed to the government that is causing the political / constitutional crisis. Whilst each person or group of people forming the individual parties may have genuine and heartfelt reasons why their party politics would be better than any of the other ones, the net effect of this phenomena is the dilution of the overall voice of opposition. These minor parties are often led by egoic people and they can quickly change policy, rebrand themselves, fractionate into smaller parties, form coalitions and break them just as quickly between one election and the next. They have very public leadership struggles and falls from grace that do nothing to the political landscape. All they do is steal votes from one another, entice away voters from the main parties and reduce the number of people voting so that the ultimate result has absolutely no effect on the two main parties, one or other of which will always be in power.

Regretful though the situation is, it was exacerbated by Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) which further diluted the vote and if the 5% threshold was not reached, denied those voters a place in New Zealand politics. So, the two main parties continue to hold majority power but on closer inspection we find little difference between the politicians put before the voting public by either party. It appears certain that there is collusion between sitting MPs, regardless of which party they have been voted in under, to pass legislation that is, in its effect, detrimental to the rights and freedoms of all New Zealanders.

The Westminster electoral system must go and the animal we call the career politician must become extinct. This vehicle for the good and proper governance will, in the longer term, achieve both of these aims, as well as allowing every New Zealander a real say in the legislative governance of our nation.

The Solution.

Any form of government that is to be fair and equitable must be accessible to everyone in the country that is eligible to vote in governmental elections. Those people must have the right to remove any elected representative who is proven to be acting against the best interests of the people he or she is supposed to serve. Integrity with accountability must be the basis for any advancement in leadership roles and the leaders must be elected by the people, not selected by the party.

The ability to corrupt politicians must be removed. That is, corruption by monetary gain or by moral blackmail must be impossible with full accountability at every level of government. There can be no secret deals made with any corporation or country for foreign or domestic trade or commerce. The concept of lobbying on behalf of people or corporations that have the financial means to cajole, coerce or force politicians to vote in a particular way must be removed forever from the halls of government.

The only permissible governmental secrecy can be in matters of defence, foreign affairs or large scale commercial developments requiring international input from foreign entities. Fundamental to a fair tender process is the necessity to keep secret the commercial and technical offers during the assessment phase. However, there needs to be checks and balances against each of these secret necessities which should be addressed in a Constitution. For example, a constitutional statement may prevent foreign corporate or governmental ownership of land in New Zealand. So any necessity for secrecy disappears the moment such an action is considered as part of a commercial deal with a foreign entity. The simple act of proposing foreign ownership would automatically require that the whole ‘deal’ must then be put to the New Zealand people.

The method of establishing government must be, to quote our American cousins, By the People, for the People and of the People. To do that it must be simple in structure, inclusive in composition, with elected leadership accountable to all the people and beyond the reach of corruption. Such a government has existed only once in history, and then for only a brief period of time, but I believe that now, because of the blatant failings of our political system to protect and care for the people, it is the time to return to this alternative method of formulating government.

The Historic Precedent.

The only time that a method of formulating government by the people for the people was practised was immediately after the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt. This was not a religious structure even though it came out of the Bible, it was a simple system to organise a people who had never known a free government. The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt for generations. This system, projected into our time, is the simplest but also the most effective way to establish the people’s control over the practise of government and ensure the dissemination of justice at all levels of society.
Also, and most importantly today, it could not be corrupted!

Now for a very short Biblical history lesson.
Once the Israelites had escaped the Egyptians and were camping in the wilderness, God gave His instructions through His servant Moses who was the leader of the Israelites. This is where we get our “Ten Commandments” and other laws and statutes which are the basis for our Common Law today.
The people looked to Moses to tell them what God was saying to the people and everyone brought their disputes and questions to Moses. So, Moses was getting overwhelmed by everyone expecting him to tell them what was happening and to adjudicate matters between the people. Moses’ father in Law, Jethro, saw what was happening and God inspired Jethro to tell Moses how to organise the people. I’ll let the Bible itself explain what Moses was to do.

13. And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening.
14. So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”
15. And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
16. When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”
17. So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good.
18. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.
19. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.
20. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.
21. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
22. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.
23. If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”
24. So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
25. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
26. So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.
(Exodus 18:13-26 NKJV)

The True People of New Zealand.

We are calling this vehicle the “Peoples Jurisdiction”. This signifies who has jurisdiction and rights of ownership and usage of the land of New Zealand and the surrounding seas and all the bountiful resources, living and material, contained within that jurisdiction.

At the heart of this system of government is the Family.
The right to vote in New Zealand elections is a birth right to all New Zealanders born in this country or born overseas to one or both parents who are Native New Zealanders.
This right is extended to persons who have been granted permanent residence in New Zealand and have made New Zealand their home.

It is important to note that from the middle ages, or even earlier, through to the twentieth century. The people of Israel carried this governance structure with them wherever they roamed. This structure persisted from Moses to modern times and is the longest recorded governmental system in history. In many of the Anglo Saxon / Celtic / Gaelic / Scandinavian countries the smallest division of people in a County or Shire is still called the “Hundred”. This was for the purposes of taxation, military service, justice and courts of law. This was also known as a Ward, a term which is familiar to many today.

This system is based on the decentralisation of government so most all of the day to day matters of life will be managed at the district level. Regional councils will disappear and central government control will be significantly reduced. Please read the “About” page on this website.

The following are the levels of this vehicle which effectively form the method of government for the people of New Zealand.

Family Leader

The very first level is the leader of a family group. That group will have between ten and twenty people, so it may actually comprise of two or three families who are all neighbours. All the members of that group who are of voting age then elect one of their members to be the leader of that group.

Community Leaders

The next level are the leaders of hundreds. This is created by level one groups in a street or small neighbourhood coming together until they have ten level one groups gathered into a broader neighbourhood, street or locality group. The ten leaders of the level one group get together, and with consultation at the Family (level 1) will elect one of the leaders of ten to be the leader of one hundred.
Fortunately New Zealand is already divided up into Hundreds, though not originally for that purpose. The Statistics Department has divided the country up into Meshblocks. A land area with a unique number laid out according to specific rules where each meshblock contains thirty dwellings. Assuming each dwelling has three voting age people then each meshblock represents a Hundred (See https://datafinder.stats.govt.nz/data ).

Community Adjudicators

Now the hundreds will be gathered together until there are ten Hundreds. Each of the Leaders of Hundreds, with consultation down to the Family level, will elect one of the leaders of Hundreds to be the leader of a Thousand. We are now in a situation where the numbers of people will start to be spread across an electorate or district area.

Community Representative

The second highest level in the District is the gathering together of ten leaders of Thousands, or as many as a region has at the time, to elect, with consultations with the Hundreds and Tens, one leader to be the leader of Ten Thousand.

Regional Governor

The most senior and Chiefly role is the one of Regional Governor. This leader is elected out of all the Community Representatives in a Region, before the election of District Governors, and will be that region’s representative in the Council of Governors.

District Governor

This leader is elected out of all the remaining Community Representatives after the election of the Regional Governor from among their number, and will be that district’s representative in the National Assembly.

Roles and Responsibilities.

This is not just about community organisation. In the Biblical story these leaders heard and adjudicated on ‘small matters’ and large matters they brought to Moses. Well, we don’t have a Moses and our population is much larger than Israel’s was at the time. Moses stopped at the leaders of a thousand, but we have extended to leaders of ten thousand, the leaders of senior rank. Also, I am not including the groups of fifty mentioned in the biblical quote since I believe in this usage of the concept leaders of fifties are not necessary.

Initially this organisation will be based on the Districts and electorate boundaries. Each electorate in New Zealand has on average about 60,000 people. If there is less then half the electorate in The People’s Jurisdiction then we are still running an election campaign. Once there are over 55% of an electorate in The People’s Jurisdiction no other political party would even bother to run in that electorate.

By this stage it is not about individual party manifesto’s and taking your pick. The Peoples Jurisdiction won’t have a manifesto. We will have the Constitution which is our governing document. Everyone who is part of The Peoples Jurisdiction is there because they have signed up to and support the Constitution.

It may be that for a time the governance under The People’s Jurisdiction will operate as a shadow local and national government with District Governors attending Parliament as elected MPs under the current electoral system.

The following list of roles and responsibilities is not exhaustive. This will need to be fleshed out in more detail and other roles allocated for other actions, such as appointments to other District leadership roles, judicial roles, community support roles, etc.

Family Leader

This leader brings together his family and immediate neighbours.
Their responsibility is:
1. To keep the peace in the families entrusted to them.
2. Foster discussion within the group and ensure everyone is informed of and understands any situation or issue that the group is to decide or give opinion on.
3. They assess the majority position of the group and send that information up to their designated Community Leader.
4. They disseminate to the group any information, instruction or rulings passed down from the senior levels.

Community Leaders

The Community Leaders are truly the core level leaders of The People’s Jurisdiction.
Their responsibility is:
1. To keep the peace in the neighbourhood they have responsibility over.
2. To adjudicate disputes between neighbours.
3. To ensure all people in the community are fully and properly informed.
4. To collect the responses from Family Leaders and pass that up to the Community Adjudicators they are responsible to.
5. To disseminate rulings, decisions and information to the Family Leaders in their neighbourhood.

Community Adjudicators

Leaders at these levels start to take on wider and more crucial roles in the community.
No longer do we run off to a court in some distant city where a magistrate who knows nothing about your community will make life altering decisions over you.
The roles and responsibilities of these Leaders are:
1. To sit as judges and magistrates in the local community court system.
2. To sit on local authorities to represent the people in the neighbourhoods occupied by the people in the Thousand they represent.
3. To adjudicate disputes between localities.
4. To collect and collate the responses from Community Leaders and pass that up to the Community Representative they are responsible to.
5. To disseminate rulings, decisions and information to the Community Leaders in their local area.

Community Representatives

The Leaders at this level are recognised as the best choice out of all the Community Adjudicators to take on the role’s responsibilities.
These responsibilities are:
1. To appoint High Court judges in the Regional court system.
2. In consultation and with the approval of the Sheriff, appoint the Deputies to the Sheriff of the local area and keep the peace in the local area they have responsibility over (there will no longer be a national police force).
3. To take up leadership roles on local authorities to represent the wider interests of the people within the District they live in.
4. To adjudicate disputes between regions.
5. To collect and collate the responses from Community Adjudicators and pass that up to the District Governor.
6. To disseminate rulings, decisions and information to the Community Adjudicators in their District.
7. To be eligible for election as the candidate for the District Governor and Regional Governor and National Assembly in general elections.

Regional Governor

Elected from amongst all the Community Representatives in a Region.
Their responsibilities are:
1. To sit in the Council of Governors for a Region, which may be comprised of one or more districts.
2. To review all legislation coming from the National Assembly in the light of The Constitution and the Natural and Common Law, and accept or reject that legislation.
3. Be available to take the reins of government along with two other Governors in times of National Emergency.

District Governor

Elected from the remaining Community Representatives in a District after the election of the regional Governor.
Their responsibilities are:
1. Be the elected representative for a District in the Lower House of the National Government, the National Assembly.
2. To ensure the smooth running of the gathering and dissemination of information to ensure the will of the people is heard and acted upon.
3. To effect elections by the people for the position of Sheriff for the district.
4. To appoint officers for other non-elected positions within a District.

Premier

The Premier is the Head of State for New Zealand.

That leader is elected from the District Governors by the vote of all the Community Representatives throughout the country with consultation with the Family.

Divisions of Government

(Modelled on the United States of America’s Constitution)

The New Zealand Constitution (currently in development) divides the government into three branches to make sure no individual or group will have too much power:

Legislative—Makes laws (Congress, comprised of the Council of Governors and the National Assembly)

Executive—Carries out laws (Premier, Vice Premier and Cabinet, most governmental agencies)

Judicial—Evaluates laws and establishes legal precedence (Supreme Court and other courts)

Each branch of government can change acts of the other branches:

The Premier can veto legislation created by Congress and nominates heads of governmental agencies.

Congress confirms or rejects the premier’s nominees and can remove the Premier from office in exceptional circumstances.

The Justices of the Supreme Court, who can overturn unconstitutional laws, are nominated by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly.

This ability of each branch to respond to the actions of the other branches is called the system of checks and balances.

Governmental Terms.

The term of the Lower House, The National Assembly, shall be four years with elections held in November of the fourth year. Transition of government shall take place over December and January with the first sitting of the Lower House on the second Monday of January.

The Premier may serve for a maximum of two terms.

The term of the Council of Governors shall be four years with elections held in November of the second year of the Lower House.

District Governors may serve for a maximum of two terms.

Regional Governors may serve for a maximum of three terms.

Accountability

This system of government through elected representatives cannot be corrupted. A position cannot be ‘purchased’ by money or favour because people are not placed directly into the role of District Governor (Member of Parliament).

If a leader has a desire to be a District or Regional Governor or the Premier / Head of State they first must win the trust of the Family group they are a part of and be elected as a family head. Then they must win the trust of the hundred they live next to. Then the trust of the leaders of the thousands and the ten thousands.

Once elected to that position they must then keep the trust of the people below them at every level. If, through personal failings they lose the trust of the Family they live with, then they lose their higher position and new elections must take place at every level up to the one they were occupying. This way only the best will arise to leadership and only those of the highest integrity will keep their place in the roles they have attained to.

The Community Representative level has significant duties to perform in appointing people to high positions of authority. Any such appointment must be by the vote of all Community Representatives with a two thirds majority of the vote.
The rule of two thirds majority applies to all votes in the Upper or Lower Houses.

Governance.

Since it is the will of the people that is to be the determining factor in the governance of the nation, that ‘will’, through this system, is easily passed up and down the chain of information.

At the government level a bill is proposed.
Each District Governor ( Member of Parliament ) will then disseminate that bill to the Community Representatives in his or her District.
They would then disseminate it down to each of the nine Community Adjudicators in their locality, who would then send the information down to each of the nine Community Leaders in their suburb who would pass it on to each of the Family Leaders in their immediate neighbourhood.

By the same route each Family Leader would pass back up the chain their response to the bill as either accepted or rejected along with any comments. This information would be collected at each level until the overall will of the people as supporting or rejecting a proposed bill was made known. This needs to be on the basis of a clear majority so the two thirds rule will apply.

The District Governors would then vote in parliament in accordance with the will of the people. He or she would not be permitted a ‘conscience’ vote where he or she could exercise their own beliefs or prejudices. They must vote in accordance with the will of the people they directly represent.

There are many other elements that need to be considered in a system of government. We need to have definitions for the execution of public health, military defence, foreign policy, economics, taxation, business, environment, agriculture and fisheries, education etc. etc. These elements will be defined in a Constitution which will have as its fundamental premise the rights and freedoms of free born people which will include freedom from overbearing government and taxation.

The Constitution and general policies that will come out of it will be simple, brief and understandable with the execution of the same devolved to the regional level. It is expected that up to 80% of the regulatory legislation that controls our lives and businesses through government overreach will be revoked.

Lobbying

The practise of lobbying by companies, corporations, NGOs, entities or individuals directly or indirectly to the representatives in the Upper or Lower House will be unlawful.

The offering or acceptance of favours, gifts or positions whilst any person is acting as a leader at any level in The People’s Jurisdiction will result, for the lobbyist in criminal prosecution for attempting to subvert government, and, if an offer is accepted by the leader in The People’s Jurisdiction, the immediate suspension of that leader and disqualification from any future public office.

This includes acceptances of offers made or implied during a leaders term of office up to five years after the completion of that term of office.

Conclusion.

It is hoped that this vehicle for the Governance of New Zealand and implementation of a New Zealand Constitution will produce a truly free, well governed nation that could be a beacon of light and a forerunner of the right pattern for all societies.

This government, including its method of funding, is based on principles found in the Bible. If those principles are adhered to then we can look forward to the promise of God given to a nation that follows His plan.

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. ‘” — Jeremiah 29:11

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