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Bring back the Upper House: Morgan

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/02/2017

Gareth Morgan's political party wants a reset of democracy including significant changes to New Zealand's parliament.

The latest policy from The Opportunities Party calls for a written constitution and the reintroduction of an Upper House, which was abolished in 1953.

Dr Morgan, a millionaire philanthropist who founded the party last year, believes the Upper House should be resurrected to correct the concentration of power.

"Bringing New Zealand back to a two house system - which is the most common model internationally - will discourage the government of the day from cutting off debate on its legislative programme through measures such as urgency, supplementary order papers and closure motion," the policy says.

It proposes a mix of elected and appointed members for a term differentiated from the three-year political cycle.

A constitution would include individual freedoms and rights as they are in the bill of rights and human rights acts, the party believes.

It would also honour the Treaty of Waitangi, give Maori equal representation in the Upper House and make te reo Maori compulsory in schools.

"Te reo Maori, the other official language of our country, needs to be afforded the same rights as English. That includes the requirement that it be taught in all schools," the policy says.

It's the fourth policy released by the party, following outlines of tax, immigration and environment plans.

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