Section 2 of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 (UK) Between Constitutional (Law) Tradition and Constitutional (Economics) Perdition
27 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 27, 2013
This paper reflects on the provincial system that existed in New Zealand from 1852 to 1876. I argue that this system is an instance of a core constitutional tradition, namely a pragmatic application of subsidiarity. This subsidiarity is also the hypostasis of the Treaty of Waitangi, both in its English and Māori texts. The resuscitation of subsidiarity as a foundational element of our constitutional design holds the key to our economic prosperity in a globalising world, where the role of the nation state is marginalised. Constitutional economics suggests that the central government should, as a strategic intent, ready local government to function independently, efficiently and effectively. Evolving a strong tradition of local autonomy should be the most sublime of our constitutional aspirations.
Keywords: Constitutional Law, Constitutional Economics, Subsidiarity, Global Cities, New Zealand
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