Story: Constitution

Constitution Act 1986

The passing of the Constitution Act 1986 is an example of a major constitutional change that happened quickly – the bill passed through the second reading, committee stages and the third reading in a single evening. The act brought together key legal provisions regarding the institutions and procedures for the exercise of power that had previously been scattered in several places. As outlined in this 1987 news clip, it was prompted by a constitutional crisis in 1984, when outgoing National Party Prime Minister Robert Muldoon only followed an instruction from incoming Labour Party Prime Minister David Lange to devalue the currency after his own caucus pressured him to do so.

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TVNZ Television New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Matthew Palmer, 'Constitution - Constitutional change', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 June 2023)

Story by Matthew Palmer, published 20 Jun 2012