Today we are starting with a blank canvas.

New Zealand is one of the few countries this century to invite citizens to review their nation’s constitution. And to make the most of this rare opportunity, 50 talented young people selected from throughout New Zealand, and from a wide range of backgrounds, have gathered at Parliament to have their say on the future of New Zealand’s constitution.

We are really excited to see what these young people produce. Over the next 48 hours at the EmpowerNZ Workshop they will discuss how we can build a resilient constitution for the 21st century. There’s bound to be plenty of heated discussion over the next two days about what it means to be a New Zealander, how we value our environment, the role of the Treaty, the challenges of globalisation and multilateralism, and New Zealand’s political and civic culture.

We are live tweeting from @McGInstitute using the tag #EmpowerNZ. Join the conversation!

This morning the participants were welcomed to Parliament by local iwi and heard an excellent keynote address from Hon Jim McLay, New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the UN and a former Cabinet Minster under Muldoon. He set the global context for the workshop and gave an honest and fascinating account of New Zealand’s last ‘constitutional crisis’ in 1984. A video of this presentation and other speeches will be available on our Youtube Channel after the workshop.

For more information please see our media kit.