Students join constitution discussion

About 20 University of Otago students yesterday took part in a workshop linked to a ''constitution conversation'', being run by the country's constitutional advisory panel.

Organisers said University of Otago students had been the first in the country to be brought in to the public submission process, being run by the panel, whose members include former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin.

The Otago University Students' Association, supported by the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, hosted the 1pm workshop.

The gathering provided students with the first detailed look at new internet-related resources which were launched yesterday by the advisory panel at a special function at Te Papa, in Wellington.

OUSA president Francisco Hernandez said yesterday's discussion, at the association Recreation Centre, had been ''very worthwhile'', providing some student perspective on the issues.

The Otago association had been ''looking forward'' to taking part in the discussion on a range of topics, including ''big questions about what currently makes up New Zealand's constitution'', as well as Maori representation in Parliament and other electoral matters, he said.

NZUSA president Pete Hodkinson said it was ''really appropriate'' students would have ''this opportunity to play a key part in the conversation, and framing or reframing their own big questions''.