That this Synod:
1 Affirms the Anglican Communion Covenant in principle
2 Supports the adoption of sections 1 to 3
3 Supports in principle the adoption of section 4.
It may be useful to clarify (or attempt to clarify) some aspects of the possible permutations in the debate over the Covenant, if only to avoid - if possible - sidetracks which waste the precious minutes of Synod on a very full day.
(1) It has been pointed out that the Covenant comes into effect as two or more member churches adopt the Covenant. I suggest however that the Covenant is not of much effectiveness in the deepening unity of the Communion if most of the churches do not sign up.
(2) It is no doubt embarrassing for the C of E and for the ABC if most churches do sign the Covenant and the C of E has not signed. But, as I understand the situation in respect of the membership of ACC by the ABC, the lack of the C of E signing makes no difference to the role of the ABC in the administration of the Covenant by the Standing Committee of the Communion, or to the role of the ABC in meetings of the Primates, the ACC and of Lambeth.
(3) It is the case that our church only mentions the ABC in one place in its constitution and canons, and makes no mention of the other Instruments of Unity, but it is not the case that our church has no history of involvement in and respect for the Instruments of Unity, nor that it is without right as it governs its life through General Synod to elect representatives to attend meetings of the ACC. The fact of continuing elections for such representatives demonstrates that we do not need a canon to tell us to so elect and thus implies we do not pass unnecessary laws! De facto our church recognises with respect the Instruments of Unity even if it does not acknowledgement any authority of the Instruments (especially and notably the instance when the Primates Meeting questioned our new constitutional arrangements in the 1990s).
(4) All involvement in the Communion and, I suggest, the possibility of engagement with the Covenant is consistent with the following statement in the Constitution: " AND WHEREAS (18) this Church is part of and belongs to the Anglican Communion, which is a fellowship of duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces or Regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, sharing with one another their life and mission in the spirit of mutual responsibility and interdependence;"
(5) My next point could indeed be debated on the floor of Synod but I suggest that the Covenant is primarily about the conduct of our relationships with other member churches of the Communion and not about how we do our work of mission and ministry. Thus the adoption of the Covenant by our General Synod does not need prior formal recognition of the Instruments of Unity (which, in any case, can be given within legislation which expresses our adoption). Adoption of the Covenant on this logic would not be about our church genuflecting to a new set of authorities hitherto unmentioned in our constitution or canons (save for the See of Canterbury) but about our church recognising that we might one day be called to account for some course of action by the Instruments of Unity, a recognition which would be consistent with the statement cited above, "sharing with one another their life and mission in the spirit of mutual responsibility and interdependence."
(6) Incidentally, in my perambulations through the constitution and canons I have come across the following Standing Resolutions: " ECUMENICAL RELATIONSHIPS SRER SRER1. THE COVENANT (SR24) That the Church of the Province of New Zealand do enter into the Covenant between the Associated Churches of Christ in New Zealand, the Church of the Province of New Zealand, the Congregational Union of New Zealand, the Methodist Church of New Zealand and the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand as contained in the 12th Report of the Joint Commission on Church Union.  SRER 2. AGREEMENT TO COOPERATE WITH OTHER CHRISTIAN CHURCHES (SR25) ..." We might also mention the recent Anglican-Methodist Covenant in this country! Might I humbly suggest that we do not waste time saying that the Covenant is "unAnglican", lest we spend time in a sidetrack about our own history as a covenanting Anglican church!?