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Encyclopedia > New Zealand Constitution Act 1986

The Constitution Act of 1986 is the principal formal statement of New Zealand's Constitution.


It severed the last remaining ties of New Zealand to the British Parliament. The act repealed and replaced the New Zealand Constitution Act (1852) and the Statute of Westminster and removed the ability for the British parliament to pass laws for New Zealand, a legal possibility that had remained in theory but had only been exercised one time (the New Zealand Constitution (Amendment) Act in 1947). The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ... ...


After the 1984 election, there was an awkward transfer of power from the outgoing 1981 National Government to the new Labour Government in the midst of a financial crisis. Outgoing Prime Minister Robert Muldoon was initially unwilling to accept instruction from the Labour Party to devalue the currency. An Official Committee on Constitutional Reform was set up by the Labour Government to review New Zealand's constitutional laws. The Constitution Act resulted from two reports by this Committee. The 1984 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament. ... The New Zealand National Party (often colloquially referred to as the Nats) currently forms the second-largest (in terms of seats) political party represented in the New Zealand Parliament, and thus functions as the core of the parliamentary Opposition. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... The Right Honourable Sir Robert David (Rob) Muldoon GCMG CH (25 September 1921–5 August 1992) served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1975 to 1984. ...


The act came into force on 1 January 1987. Amendments were passed in 1987 and 1999. January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Australia passed the Australia Act 1986 to similar effect. Australia Act 1986 (United Kingdom) document, located in Parliament House, Canberra The Australia Act 1986 (No. ...


See also

The Treaty of Waitangi is an increasingly important source of constitutional law in New Zealand The constitution of New Zealand consists of a collection of statutes (Acts of Parliament), Treaties, Orders-in-Council, Letters patent, decisions of the Courts and unwritten constitutional conventions. ...

External links

  • New Zealand legislation database
  • Background and summary

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