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Encyclopedia > New Zealand House of Representatives
New Zealand

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
New Zealand
Image File history File links Coat_of_arms_of_New_Zealand. ... Politics of New Zealand takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy. ...








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The New Zealand House of Representatives is the legislature of New Zealand. It is a component of the New Zealand Parliament. New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth Realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its reigning monarch, since February 6, 1952. ... Elizabeth II in an official portrait as Queen of Canada (on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002, wearing the Sovereigns badges of the Order of Canada and the Order of Military Merit) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) (born 21 April 1926), styled HM The... Flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand. ... Anand Satyanand with Dame Silvia Cartwright Wikinews has news related to: New Governor-General of New Zealand announced Anand Satch[1] Satyanand, PCNZM (born 22 July 1944 in Auckland) is the Governor-General of New Zealand. ... The Executive Council of New Zealand is the body which provides the formal basis for the Cabinet. ... The New Zealand Cabinet functions as the policy and decision-making body of the New Zealand governments executive branch. ... The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealands head of government and is the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand. ... For other persons named Helen Clark, see Helen Clark (disambiguation). ... A legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. ... The Parliament of New Zealand consists of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives and, until 1951, the New Zealand Legislative Council. ... In New Zealand the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the individual who chairs the countrys legislative body, the New Zealand House of Representatives (often also referred to as Parliament). The Speaker fulfils a number of important functions in relation to the operation the House, which is based... The Official Opposition in New Zealand is usually the largest political party or coalition which is not a member of the ruling government. ... The Leader of the Opposition in New Zealand is the politician who, at least in theory, leads the Opposition bloc in the New Zealand Parliament. ... Members of New Zealands House of Representatives, commonly called Parliament, normally gain their seats in nationwide general elections, or (less frequently) in by-elections. ... In New Zealand, an electorate is a voting district for Parliamentary elections. ... Referendums (or referenda) are held only occasionally by the government of New Zealand. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In law, the judiciary or judicial is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ... The Supreme Court of New Zealand is the highest court of appeal in New Zealand, having formally come into existence at the beginning of 2004, and sitting for the first time on 1 July 2004. ... The Chief Justice of New Zealand is the senior judge of the High Court of New Zealand, and presides over the Supreme Court of New Zealand. ... The Court of Appeal of New Zealand, located in Wellington, is New Zealand’s principal intermediate appellate court. ... The High Court of New Zealand was established in 1841 and known as the Supreme Court until 1980. ... Region is the formal term for the top tier of local government in New Zealand. ... Territorial authorities is the formal term for the second tier of local government in New Zealand, below regional councils. ... A unitary authority is a type of local authority, which has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area. ... The following is a list of New Zealand politicians, both past and present. ... New Zealand national politics feature a pervasive party system. ... This page lists a number of articles relating to issues, ideas, and events in New Zealand politics. ... Apirana Ngata, perhaps the most prominent Maori politician Māori politics is the politics of the Māori people, who were the original inhabitants of New Zealand and who are now the countrys largest minority. ... New Zealand’s foreign policy is oriented chiefly toward developed democratic nations and emerging Pacific economies. ... Information on politics by country is available for every country, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... A legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. ... The New Zealand Parliament is the legislative body of the New Zealand government. ...


The House of Representatives is a democratically elected body, usually consisting of 120 members (currently 121 due to an overhang), who are known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected for limited terms, holding office until Parliament is dissolved (a maximum of three years). Overhang seats can arise in elections under mixed member proportional (MMP), when a party is entitled to fewer seats as a result of party votes than it has won constituencies. ...


New Zealand essentially follows the Westminster system of government, and is governed by a cabinet and Prime Minister chosen by the House of Representatives. The Houses of Parliament in London The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modeled after that of the United Kingdom system, as used in the Palace of Westminster, the location of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The New Zealand Cabinet functions as the policy and decision-making body of the New Zealand governments executive branch. ... The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealands head of government and is the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand. ...


The House of Representatives was established by the British New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 which established a bicameral legislature, but the upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1951 so Parliament is now unicameral. Parliament received full control over all New Zealand affairs in 1947 with the passage of the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act. The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 was the first enactment to grant the colony of New Zealand self-government. ... The bicameral legislature of the United States is housed in a capitol building with two wings. ... The Legislative Council of New Zealand was the upper house of the New Zealand Parliament from 1853 until 1951. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... For unicameral alphabets, see the article letter case. Unicameralism is the practice of having only one legislative or parliamentary chamber. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... The Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947 was a constitutional Act of the New Zealand New Zealand Parliament that formally granted New Zealand full external autonomy. ...

Contents

Title

The official title of the New Zealand House of Representatives was originally the General Assembly until 1986 when it became the New Zealand House of Representatives. It is commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as 'Parliament' (the term 'Parliament' encompasses both the monarch and the House of Representatives). New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth Realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its reigning monarch, since February 6, 1952. ...


Members of Parliament

The House of Representatives takes the British House of Commons as its model. It normally consists of 120 members, known as "Members of Parliament" or MPs. Until 1907 they had the title of 'Members of the House of Representatives' or MHRs (Parliamentary and Executive Titles Act 1907, passed when New Zealand became a dominion). Seats in the debating chamber form a horseshoe pattern, with members of the governing party or coalition sitting on the right hand of the Speaker and members of the opposition sitting opposite. The Speaker of the House of Representatives acts as the presiding officer. The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters of an electoral district to a parliament; in the Westminster system, specifically to the lower house. ... 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... In New Zealand the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the individual who chairs the countrys legislative body, the New Zealand House of Representatives (often also referred to as Parliament). The Speaker fulfils a number of important functions in relation to the operation the House, which is based...


The executive branch of the New Zealand government (the Cabinet) draws its membership exclusively from the House of Representatives, based on which party or parties can claim a majority. The Prime Minister (PM) leads the government: the Governor-General appoints the Prime Minister from a party or from a coalition which appears to have enough support in the House to govern. This support is immediately tested through a Motion of Confidence. The current government is a coalition between Labour and the Progressive Party; the Prime Minister is Helen Clark. The Leader of the Opposition is the leader of the largest opposition party. Currently the Leader of the Opposition is John Key of the National Party. The executive is the branch of a government charged with implementing, or executing, the law and running the day-to-day affairs of the government or state. ... The New Zealand Cabinet functions as the policy and decision-making body of the New Zealand governments executive branch. ... The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealands head of government and is the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand. ... Flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand. ... A Motion of Confidence is a motion of support proposed by a government in a parliament or other assembly of elected representatives to give members of parliament (or other such assembly) a chance to register their confidence in a government. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... The Progressive Party is a political party in New Zealand. ... For other persons named Helen Clark, see Helen Clark (disambiguation). ... The Leader of the Opposition in New Zealand is the politician who, at least in theory, leads the Opposition bloc in the New Zealand Parliament. ... John Phillip Key (born 9 August 1961, in Auckland, New Zealand) is a New Zealand politician. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or 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. ...


For information on current members of Parliament, see 48th New Zealand Parliament. The 48th New Zealand Parliament is the current term of the Parliament of New Zealand. ...


Elections

See: Electoral system of New Zealand Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 376 KB) Summary Bowen House, the Beehive and Parliament Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 376 KB) Summary Bowen House, the Beehive and Parliament Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... The Beehive (left) and Parliament House (right), Wellington New Zealand Parliament Buildings house the New Zealand Parliament and are on a 45,000 square metre site at the northern end of Lambton Quay, Wellington. ... In 1993 New Zealand adopted Mixed Member Proportional as its electoral system after many years of first-past-the-post. ...


Election to the House is by the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system, which provides for proportional representation. The MMP system means that there are usually several parties present in the House — at present, there are eight. The MMP system replaced the old "first-past-the-post" system after a referendum in 1993. The first MMP vote was at the 1996 election. Members of New Zealands House of Representatives, commonly called Parliament, normally gain their seats in nationwide general elections, or (less frequently) in by-elections. ... The Additional Member System (AMS) is a voting system where some representatives are elected from geographic constituencies and others are elected under proportional representation from party lists. ... Proportional representation (sometimes referred to as full representation, or PR), is an electoral system delivering a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates (grouped by a certain measure) obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (usually in legislative assemblies). ... A multi-party system is a type of party system. ... Until 1996, New Zealand used the British system of first past the post (FPP) for parliamentary elections . ... The First Past the Post electoral system, is a voting system for single-member districts. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... The 1996 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament. ...


Last election results

[discuss] – [edit]
Summary of the 17 September 2005 New Zealand House of Representatives election results
Parties Votes % Change Electorate
seats
List seats Total +/-
New Zealand Labour Party 935,319 41.1 -0.2 31 19 50 -2
New Zealand National Party 889,813 39.1 +18.0 31 17 48 +21
New Zealand First 130,115 5.7 -4.7 0 7 7 -6
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand 120,521 5.3 -1.7 0 6 6 -3
Māori Party 48,263 2.1 +2.1 4 0 4 +4
United Future New Zealand 60,860 2.7 -4.0 1 2 3 -5
ACT New Zealand 34,469 1.5 -5.6 1 1 2 -7
New Zealand Progressive Party 26,441 1.2 -0.5 1 0 1 -1
Other parties 29,828 1.3 0 0 0 0
Total 2,275,629 100.0 69 52 121 +1
Informal votes 10,561
Total votes cast 2,286,190

September 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or 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. ... New Zealand First functions as a political party in New Zealand. ... Current Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand logo Wikinews has news related to: Greens Party refines Buy Kiwi Made scheme The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a political party in the New Zealand parliament. ... The Māori Party, a political party in New Zealand based around Māori citizens, formed around Tariana Turia, a former Labour Party member who had been a New Zealand Cabinet minister in the current Labour-dominated coalition government. ... Current United Future logo United Future New Zealand is a political party in the New Zealand parliament with three MPs -- one electorate MP (leader Peter Dunne) and two list MPs (see MMP for the difference). ... ACT New Zealand is a free market liberal party in the New Zealand Parliament. ... The Progressive Party is a political party in New Zealand. ...

Passage of legislation

The New Zealand Parliament's model for passing Acts of Parliament is similar (but not identical) to that of other Westminster System governments. In Westminster System parliaments, an Act of Parliament is a part of the law passed by the Parliament. ... The Houses of Parliament in London The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modeled after that of the United Kingdom system, as used in the Palace of Westminster, the location of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ...


Laws are initially proposed to the House of Representatives as bills. They become Acts after being approved three times by House votes and then receiving the Royal Assent from the Governor-General. The majority of bills are promulgated by the government of the day (that is, the party or parties that have a majority in the House). It is rare for government bills to be defeated, indeed the first to be defeated in the twentieth century was in 1998. It is also possible for individual MPs to promote their own bills, called member's bills — these are usually put forward by opposition parties, or by MPs who wish to deal with a matter that parties do not take positions on. Local government and private individuals (for $2000 and only affecting themselves) may also bring forward legislation. // The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of lawmaking by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. ... Flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand. ...


First Reading

The first stage of the process is the First Reading. The MP introducing the bill (often a minister) will give a detailed speech on the bill as a whole. Debate on the bill generally lasts two hours, with 12 MPs making ten-minute speeches (although they can split their speaking time with another MP) on the bill's general principles. Speaking slots are allocated based on the size of each party, with different parties using different methods to distribute their slots among their MPs. A first reading is when a bill is introduced to a legislature. ...


The MP introducing the bill will generally make a recommendation that the bill be considered by an appropriate Select Committee (see below). Sometimes, it will be recommended that a special Committee be formed, usually when the bill is particularly important or controversial. The House then votes as to whether the bill should be sent to the Committee for deliberation. It is not uncommon for a bill to be voted to the Select Committee stage even by parties which do not support it — since Select Committees can recommend amendments to bills, parties will often not make a final decision on whether to back a bill until the Second Reading. A Select Committee is a committee made up of a small number of parliamentary members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the Westminster System of parliamentary democracy. ...


Select Committee stage

The Select Committee will scrutinise the bill, going over it in more detail than can be achieved by the whole membership of the House. The public can also make submissions to Select Committees, offering support, criticism, or merely comments. The Select Committee stage is seen as increasingly important today — in the past, the governing party generally dominated Select Committees, making the process something of a rubber stamp, but in the multi-party environment there is significant scope for real debate. Select Committees frequently recommended changes to bills, with prompts for change coming from the MPs on the Committee, officials who advise the Committee, and members of the public. When a majority of the Committee is satisfied with the bill, the Committee will report back to the House on it. Unless Parliament grants an extension, the time limit for Select Committee deliberations is six months or whatever deadline was set by the House when the bill was referred. Rubber stamp, is a political metaphor referring to an institution that has little power and rarely disagrees with more powerful organs, though usually it formally has much greater power. ...


Second Reading

The Second Reading, like the first, generally consists of a two-hour debate in which MPs make ten-minute speeches. Again, speaking slots are allocated to parties based on their size. In theory, speeches should relate to the principles and objects of the bill, and also to the consideration and recommendations of the Select Committee and issues raised in public submissions. Parties will usually have made their final decision on a bill after the Select Committee stage, and will make their views clear during the Second Reading debates. At the conclusion of the Second Reading debate, the House votes on whether to accept any amendments recommended by the Select Committee by majority (unanimous amendments are not subjected to this extra hurdle).


The Government (usually through the Minister of Finance) has the power (given by the House's Standing Orders) to veto any bill (or amendment to a bill) that would have a major impact on the Government's budget and expenditure plans. This veto could be invoked at any stage of the process, but if applied to a bill as a whole would most likely be employed at the Second Reading stage. This has not occurred since the veto power was introduced in 1996, although many amendments have been vetoed at the Committee of the whole House stage (see below). The Minister of Finance is a senior figure within the government of New Zealand. ...


If a bill receives its Second Reading, it goes on to be considered by a Committee of the whole House.


Committee of the whole House

When a bill reaches the Committee of the Whole House stage, the House resolves itself "Into Committee", that is, it forms a committee consisting of all MPs (as distinct from a Select Committee, which consists only of a few members). When the House is "In Committee", it is able to operate in a slightly less formal way than usual.


During the Committee of the whole House stage, a bill is debated in detail, usually "part by part" (a "part" is a grouping of clauses). MPs may make five-minute speeches on a particular part or provision of the bill and may propose further amendments, but theoretically should not make general speeches on the bill's overall goals or principles (that should have occurred at the Second Reading).


Sometimes a member may advertise his or her proposed amendments beforehand by having them printed on a "Supplementary Order Paper". This is common for amendments proposed by government Ministers. Some Supplementary Order Papers are very extensive, and, if agreed to, can result in major amendments to bills. On rare occasions, Supplementary Order Papers are referred to Select Committees for comment.


The extent to which a bill changes during this process varies. If the Select Committee that considered the bill did not have a government majority and made significant alterations, the Government may make significant "corrective" amendments. There is some criticism that bills may be amended to incorporate significant policy changes without the benefit of Select Committee scrutiny or public submissions, or even that such major changes can be made with little or no notice. However, under the MMP system when the Government is less likely to have an absolute majority, any amendments will usually need to be negotiated with other parties to obtain majority support.


The Opposition may also put forward wrecking amendments. These amendments are often just symbolic of their contrasting policy position, or simply intended to delay the passage of the bill through the sheer quantity of amendments for the Committee of the whole House to vote on. In legislative debate, a wrecking amendment is an amendment made by a legislator who disagrees with the principles of a Bill and who seek to make it useless (by moving amendments to either make the Bill malformed and nonsensical, or to severely change its intent) rather than directly opposing the...


Third Reading

The final Reading takes the same format as the First and Second Readings — a two-hour debate with MPs making ten-minute speeches. The speeches once again refer to the bill in general terms, and represent the final chance for debate. A final vote is taken. If a bill passes its third reading, it is passed on to the Governor-General, who will (assuming constitutional conventions are followed) give it Royal Assent as a matter of course. It then becomes law.


Select Committees

Legislation is scrutinised by Select Committees. The Committees can call for submissions from the public, thereby meaning that there is a degree of public consultation before a parliamentary bill proceeds into law. The strengthening of the Committee system was in response to concerns that legislation was being forced through, without receiving due examination and revision. Each Select Committee has a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson. MPs may be members of more than one Select Committee. There are 18 Select Committees in the House of Representatives, as follows: A Select Committee is a committee made up of a small number of parliamentary members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the Westminster System of parliamentary democracy. ...

Select Committee Members (Roles)
Business
Commerce
Education and Science
Finance and Expenditure
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Government Administration
Health
Justice and Electoral
Law and Order
Local Government and Environment
Māori Affairs
Officers of Parliament
Primary Production
Previleges
Regulations Review
Social Services
Standing Orders
Transport and Industrial Relations
    • Members of the select committees as of 20th November 2006**

Occasionally a special Select Committee will be created on a temporary basis. An example was the Select Committee established to study the foreshore and seabed bill. Margaret Wilson could also refer to a writer, or a tennis player Margaret Wilson (20th May 1947 - ), a New Zealand politician, currently serves as Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... Timothy John Barnett is a member of the New Zealand Parliament for Christchurch Central since 1999. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... Peter Brown (born 1939) is a member of the New Zealand Parliament, and deputy leader of the New Zealand First party. ... New Zealand First functions as a political party in New Zealand. ... Gordon Copeland is a New Zealand born politician. ... Current United Future logo United Future New Zealand is a political party in the New Zealand parliament with three MPs -- one electorate MP (leader Peter Dunne) and two list MPs (see MMP for the difference). ... Te Ururoa Flavell (7 December 1955) is a New Zealand politician, and currently serves as a member of Parliament. ... The Māori Party, a political party in New Zealand based around Māori citizens, formed around Tariana Turia, a former Labour Party member who had been a New Zealand Cabinet minister in the current Labour-dominated coalition government. ... Heather Roy Heather Roy (5 March 1964 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... ACT New Zealand is a free market liberal party in the New Zealand Parliament. ... William Lindsay Tisch is a New Zealand politician. ... 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The New Zealand National Party (National or 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. ... Dianne Yates (29 November 1943 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... Shane Jones is a New Zealand civil servant and politician. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... Dr. Alexander Lockwood Smith (13 November 1948 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or 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. ... Gordon Copeland is a New Zealand born politician. ... 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Rodney Hide Rodney Hide (born 16 December 1956), a New Zealand politician, became leader of the political party ACT New Zealand in 2004 and Member of Parliament for Epsom in 2005. ... ACT New Zealand is a free market liberal party in the New Zealand Parliament. ... Clem Simich is a New Zealand politician. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or 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. ... Nándor Steven Tánczos (born 1966), a member of the New Zealand Parliament since 1999, represents the Green Party as a list MP. He briefly lost his seat in the 2005 General Election, but ranked next on the party list and agreed to rejoin Parliament following the sudden death... Current Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand logo Wikinews has news related to: Greens Party refines Buy Kiwi Made scheme The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a political party in the New Zealand parliament. ... William Lindsay Tisch is a New Zealand politician. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or 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. ... Mark James Gosche (2 December 1955) is a New Zealand politician. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... Maurice Donald Williamson (b 1951) is a New Zealand politician. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or 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. ... David Bennett is a New Zealand politician. ... 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Other functions

The House also has several other important functions.

  • The House is legally the highest court in the land, allowing it to trial any person. However, this function has never been used.
  • Questions may be asked of Ministers and select committee chairs every sitting day.

Question Time is a section of proceedings in the Parliaments of the United Kingdom and several other countries which use the Westminster system, including Australia and New Zealand, and in Canada, where it is called Question Period. ...

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. ... The New Zealand Parliament is the legislative body of the New Zealand government. ...

External links

  • Parliament of New Zealand
  • Images from around Parliament Buildings

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