New Zealand Government

History and Workings of New Zealand Parliment


Although most of New Zealand's historical citizens were the Maori people the first group of people to create an established government were the European settlers. From 1840-1854 New Zealand was represented by a governor and representative of Queen Victoria but European settlers wanted to have the ability to vote in representatives as they had in Europe, so in 1852 New Zealand had a constitution act enacting a representative government. Maori people were not able to vote in most elections however. In 1867, Maori people were given the ability to vote and were given 4 seats in the House of Representatives. During the 1930s to major parties emerged that are still prevalent today, they are the Labour and National Parties. Featured is a picture of the first Parliament house in Wellington.

Labour Party

The Labour Party follows a democratic socialistic vision. They believe in cooperation, equality for everyone in terms of social, economical and political spectrums and close to even distribution of wealth. They are very similar to America's democratic party and focus much on the humanism of people and allowing them all of their basic human rights.

National Party

The National Party is fairly similar to the United State's Republican party in the sense that they believe in a very limited government. They believe in the opportunity for wealth and prosperity for all of New Zealand's citizens and much more individualism instead of grouping. Much of their ideas surround personal responsibility.


Parliament is a system headed by the Queen's appointed Governor General (The Sovereign) and The Speaker (The House of Representatives). Representatives are elected by the general public, whereas the Governor General is appointed by the Queen that oversees how the government function. There is no over-all constitutional law that trumps laws passed in the House of Representatives. Parliament has most of the control over the government because the Minister cannot stay in power if the House of Representatives no longer supports him or her.

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is not elected, they are chosen by the Governor General. They act as the Governor General's main advisor and keep the confidence of the house. The majority of the time they follow the same political lines as the majority of the house.