New Zealand is a country with a
constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary form of
government. After the establishment of British
sovereignty in 1840 in New Zealand, the 1st
government system was created in the 1852
Constitution Act. This included provincial councils
and a 2-chamber legislature.
Subsequently, additional legislation modified
several of its mandates, such as the termination of
the upper house of the legislature in 1950. Same as
the United Kingdom, New Zealand does not possess a
single penned constitution. Instead, legislation of
the constitution is a collection of customary and
The laws which are miscellaneous are rendered consistency
through tradition, precedent, and unwritten rules which are
formal recognized as conventions.
New Zealand acknowledges the British sovereign as its ruler,
or official head of state. The Governor General represents
the monarch in New Zealand. The monarch appoints the
official on the recommendation of the prime minister to a
term of 5 years. Subsequent to national elections, the
Governor General has the task to appoint the majority
party’s leader in the legislature to the position of prime
minister and tasks the prime minister to formulate a cabinet
of ministers or government.
On the recommendation of the prime minister, the Governor
General officially appoints the cabinet ministers.
The Governor General must also agree to bills
of parliamentary for them to become law. All these
responsibilities are merely ceremonial, and the
Governor General has little actual influence in New
The cabinet, the government’s highest policy-making
organization, is headed by the prime minister.
responsibility of the cabinet is the administration
of the state on a day-to-day basis, and ministers
are responsible for specific parts of policy.
Ministers also assemble in the Executive Council, an
organization which advises the Governor General.
Constitutional convention obliges the Governor
General to follow recommendations of the council.
The Parliament or Legislature is made up of one chamber, the
lower house (House of Representatives). Parliament is
entrusted with the ability to create laws. The House of
Representatives is made up of one hundred twenty members who
had been nominated since 1996 in accordance with what is
called the MMP (mixed-member proportional) system.
In the MMP system, voting districts elect half of
the members (together with the 6 seats reserved for
representatives of the Maori) and the other half are
nominated from party lists rooted on a share of the
party of the vote in nationwide elections. Elections
for Legislative positions are held at least once
every 3 years.
Although registration of voters is mandatory in New
Zealand, voting is voluntary. Electors who are
registered, or persons who’s name appears on the
electoral roll, should be at least 18 years old,
citizens or permanent residents who have lived in
New Zealand for at least a year, and inhabitants of
the voting district at which they have enrolled for
at least a month.
The New Zealand Governor General appoints all judges in the
country, a tradition meant to supplant politics. The
judicial system involves district courts, a Court of Appeal,
a High Court, and a Supreme Court. This court system
supplanted the Privy Council which was London-based as the
highest judicial body of New Zealand in 2004.