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New Zealand Prime Minister


New Zealand Prime Minister

New Zealand Prime Minister

The head of New Zealand’s government is the New Zealand Prime Minister concomitant on being the head of the coalition or party with the support of the majority in New Zealand’s Parliament.


Since November 19, 2008, the National Party’s John Key has been the Prime Minister.
It was not until the Schedule of the Civil List Act of 1873 that the position title of Prime Minister had made its first official appearance. Originally, the Prime Minister was called the First Minister or Colonial Secretary.

In 1869, this was officially changed to "Premier".


Nevertheless, this title also did not last for long, being informally altered in 1901 to Prime Minister by Richard Seddon during his term of office. Succeeding the proclamation in 1907 of New Zealand as a Dominion, the title "Prime Minister" has been used solely.

The Prime Minister’s role is not defined formally, being founded on the convention of constitution instead of specific statute law. According to these rules, the Prime Minister is the head of Cabinet (which is in itself a body which exists by convention), and assumes a role of coordination. The Prime Minister is looked upon by rule as "first among equals".


The Prime Minister does in fact merits the post most senior in the government, but is also expected to stick to any determinations made by Cabinet. The real ability of a Prime Minister to impart direct orders is amazingly restricted; a majority of the power of the position comes about via other ways, such as the power to set the agenda of the Cabinet, thereby manipulating what subjects will be talked about, and the power to nominate and send packing ministers. The degree to which this ability can be practiced varies among various parties. For example, the Labor Party places nearly all of this duty in the Caucus’ hands, resulting in the Prime Minister having only with the ability to select which functions a minister is assigned. Moreover, the electoral system of the MMP has made this complicated, as the Prime Minister may need to confer with another leader of the party.


The Prime Minister’s influence is in all likelihood to have as head of the prevailing party. These abilities may afford him or her more control which is direct over underlings than is inhered in the role of the Prime Minister itself.

Like other positions of ministerial nature, the position of Prime Minister is an appointment made by the Governor-General "awaiting the Queen's pleasure". Nevertheless, the rule has long since been laid down that the Prime Minister must possess and hold the support of a bulk of Parliament’s Members. Historically, this has generally signified that the Prime Minister is the democratic leader of the House of Representative’s most prominent political party.

In the last 50 years, a pattern has also formulated of nominating a Deputy Prime Minister. The Deputy generally holds significant ministerial offices and turns into Acting Prime Minister in the incapacitation or absence of the Prime Minister. The Deputy is normally affiliated with same party as that of the Prime Minister, but it is not a requirement.



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