parliament

Events In History

Articles

Parliament's people

  • Parliament's people

    \Today there are 120 MPs in New Zealand's Parliament, which is a far cry from the 37 who met for the first time in Auckland in 1854.

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  • Page 2 – Women MPs

    For much of its first century, Parliament was a bastion of male culture. Nowadays women make up 30% of MPs.

  • Page 4 – Pay and travel

    One of the early issues parliamentarians discussed was pay for MPs, and one of the biggest difficulties MPs faced in the early years was travelling to Parliament.

  • Page 5 – Social life

    In the early years, Parliament was a little like a superior gentlemen's club.

  • Page 6 – Staff

    New Zealand's early politicians encouraged Parliament to adopt the traditions of the British Parliament so that New Zealand's Parliament would be invested with great

  • Page 7 – Spectators

    Aside from its constitutional functions, Parliament has also provided a spectacle for members of the public.

  • Page 8 – Reporting and broadcasting

    The reporting of Parliament has always been an important part of the parliamentary story.

  • Page 9 – Biographies

    Some of the key figures in New Zealand parliamentary history

  • Page 10 – Further information

    This web feature was written by John E. Martin and produced by the NZHistory.net.nz team.LinksParliament (Te Ara)BooksMartin, John E.

The House of Representatives

  • The House of Representatives

    New Zealand's Parliament dates back to 1854, just 14 years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the beginning of the European settlement of the country. For most of its history as a nation state, New Zealand has had some form of elected government.

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  • Page 2 – Quick history

    New Zealand's Parliament has been making laws, scrutinising the government and representing New Zealanders for over 150 years.

  • Page 3 – Parliament

    Today there are two parts to Parliament – the House of Representatives (or the Lower House) and the Governor-General, but between 1854 and 1951 there was a third part,

  • Page 4 – Doing business

    The operation of Parliament has changed over time as its workload has grown and new systems such as MMP have been implemented.

  • Page 6 – First sitting, 1854

    It started with a bang – 21 in fact, fired from the guns at Auckland's Fort Britomart. As soon as the smoke had cleared, New Zealand's first Parliament was under way.

  • Page 5 – The Opposition

    The Opposition uses a variety of tactics to hold the government to account.

  • Page 7 – The Speaker

    The Speaker, who is elected by MPs, has a key role in representing the House to the Crown and in presiding over the House.

  • Page 8 – Useful terms

    Glossary of terms used in Parliament

  • Page 9 – Milestones

    Timeline of key events in New Zealand's parliamentary history

  • Page 10 – Further information

    This web feature was written by John E. Martin and produced by the NZHistory.net.nz team.LinksParliamentary elections and parties (Te Ara)BooksMartin, John E.

Parliament's culture and traditions

Maori and the vote

  • Maori and the vote

    Between April and June 1868 the first four Māori MPs were elected to New Zealand's Parliament. Despite ongoing debate, the Māori seats remain a distinctive feature of this country's electoral landscape 140 years later.

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  • Page 1 - Māori and the voteBetween April and June 1868 the first four Māori MPs were elected to New Zealand's Parliament. Despite ongoing debate, the Māori seats remain a distinctive feature of this

Political and constitutional timeline

History of the Governor-General

  • History of the Governor-General

    New Zealand has had a governor or (from 1917) a Governor-General since 1840. The work of these men and women has reflected the constitutional and political history of New Zealand in many ways.

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  • Page 2 - Modern dutiesThe Governor-General's duties are divided into three functions: ceremonial, community and
  • International delegates at a Colombo Plan conference inside Parliament House in Wellington, November 1956.

Images and media for Parliament