Foreign relations of New Zealand
The foreign relations of New Zealand are oriented chiefly toward developed democratic nations and emerging Pacific economies. Sino - New Zealand relations are subdued, but trade is burgeoning, japans decision to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a welcome change and New Zealand continues to pursue a free trade agreement with South Korea. The government is pressing ahead with plans to strengthen relations in a number of areas, including Russia, South Asia, Latin America. It is alive to the benefits of closer ties with countries on the African continent. New Zealand was first settled by Polynesians at some point between 800 and 1300 AD, from the 1760s New Zealand was visited by various European explorers and traders, and missionaries and settlers. An informal system of trade was established, especially in Northland, as Māori was a tribal-level society of many shifting chiefdoms, relationships with Europeans were ad hoc and informal. In 1835 a group of Northland chiefs, under the guidance of British resident James Busby, signed a declaration of independence, english missionaries were concerned about the levels of lawlessness, which were undermining their efforts to convert Māori to Christianity.
The subsequent Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840, made New Zealand part of the British Empire, established a Governor of New Zealand, the annexation of New Zealand by Britain meant that Britain now controlled New Zealands foreign policy. Subsidised large-scale immigration from Britain and Ireland began, and miners came for the gold rush around 1850-60, in the 1860s, the British sent 16,000 soldiers to contain the New Zealand wars in the North Island. The colony shipped gold and, wool to Britain, from the 1880s the development of refrigerated shipping allowed the establishment of an export economy based on the mass export of frozen meat and dairy products to Britain. In 1899-1902 New Zealand made its first contribution to an external war, the country changed its status from colony to dominion with internal self governance in 1907. New Zealand eagerly sent a fraction of its young men to fight on Britains side in the First World War. Their heroism in the failed Gallipoli campaign made their sacrifices iconic in New Zealand memory, after the war New Zealand signed the Treaty of Versailles joined the League of Nations and pursued an independent foreign policy, while its defense was still controlled by Britain.
Wellington trusted Conservative Party governments in London, but not Labour, when the British Labour Party took power in 1924 and 1929, the New Zealand government felt threatened by Labours foreign policy because of its reliance upon the League of Nations. The League was distrusted and Wellington did not expect to see the coming of a world order under League auspices. The governments of the Reform and United parties between 1912 and 1935 followed a foreign policy. However the opposition Labour Party was more idealistic and proposed a liberal internationalist outlook on international affairs, from 1935 the First Labour Government showed a limited degree of idealism in foreign policy, for example opposing the appeasement of Germany and Japan. New Zealand soldiers served in North Africa and the Pacific, and airmen in England, in 1947 New Zealand ratified the 1931 Statute of Westminster, which made certain former colonies completely self-governing
Monarchy of New Zealand
The Crown is the foundation of the executive and judicial branches of the New Zealand government, which is a Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. Most of the powers are exercised by the elected parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from amongst them. The New Zealand monarchy has its roots in the British Crown, from which it has evolved to become a distinctly New Zealand institution, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. New Zealand shares the same monarch with the other 15 monarchies in the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations, supports of the monarchy argue it costs New Zealand taxpayers only a small outlay for royal engagements and tours and the expenses of the governor-generals establishment. Monarchy New Zealand states his figure is one dollar per person per year. Thus, New Zealands line of succession remains identical to that of the United Kingdom, as such, the rules for succession are not fixed, but may be changed by a constitutional amendment.
The Constitution Act 1986 specifies that should a regent be installed in the United Kingdom, upon a demise of the Crown, the late sovereigns heir immediately and automatically succeeds, without any need for confirmation or further ceremony—hence arises the phrase The King is dead. It is customary, for the accession of the new monarch to be proclaimed by the governor-general on behalf of the Executive Council of New Zealand. Following an appropriate period of mourning, the monarch is crowned in the United Kingdom in an ancient ritual. After an individual ascends the throne, he or she continues to reign until death. One of the first post-Second World War examples of New Zealands status as an independent monarchy was the alteration of the title by the Royal Titles Act 1953. This is one of the key differences from the Queens role in England and this is done in reciprocation to the sovereigns Coronation Oath, wherein he or she promises to govern the Peoples of. According to their laws and customs.
Though this power stems from the people, all New Zealanders live under the authority of the monarch, the government of New Zealand is defined by the constitution as the Queen acting on the advice of her Executive Council. In the construct of constitutional monarchy and responsible government, the advice tendered is typically binding, meaning the monarch reigns. The Royal Prerogative extends to foreign affairs, the sovereign or the governor-general conducts treaties, the governor-general, on behalf of the Queen, accredits New Zealand high commissioners and ambassadors, and receives similar diplomats from foreign states. In addition, the issuance of passports falls under the Royal Prerogative, the Crown is further responsible for summoning and dissolving the House of Representatives, after which the governor-general usually calls for a general election. The sovereign is responsible for rendering justice for all her subjects, she does not personally rule in judicial cases, instead the judicial functions of the Royal Prerogative are performed in trust and in the Queens name by Officers of Her Majestys Court
The Chatham Islands form an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 650 kilometres east of mainland New Zealand. It consists of ten islands within a 40-kilometre radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island. The archipelago is called Rēkohu in the indigenous Moriori language, Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands, and members of the Māori Ngāti Mutunga tribe have settled on the island. It has officially been part of New Zealand since 1842 and includes the countrys easternmost point, the islands are at about 43°53′S 176°31′W, roughly 840 kilometres east of Christchurch, New Zealand. The nearest mainland New Zealand point to the Chatham Islands is Cape Turnagain, in the North Island at a distance of 650 kilometres, the nearest mainland city to the islands is Hastings, New Zealand, located 697 kilometres to the North-West. The two largest islands, Chatham Island and Pitt Island, constitute most of the area of 966 square kilometres. The islands sit on the Chatham Rise, a large, relatively shallowly submerged part of the Zealandia continent that stretches east from near the South Island.
The Chatham Islands, which emerged only within the last four years, are the only part of the Chatham Rise showing above sea level. The islands are hilly with coasts being a mixture including cliffs and dunes, beaches. Chatham has a number of streams, including Te Awainanga and Tuku and Pitt are the only inhabited islands, with the remaining smaller islands being conservation reserves with restricted or prohibited access. The livelihoods of the inhabitants depend on agriculture, with the island being an exporter of coldwater crayfish, the names of the main islands, in the order of occupation are, Chatham Islands have a maritime climate characterised by a narrow temperature range and relatively frequent rainfall. Its isolated position far from any sizeable landmass renders the record temperature for main settlement Waitangi to be just 23.8 °C. The climate is cool and windy, with high temperatures between 15 and 20 °C in summer, and between 5 and 10 °C in July, the Southern Hemisphere winter. Snow is extremely rare, having being recorded near sea level in July 2015 after several decades, the International Date Line lies to the east of the Chathams, even though the islands lie east of 180° longitude.
Of interest are the trees, with branches trailing almost horizontally in the lee of the wind. The ferns in the forest understory include Blechnum discolor, the islands are a breeding ground for huge flocks of seabirds and are home to a number of endemic birds, some of which are seabirds and others which live on the islands. The best known species are the magenta petrel and the black robin, Other endemic species are the Chatham oystercatcher, the Chatham gerygone, Chatham pigeon, Forbes parakeet, the Chatham snipe and the shore plover. The endemic Chatham shag, Pitt shag and the Chatham albatross are at risk of capture by a variety of fishing gear, including fishing lines, gillnets, for accounts and notes on seabird species seen in the Chathams between 1960 and 1993 online
United Party (New Zealand)
Note that United Party members of parliament are included in the Category, New Zealand Liberal Party MPs. The United Party represented a resurgence of the Liberals. The United Party emerged from a faction of the decaying Liberal Party known as the National Party, George Forbes, a Liberal Party leader, led the faction. In 1927 Forbes joined with Bill Veitch and with Albert Davy, the new organisation adopted the name the United Party. This reflected in shortened form the name of the United New Zealand Political Organisation and Veitch both contested the leadership, but eventually, Joseph Ward won the position. Although Ward, a former Liberal Prime Minister in 1906 -1912, did not enjoy the best of health, so 42,000 votes and five seats went to United, compared with 8,800 votes and no seats in the previous election. In the 1928 elections, the new United Party performed surprisingly well, the Reform Party had twenty-seven seats, the Labour Party had nineteen, the Country Party had one, and independents held six.
The United Party formed a government with the backing of the Labour Party, the United Party administration did not run particularly smoothly, however. Wards ill health persisted, and by the time he resigned in 1930. Wards deputy, George Forbes became Prime Minister after Wards departure, in 1931 the United government passed a number of economic measures which appeared unfavourable to workers, and the Labour Party withdrew its support. The United Party continued in office with reluctant support from the Reform Party, the same year, formal coalition talks took place between United and Labour, with a unity government proposed to counter the depression. Labour eventually walked out of the talks, but Reform leader Gordon Coates eventually agreed to form a coalition between United and Reform. Forbes, backed by dissident members of Reform, managed to win the leadership of the coalition government, in the 1931 elections, the coalition worked in close co-operation, and won fifty-one out of the eighty seats.
United and Reform between them had held a few more seats before, but their combined tally exceeded what many had anticipated in light of the economic conditions. The government did not exhibit great stability, however — particularly strong tensions arose between Coates and Downie Stewart, who clashed over the best response to the economic problems. Coates eventually won, and Stewart resigned, in the 1935 elections, the coalition of United and Reform once again worked together. Anger at the ongoing economic problems remained high, however. In addition, Albert Davy had founded a new anti-socialist party, the Democrats, still the nominal leader of the coalition, appeared tired and apathetic
Supreme Court of New Zealand
The Supreme Court of New Zealand is the highest court and the court of last resort in New Zealand, having formally come into existence on 1 January 2004. The court sat for the first time on 1 July 2004 and it replaced the right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, based in London. It was created with the passing of the Supreme Court Act 2003, at the time, the creation of the Supreme Court and the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council were controversial constitutional changes in New Zealand. It should not be confused with New Zealands old Supreme Court, the name was changed in anticipation of the eventual creation of a final court of appeal for New Zealand that would be called the Supreme Court. The inaugural bench were the most senior judges of the New Zealand Court of Appeal at the time and their appointment to the new Court was said to have been based on seniority and merit. The maximum bench under statute is six judges, several acting Judges have been appointed to sit whenever a permanent judge was unable to do so due to illness or a conflict of interest.
Acting judges only sit on substantive appeals, and not applications for leave, on 4 May 2005, Attorney General Michael Cullen announced the appointment of Justice Sir John McGrath of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court bench as its sixth permanent judge. On 21 February 2006, the Honourable Sir Noel Anderson was appointed to the Supreme Court, thus the promotion of the most senior Court of Appeal member has continued. This practice was broken with the appointment of Justice Bill Wilson in December 2007 after having served less than a year as a judge of the Court of Appeal, in the early 1980s, Minister of Justice Jim McLay suggested their abolition. Proposals for an indigenous final appellate court can be traced back to 1985, in 1996, Paul East, Attorney-General of the Bolger government, proposed to end the status of the Privy Council as the countrys highest court of appeal. The proposal got as far as a Bill being introduced into Parliament, this Bill met with little support from within the National Party, and the Bill was not carried over by the next Parliament following the 1996 general election.
The policy was resurrected in 1999 by the Fifth Labour Government of 1999 –2008, a discussion paper, Reshaping New Zealands Appeal Structure attracted 70 submissions. A year a Ministerial Action Group was formed to assist Ministers in designing the purpose, the Groups report, Replacing the Privy Council, A New Supreme Court was published in April 2002, before the general election a few months later. A Campaign for the Privy Council was established to lobby against the abolition of appeals, many business and community groups joined the opposition to the ending of appeals. Notable supporters of the Supreme Court were former Privy Councillor Lord Cooke of Thorndon and former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, the Monarchist League complained the majority of members of the select committee were motivated by a republican agenda. It received Royal Assent on 17 October 2003, with commencement on 1 January 2004, in 2008, National leader John Key ruled out any abolition of the Supreme Court and return to the Privy Council.
The petition failed to gain the 310,000 signatures of registered electors needed and lapsed on 2 July 2004 and these concerns were because the entire bench was to be appointed simultaneously, and no clear statement had been made about how they would be selected. However, the level of concern was considerably lessened when Wilson announced that the appointments would be based on merit, appointments to the Court were expected and unsurprising
New Zealand Parliament
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislative branch of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives. Before 1951, there was a chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning parliaments in the world, the House of Representatives is a democratically elected body whose members are known as Members of Parliament. It usually consists of 120 MPs, though sometimes due to overhang seats. 70 MPs are elected directly in electorate seats and the remainder are filled by list MPs based on each partys share of the party vote, Māori were represented in Parliament from 1867, and in 1893 women gained the vote. New Zealand does not allow sentenced prisoners to vote, the Parliament is closely linked to the executive branch. The House of Representatives has met in the Parliament Buildings located in Wellington, Parliament funds the broadcast of its proceedings through Parliament TV, AM Network and Parliament Today.
It was based on the Westminster model and had a house, called the House of Representatives. The members of the House of Representatives were elected under the first-past-the-post voting system, originally Councillors were appointed for life, but their terms were fixed at seven years. In 1951, the Council was abolished altogether, making the New Zealand legislature unicameral, under the Constitution Act, legislative power was conferred on New Zealands provinces, each of which had its own elected Legislative Council. These provincial legislatures were able to legislate for their provinces on most subjects, over a twenty-year period, political power was progressively centralised, and the provinces were abolished altogether in 1876. Four Māori electorates were created in 1867 during the term of the 4th Parliament, originally the New Zealand Parliament remained subordinate to the British Parliament, the supreme legislative authority for the entire British Empire. One historical speciality of the New Zealand Parliament was the country quota, from 1889 on, districts were weighted according to their urban/rural split.
The country quota was in effect until it was abolished in 1945 by a mostly urban-elected Labour government, the New Zealand Parliament is sovereign with no institution able to over-ride its decisions. The ability of Parliament to act is, unimpeded, for example, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is a normal piece of legislation, it is not superior law as codified constitutions are in some other countries. The only thing Parliament is limited in its power are on some entrenched issues relating to elections and these issues require either 75% of all MPs to support the bill or a referendum on the issue. The Queen of New Zealand is one of the components of Parliament—formally called the Queen-in-Parliament and this results from the role of the monarch to sign into law the bills that have been passed by the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives was established as a house and has been the Parliaments sole chamber since 1951
High Court of New Zealand
The High Court of New Zealand is a superior court established in 1841. It was originally called the Supreme Court of New Zealand, but was renamed in 1980 to make way for the naming of a new Supreme Court of New Zealand, which first met in 2004. The High Court has general jurisdiction and responsibility, under the Judicature Act 1908, as well as the High Court Rules, jurisdiction extends over both criminal and civil matters, and deals with cases at first instance or on appeal from other courts and certain tribunals. The High Court comprises the Chief Justice of New Zealand and up to 55 other Judges, the administrative head of the court is known as the Chief High Court Judge. The Court has registries in Masterton and Tauranga, the High Court deals with the most serious types of criminal offences that exceeds the District Courts jurisdiction. Most cases are heard before a judge and jury, but may be heard before a judge alone. The Court generally deals only with civil claims that exceed the jurisdiction of the District Court or other courts and tribunals.
This jurisdiction includes matters concerning admiralty, company law, the administration of estates and trusts, property transfer, land valuation, and many other areas. The Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 and the Judicature Act 1908 authorise the High Court to sit in Australia and the Federal Court of Australia to sit in New Zealand. Orders of the High Court sitting in Australia are enforced by the Federal Court of Australia, the High Court of New Zealand High Court Rules Judicial Decisions Online
Politics of New Zealand
The politics of New Zealand function within a framework of a unitary parliamentary representative democracy. New Zealand is a monarchy in which a hereditary monarch—since 6 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II—is the sovereign. Executive power in New Zealand is based on the principle that The Queen reigns, the Prime Minister is the highest government minister, chair of the cabinet and head of government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of New Zealand. The office of minister is, in practice, the most powerful political office in New Zealand. Government ministers are selected from the members of the New Zealand Parliament. The country has a multi-party system in many of its legislative practices derive from the unwritten conventions of. However, New Zealand has evolved variations, minority governments are common and typically dependent on confidence, the two dominant political parties in New Zealand have historically been the New Zealand Labour Party and the New Zealand National Party.
New Zealand has no formal codified constitution, the constitutional framework consists of a mixture of various documents, the Constitution Act in 1852 established the system of government and these were consolidated in 1986. The Constitution Act describes the three branches of Government in New Zealand, The Executive, the legislature and the judiciary, Elizabeth II is the current Queen of New Zealand and the Realm of New Zealands head of state. While Royal assent and the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent, and Orders in Council, the authority for these acts stems from the New Zealand populace. Since the Queen is not usually resident in New Zealand, the functions of the monarchy are conducted by the Governor-General, as of September 2016, the Governor-General is Dame Patsy Reddy. The Governor-Generals powers are primarily symbolic and formal in nature, the Governor-General formally has the power to appoint and dismiss Prime Ministers and to dissolve Parliament, and formally signs legislation into law after passage by Parliament.
The Governor-General chairs the Executive Council, which is a committee consisting of all ministers of the Crown. Members of the Executive Council are required to be members of parliament, the prime minister, being the de facto leader of New Zealand, exercises executive functions that are nominally vested in the sovereign. Cabinet is directly responsible to the New Zealand Parliament, from which its members are derived, general elections are held every three years, with the last one in September 2014. National won the 2008 election ending nine years of Labour-led government, former National leader John Key formed a minority government, negotiating agreements with the ACT party, the United Future party and the Māori Party. The leaders of each of these parties hold ministerial posts but remain outside of cabinet, there are currently three parties in opposition, the Labour Party, the Green Party, and New Zealand First. The leader of the opposition is Andrew Little, who is Leader of the Labour Party, New Zealands main legislative body is a unicameral parliament known as the House of Representatives
New Zealand /njuːˈziːlənd/ is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu—and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, the countrys varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealands capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland, sometime between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand, in 1840, representatives of Britain and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire, the majority of New Zealands population of 4.7 million is of European descent, the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealands culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, New Zealand is a developed country and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, economic freedom and quality of life. Since the 1980s, New Zealand has transformed from an agrarian, Queen Elizabeth II is the countrys head of state and is represented by a governor-general. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes, the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau, the Cook Islands and Niue, and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealands territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and called it Staten Landt, in 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand, Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand. It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the country before the arrival of Europeans. Māori had several names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South, in 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907, this was the accepted norm. The New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised and this set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, and South Island or Te Waipounamu
Electoral reform in New Zealand
Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both Parliamentary and local government electoral systems. All New Zealand elections from 1914 to 1996 consistently used the British system of first-past-the-post for parliamentary elections and this system had consistently favoured the two largest parties. From 1936 on, these were the National and Labour parties, governments had been previously formed despite the opposition winning the popular vote in both 1911 and 1931 as well. In its 1984 campaign platform, Labour committed itself to appoint a commission on electoral reform if elected. Labour won that election and in 1985 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Geoffrey Palmer established the Royal Commission on the Electoral System, Palmer had promoted proportional representation as a law professor in his book Unbridled Power. The Royal Commissions 1986 report, entitled Towards a Better Democracy recommended the adoption of the mixed-member proportional representation, recognizing that a parliament dominated by the major parties might fail to implement a sweeping reform of this sort, the commission proposed a referendum on the issue.
During the 1987 election campaign, Labour promised to hold a referendum on MMP at, or before, although Labour was returned to power in that election, it failed to proceed further on the matter due to its own internal divisions. In May 1990, Labour MP John Terris submitted a private bill to force a binding referendum on the electoral system. In 1992, a referendum was held on whether or not FPP should be replaced by a new. Voters were asked two questions, whether or not to replace FPP with a new voting system, and which of four different alternative systems should be adopted instead, the government appointed a panel chaired by the Ombudsman to oversee the campaign. Meanwhile, the Electoral Reform Coalition campaigned actively in favour of the MMP alternative originally recommended by the royal commission and these measures made it possible for voters to make an informed choice on what was otherwise a complicated issue. This led New Zealanders to vote overwhelmingly for change and to indicate a clear, the first question asked voters if they wished to retain FPP or change electoral systems.
The result was 84.7 per cent favour of replacing FPP, the second question asked voters which new system should replace FPP. Alternative Vote, used in Australia and Fiji elections, similar to FPP, as noted earlier, an overwhelming majority of those favouring a new electoral system voted for MMP. The percentages of the vote cast for the four possible electoral system options offered in the question were, Source. The second, referendum was held in conjunction with the election on 6 November 1993. Peter Shirtcliffe, chairman of Telecom New Zealand at the time and leader of the CBG, the Electoral Reform Coalition was the main advocate for the adoption of MMP, and had support from several people, including the late Green Party co-leader Rod Donald. MMP faced a battle, as acknowledged in the pro-MMP poster to the side