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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 1 - The House of RepresentativesNew 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

The Treaty in brief

  • The Treaty in brief

    The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. It takes its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed, on 6 February 1840. The Treaty is an agreement, in Māori and English, that was made between the British Crown and about 540 Māori rangatira (chiefs).

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  • Page 1 - The Treaty in briefThe Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. It takes its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed, on 6 February 1840. The Treaty is an

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 4 – Responsible government

    In the 1840s settlers were demanding a say in government. Governor Grey suspended an overly elaborate constitution in 1846, but the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 gave male

  • Page 5 – Splendid ornamentals

    With the appointment of Lord Onslow in 1889, a new type of governor took up residence at Government House.

Premiers and Prime Ministers

  • Premiers and Prime Ministers

    From Henry Sewell in 1856 to Jacinda Ardern in 2017, New Zealand has had 40 prime ministers and premiers. Read biographies of the men and women who have held the top job, discover more about the role's political origins, and explore fascinating prime ministerial facts and trivia.

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  • Page 2 - Political originsOverview of the influence of the British political system in New Zealand and our move toward self-government in the 19th

Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee

  • Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee

    Queen Elizabeth II became New Zealand's monarch on 6 February 1952. In 2012 she celebrated her Diamond (60th) Jubilee, which was marked by various events around the Commonwealth.

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  • Page 2 - The Queen’s constitutional and public ceremonial rolesThe Queen is New Zealand’s head of state. Her title was confirmed by Royal Titles Acts of 1953 and 1974, the latter entitling her ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God

The New Zealand Legion

  • The New Zealand Legion

    The year 1933 witnessed an unprecedented eruption of protest amongst urban businessmen and professionals in New Zealand. The most prominent manifestation of this protest was a radical conservative movement named the New Zealand Legion.

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  • Page 5 - IdeologyWhile the New Zealand Legion’s initial policy was deliberately vague, it contained several key elements that were central to the movement’s ideology throughout its

Biographies

  • Stafford, Edward William

    Edward Stafford was New Zealand's youngest leader and a stable influence on the early colonial government. He held the post of premier on three different occasions - 1856 - 1861, 1865 - 1869, and 1872.

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  • Richmond, Christopher William

    William Richmond was a lawyer, Minister in Edward Stafford’s Parliament, and judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.

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  • Taylor, Thomas Edward

    Tommy Taylor was one of the most colourful figures in the political life of his day. He spent his life campaigning for the prohibition of alcohol.

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