Parliament's culture and traditions

Page 1 – Introduction

Parliament in words and pictures

Parliament has a rich history and its own colourful culture and traditions, which reflect both the legacy of the British Westminster system and the evolution of a distinctive New Zealand institution over 150 years.

Explore Parliament in words and pictures and discover how the business, buildings and people of the House have been portayed in media ranging from cartoons to postcards. Learn about the influence of Westminster traditions from Black Rod to Bellamy's, the place of te reo (the Māori language) in the House and the traditional role of Parliament grounds as a gathering place for public events and protests. And brace yourself for a curious compendium of bad language – a bizarre collection of terms that have been banned from use in the House over the years.

How to cite this page

'Parliament's culture and traditions', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-Jul-2014