Christian Coalition (New Zealand)

Last updated

Christian Coalition
Co-leaders Graeme Lee
Graham Capill
DissolvedMay 1997
Ideology Christian democracy
Christian Politics NZ.svg

The Christian Coalition was an Evangelical Christian political party operating in New Zealand. It was an alliance of the now-defunct Christian Heritage Party and the Christian Democrats, New Zealand's two theologically conservative Christian parties. The Christian Coalition did not meet with the success that it hoped for, and was eventually dissolved.


The Coalition was established for the purpose of contesting the 1996 election, which was the first to be held using the new mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system. Under MMP, it would not be necessary for the party to win any electorate seats it merely needed to gain more than five percent of the national vote. The party was led by the Christian Democrat's leader Graeme Lee and the Christian Heritage leader Graham Capill.[ citation needed ]

In terms of policy, the Coalition generally pursued goals located somewhere between those of the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage. At times, there appeared to be dispute between the two groups, with the Christian Democrats pursuing a more moderate path and Christian Heritage insisting upon a hard line. There were also complaints from the Christian Democrats that Christian Heritage was dominating the Coalition, and that Graham Capill (leader of Christian Heritage and Co-leader of the Coalition as a whole) was running the party "autocratically".[ citation needed ]

Despite the internal differences within the party, however, the Coalition steadily rose in the polls. As the election drew closer, some polls showed the Coalition passing the critical five percent threshold. As the result, the party came under intense media scrutiny and was criticized by its opponents. Rather than assisting the party, however, the increased media coverage appeared to damage its chances, with many people expressing worry about the more extreme elements of the party. The Coalition claimed that the media coverage about it was biased, saying that the news media set out to "falsely" portray them as extremist.[ citation needed ] Opponents of the Coalition, however, said that the intense media scrutiny penetrated an artificial layer of reasonableness that the Coalition had adopted, revealing the party's allegedly true character. Whatever the case, the party's polling dropped below the five percent threshold once again.[ citation needed ]

In the election itself, the Christian Coalition gained 4.33% of the vote, ranking sixth. [1] It would have needed around 13,000 more votes to enter parliament. None of the Coalition's thirty-seven electoral constituency candidates were successful.[ citation needed ]

In May 1997, the Christian Coalition disbanded, with the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage going their own separate ways. The Christian Democrats later "secularised" themselves, removing the explicitly religious nature of their party while keeping the same policy outlook. The resultant party, Future New Zealand, merged with the United Party to form the current United Future New Zealand. Ironically, the latter split in 2007, with disgruntled fundamentalist ex-UFNZ members forming a more intransigent entity, The Kiwi Party.[ citation needed ]

Christian Heritage remained an independent party, but did not meet with the same success that it did while part of the Coalition. At the New Zealand general election, 1999 it polled 2.4% and at the New Zealand general election, 2002 it polled 1.3%, finally in the New Zealand general election, 2005, it polled 0.12 percent, its lowest ever poll rating.[ citation needed ]

Christian Heritage New Zealand and Destiny New Zealand also tried to form a second "Christian Coalition" in 2004, but were unsuccessful.[ citation needed ] In October 2006, CHNZ Leader Ewen McQueen announced the closure of CHNZ after ex-CHNZ leader Graham Capill had been jailed on multiple counts of pedophilia.[ citation needed ] Destiny New Zealand did not prove politically viable, nor did its successor, the Family Party of New Zealand.[ citation needed ]

Electoral results

Election# of party votes % of party vote# of seats
1996 89,7164.33
0 / 120
Not in Parliament

See also

Related Research Articles

The electoral threshold, or election threshold, is the minimum share of all the votes cast that a candidate or political party requires to achieve before they become entitled to representation or additional seats in a legislature. This limit can operate in various ways, e.g. in party-list proportional representation systems where an electoral threshold requires that a party must receive a specified minimum percentage of votes, either nationally or in a particular electoral district, to obtain seats in the legislature. In single transferable voting, the election threshold is called the quota and it is possible to pass it by use of first choice votes alone or by a combination of first choice votes and votes transferred from other candidates based on lower preferences. In mixed-member-proportional (MMP) systems the election threshold determines which parties are eligible for top-up seats in the legislative body.

Mixed-member proportional representation is a mixed electoral system in which votes are cast for both local elections and also for overall party vote tallies, which are used to allocate additional members to produce or deepen overall proportional representation.

The Christian Heritage Party of New Zealand was a New Zealand political party espousing Christian values and conservative views on social policy. Although it never won seats in an election, it came close to doing so in 1996 as part of the Christian Coalition and briefly had a member in Parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Electoral reform in New Zealand</span>

Electoral reform in New Zealand has been a political issue in the past as major changes have been made to both parliamentary and local government electoral systems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2001 Australian federal election</span> Election for the 40th Parliament of Australia

The 2001 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 10 November 2001. All 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 seats in the 76-member Senate were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia John Howard and coalition partner the National Party of Australia led by John Anderson defeated the opposition Australian Labor Party led by Kim Beazley. Future Opposition Leader Peter Dutton entered parliament at this election. As of 2023 this was the most recent federal election to have a rematch, when Howard beat Beazley in the 1998 Australian federal election, and until the 2013 Australian federal election, to have both major party leaders running in previous federal elections as party leaders, and the last for both major party leaders to appear in consecutive federal elections as well.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2004 Australian federal election</span> Election for the 41st Parliament of Australia

The 2004 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 9 October 2004. All 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 seats in the 76-member Senate were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia John Howard and coalition partner the National Party of Australia led by John Anderson defeated the opposition Australian Labor Party led by Mark Latham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1996 New Zealand general election</span> General election in New Zealand

The 1996 New Zealand general election was held on 12 October 1996 to determine the composition of the 45th New Zealand Parliament. It was notable for being the first election to be held under the new mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system, and produced a parliament considerably more diverse than previous elections. Under the new MMP system, 65 members were elected in single-member districts by first-past-the-post voting, while a further 55 "top-up" members were allocated from closed lists to achieve a proportional distribution based on each party's share of the nationwide party vote.

Ewen McQueen is a New Zealand writer and social commentator who blogs at RenewNZ. From 2008 to 2018 he was involved in the National Party in the Epsom electorate. Prior to that was the leader of Christian Heritage NZ. McQueen has had opinion pieces published in newspapers around New Zealand and on the Stuff website. These include articles on family values issues, the Treaty of Waitangi, and New Zealand's Christian history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christian politics in New Zealand</span>

This article discusses Christian politics in New Zealand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Destiny New Zealand</span> Defunct Christian political party in New Zealand

Destiny New Zealand was a Christian political party in New Zealand centred on the charismatic/pentecostal Destiny Church. The party described itself as "centre-right". It placed a strong focus on socially conservative values and argued that the breakdown of the traditional family was a primary cause of many of New Zealand's problems. It announced its de-registration as a political party on 18 September 2007, and was removed from the register a month later. It did not hold any seats in Parliament.

Paul Gavin Adams is a politician and former rally driving champion from New Zealand.

The New Zealand Conservative Party was a short-lived political party in New Zealand. It was founded by a dissident National Party MP, Ross Meurant.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait is a New Zealand politician and former chief executive of the Women's Refuge organisation of New Zealand. She is currently a councilor at large for the Rotorua District Council. She previously stood as a candidate for Parliament, serving briefly as deputy leader of the small Christian Heritage Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Electoral system of New Zealand</span> System by which New Zealand parliament is elected

The New Zealand electoral system has been mixed-member proportional (MMP) since the 1996 election. MMP was introduced following a referendum in 1993. It replaced the first-past-the-post (FPP) system New Zealand had previously used for most of its history. Under MMP, New Zealanders have two votes to elect members of Parliament (MPs). The first vote is for a candidate from an electorate. The second is the party vote – for the political party the voter wants to form the government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Epsom (New Zealand electorate)</span> Electoral district in Auckland, New Zealand

Epsom is a New Zealand electorate in Auckland, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. Since the 2014 general election, Epsom has been represented by David Seymour, the leader of the ACT Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wellington Central (New Zealand electorate)</span> Electoral district in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington Central is an electorate, represented by a Member of Parliament in the New Zealand House of Representatives. The current MP for Wellington Central is Tamatha Paul of the Green Party. She has held this position since the 2023 general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2011 New Zealand general election</span> General election in New Zealand

The 2011 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 26 November 2011 to determine the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.

The 2011 New Zealand voting system referendum was a referendum on whether to keep the existing mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system, or to change to another voting system, for electing Members of Parliament to New Zealand's House of Representatives. It was held on 26 November 2011 in conjunction with the 2011 general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2014 New Zealand general election</span> General election in New Zealand

The 2014 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 20 September 2014 to determine the membership of the 51st New Zealand Parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vision NZ</span> Political party in New Zealand

Vision NZ is a nationalist political party in New Zealand led by Hannah Tamaki, the co-leader of the fundamentalist Christian movement Destiny Church. Its policies have included opposition to abortion, homosexuality, immigration, and the construction of new mosques. It has supported creating a Māori-owned bank and Tūhoe ownership of Te Urewera, and has called for government funding for Destiny Church programmes.


  1. "Part I - Summary of Party List and Electorate Candidate Seats" (PDF), Election Results, New Zealand Electoral Commission, 1997, archived from the original (PDF) on 8 November 2023