Christian Democrat Party (New Zealand)

Last updated

The Christian Democrat Party of New Zealand was a Christian socially conservative political party established in 1995. It contested the 1996 general election as part of the Christian Coalition with the Christian Heritage Party.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. 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, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Social conservatism is the belief that society is built upon a fragile network of relationships which need to be upheld through duty, traditional values and established institutions. This can include moral issues. Social conservatism is generally skeptical of social change, and believes in maintaining the status quo concerning social issues such as family life, sexual relations, and patriotism.

1996 New Zealand general election

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. It saw the National Party, led by Jim Bolger, retain its position in government, but only after protracted negotiations with the smaller New Zealand First party to form a coalition. New Zealand First's position as "kingmaker", able to place either of the two major parties into government, was a significant election outcome.

Contents

It changed its name to Future New Zealand in 1998 and contested the 1999 election. It formed a coalition with the United Party as United Future New Zealand in 2000 and contested the 2002 election. The coalition became a full merger the following year.

1999 New Zealand general election

The 1999 New Zealand general election was held on 27 November 1999 to determine the composition of the 46th New Zealand Parliament. The governing National Party, led by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, was defeated, being replaced by a coalition of Helen Clark's Labour Party and the smaller Alliance. This marked an end to nine years of National Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the National Party in the 2008 general election.

United New Zealand

United New Zealand was a centrist political party in New Zealand founded in 1995. It merged with the Christian-based Future New Zealand party to form the United Future New Zealand party in 2000.

United Future New Zealand political party

United Future New Zealand, usually known as United Future, was a centrist political party in New Zealand. The party was in government between 2005 and 2017, first alongside Labour (2005–2008) and then supporting National (2008–2017).

Founding and Christian Coalition

Christian Politics NZ.svg

The Christian Democrats were founded by Graeme Lee, a National Party MP. Lee had a reputation as one of the more conservative MPs in Parliament, and was particularly active in opposing Fran Wilde's homosexual law reform bill. When the Christian Heritage Party, a strongly conservative group, was established, Lee initially rejected it, believing that it was better to work from within the National Party. Later, however, when he lost his ministerial rank in a Cabinet reshuffle, Lee decided to leave National. Although there were attempts to have him join Christian Heritage, Lee disagreed with many Christian Heritage policies. He instead established a group called the United Progressive Party. After a failed attempt to merge the United Progressive Party with Christian Heritage, it was relaunched on 17 May 1995 under the name "Christian Democrats".

The Honourable Graeme Ernest Lee,, is a former New Zealand politician. Originally a National Party MP, he broke away to found the Christian Democrat Party.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

Fran Wilde New Zealand politician

Dame Frances Helen Wilde is a New Zealand politician, and former Wellington Labour MP, Minister of Tourism and Mayor of Wellington City. She was the first woman to serve as Mayor of Wellington. She was chairperson of the Greater Wellington Regional Council from 2007 until 2015.

Talks between the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage continued, with many people believing that a united front was the only way for the Christian conservative movement to be successful. There were, however, significant policy differences between the two parties. One major problem was Christian Heritage's "confessional" nature, which meant that only Christians could join the party. Graeme Lee and the Christian Democrats, by contrast, preferred to make their party "values-based", saying that anyone who shared the basic Christian moral outlook (whether actually Christian or not) should be able to participate. The two parties also disagreed on a number of other points, with the Christian Democrats generally being more moderate than Christian Heritage.

Eventually, however, the two parties agreed to contest the 1996 election as a single bloc. The resultant Christian Coalition was announced on 29 March 1996. Throughout the existence of the Coalition, however, there were tensions between the two parties – the Christian Democrats accused Christian Heritage of extremism and inflexibility, while Christian Heritage accused the Christian Democrats of putting political pragmatism before Christian morality. The Coalition received 4.33% of the votes, a little short of the 5% which would have given it seats in Parliament, and it collapsed soon afterwards, with both sides accusing each other of having held the Coalition back.

Future New Zealand and United Future

Shortly after the Coalition collapsed, Graeme Lee stepped down as leader of the Christian Democrats, having decided some time earlier to retire if the Coalition was not successful. After a considerable period of time, Anthony Walton was selected as the party's new leader. Walton took the party even further away from the confessionalism of Christian Heritage, abandoning the explicitly religious nature of the party in favour of a broader "values-based" platform. It changed its name to Future New Zealand in November 1998 and contested the 1999 election, gaining 1.12% of the votes and no seats.

Anthony John Walton is a former New Zealand political party president. He was leader of the Future New Zealand party, having previously been a prominent member of Future New Zealand's predecessor, the Christian Democrat Party. Before becoming president, Walton had been on the Christian Democrats' National Council since the party was launched in 1995. Walton championed Future New Zealand's merger with United New Zealand, creating the modern United Future New Zealand party in 2000. He was expected to take second place on United Future's party list but elected instead to pursue other career options. Walton is currently chief minister at the Olive Tree Church in Wellington. He is also associated with Zeal, an evangelical Christian youth enterprise and entertainment venue in that city. He has written on the subject of Christian apologetics and church formation. In 2001, he wrote a Christian apologetic's work.

Future New Zealand joined with the United Party to form a coalition known as United Future New Zealand in November 2000 and contested the 2002 election as such. The joint parties polled strongly, gaining eight seats in Parliament. The coalition became a full merger in 2003.

2002 New Zealand general election

The 2002 New Zealand general election was held on 27 July 2002 to determine the composition of the 47th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the reelection of Helen Clark's Labour Party government, as well as the worst-ever performance by the opposition National Party.

Only one founding member of the Christian Democrats, Murray Smith, became a United Future MP, so there has been debate as to how much of the Christian Democrats remained in the modern party. One side of this debate argues that United Future list MPs Larry Baldock, Bernie Ogilvy and Paul Adams all had involvement with evangelical organisations, such as Youth with a Mission, the Masters Institute in Auckland, and City Impact Church, and while they may not have been Christian Democrats, they were conservative Christian political activists and community figures before their entry to Parliament. Over and over again, United Future voted against socially liberal legislation in Parliament, or else supported socially conservative private members bills. These included the Prostitution Law Reform Act 2003, Care of Children Act 2004, Civil Union Act 2004, Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 and Death With Dignity Bill 2004, which they opposed. Murray Smith sponsored an unsuccessful private members bill which would have required parental notification before an abortion could be performed, which did not pass. Although a conservative Catholic, Gordon Copeland has frequently cited the work of organisations such as the Society for Promotion of Community Standards and Right to Life New Zealand as a basis for comments against the Prostitution Law Reform Act, and himself introduced an attempt to ban same-sex marriage into the 48th New Zealand Parliament on 7 December 2005.

Murray Smith is a former New Zealand politician. He was a member of the United Future New Zealand party caucus, having been elected to Parliament as a list MP in the 2002 election.

Larry Baldock is a New Zealand politician. Before entering national politics, he was previously involved with the International Youth With A Mission organisation and spent 15 years living in the Philippines. After returning to NZ in 1996 he joined the Future NZ Party in 1999. He stood in the Electorate of Tauranga in 1999. In 2001 he was elected to the Tauranga District Council and then became a member of Parliament for the United Future New Zealand party as a list MP from 2002 to 2005.

Bernard James (Bernie) Ogilvy is a New Zealand educator and politician. He was a list member of Parliament (MP) for the United Future New Zealand party from 2002 to 2005. He left United Future with the breakaway Kiwi Party in 2007.

In February 2006, Copeland submitted an anti-abortion private members ballot bill into the 48th Parliament, entitled the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion (Informed Consent) Bill. This bill would ensure that women give informed consent before undergoing an abortion of their unborn child.

Electoral results

ElectionParty# of party votes% of party vote# of seats
won
Government/opposition?
1996 Christian Coalition89,7164.33
0 / 120
Not in Parliament
1999 Future NZ23,0331.12
0 / 120
Not in Parliament
2002 United Future135,9186.69
8 / 120
Supporting Labour-led government
2005 United Future60,8602.67%
3 / 120
Supporting Labour-led government
2008 United Future20,4970.87%
1 / 120
Supporting National government
2011 United Future13,4430.60%
1 / 120
Supporting National government
2014 United Future4,5330.22%
1 / 120
Supporting National government
2017 United Future1,7820.07%
0 / 120
Not in Parliament

See also

Related Research Articles

Politics of New Zealand Unitary parliamentary representative democracy

The politics of New Zealand function within a framework of a unitary parliamentary representative democracy. New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy in which a hereditary monarch—since 6 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II—is the sovereign and head of state.

A conscience vote or free vote is a type of vote in a legislative body where legislators are allowed to vote according to their own personal conscience rather than according to an official line set down by their political party. In a parliamentary system, especially within the Westminster system, it can also be used to indicate crossbench members of a hung parliament where confidence and supply is provided to allow formation of a minority government but the right to vote on conscience is retained. Free votes are found in Canadian and some British legislative bodies; conscience votes are used in Australian and New Zealand legislative bodies.

Christian Democratic Party (Norway) political party in Norway

The Christian Democratic Party, is a Christian-democratic political party in Norway founded in 1933. The Norwegian name literally translates to Christian People's Party, shortened KrF. The name may also be translated as "The People's Christian Party".

Christian Heritage Party of New Zealand

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.

Christian Coalition (New Zealand)

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.

Abortion in New Zealand is legal in cases where the pregnant woman faces a danger to her life, physical or mental health, or if there is a risk of the fetus being handicapped in the event of the continuation of her pregnancy. In cases not protected by these grounds, performing an abortion on a woman or girl is a crime in New Zealand under the Crimes Act 1961. Regulations in New Zealand require that abortions after 12 weeks gestation be performed in a "licensed institution", which is generally understood to be a hospital. Abortions must be authorised by two doctors, one of whom must be a gynaecologist or obstetrician. However, doctors can refuse to authorise the procedure, in which case the woman must find another doctor and plead her case with them until she has the permission of two doctors, and also a qualified surgeon if neither of those doctors are licensed to perform the operation. Counselling is optional if the woman desires it, but is not mandatory under current abortion law. There is no statutory definition of fetuses or embryos as "unborn children" within New Zealand abortion law.

A hung parliament is a term used in legislatures under the Westminster system to describe a situation in which no particular political party or pre-existing coalition has an absolute majority of legislators in a parliament or other legislature. This situation is also known, albeit less commonly, as a balanced parliament, or as a legislature under no overall control, and can result in a minority government. The term is not relevant in multi-party systems where it is rare for a single party to hold a majority.

Christian politics in New Zealand

This article discusses Christian politics in New Zealand.

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

Gordon Copeland New Zealand politician

Gordon Frank Copeland was a New Zealand politician who served as a Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2008. He entered the House of Representatives as a list MP for the United Future New Zealand Party from 2002 but he resigned from the party in 2007. In March 2009, Copeland became Party President of The Kiwi Party, which he had co-founded with another former United Future list MP, Larry Baldock, in May 2007. Copeland stood for the Conservative Party in the 2011 New Zealand general election. Prior to entering Parliament he held a number of corporate positions before working as the financial administrator for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington.

The Kiwi Party was a political party operating in New Zealand between 2007 and 2011. Briefly known as Future New Zealand, it was a breakaway from the United Future New Zealand party and sought to carry on the tradition of Future New Zealand. The party was formed when MP Gordon Copeland left United Future after a dispute over support for the Crimes Amendment Act 2007. At the 2008 general election, the Kiwi Party was unsuccessful, and was not re-elected to Parliament. It did not contest the 2011 general election under its own banner, but the leaders and other members stood for the Conservative Party.

Right to Life New Zealand is a Christchurch-based pro-life group. It broke away from the New Zealand Society for Protection of the Unborn Child in December 1999 following disagreements about the importance of political lobbying of MP's.

Brian Peter MacDonell,, is a former New Zealand Member of Parliament for Dunedin Central in the South Island.

Matakana is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate in the Thames-Coromandel District, which existed for one parliamentary term from 1993 to 1996, and was held by Graeme Lee. In 1994, Lee defected from the National Party to the Christian Democrat Party.

The Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion was carried out in New Zealand from 1975 to 1977, shortly after the 1975 general election. The members of the Royal Commission were M. D. Matich, Barbara J. Thomson, Dame Dorothy Winstone, Duncan McMullin (chair), Denese Henare and M. R. McGregor.