Minister of Finance (New Zealand)

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Minister of Finance of New Zealand
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Grant Robertson.jpg
Incumbent
Hon Grant Robertson

since 26 October 2017
The Treasury
Style The Honourable
Member of
Reports to Prime Minister of New Zealand
Appointer Governor-General of New Zealand
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation3 May 1841
First holder George Cooper as Colonial Treasurer
Salary$288,900 [1]
Website www.beehive.govt.nz
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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
New Zealand
Constitution
Flag of New Zealand.svg   New Zealandportal

The minister of Finance, originally known as colonial treasurer, is the head of the New Zealand Treasury, responsible for producing an annual New Zealand budget outlining the government's proposed expenditure. The position is often considered to be the most important cabinet post after that of the prime minister. [2]

Contents

The current Minister of Finance is Grant Robertson. There are also three associate minister roles; they are currently held by David Parker, Shane Jones and James Shaw. [3]

Responsibilities and powers

One of the Minister of Finance's key roles involves the framing of the annual year budget. According to Parliament's Standing Orders, the Minister of Finance may veto any parliamentary bill which would have a significant impact on the government's budget plans. The Minister of Finance supervises the Treasury, which is the government's primary advisor on matters of economic and financial policy. [4] As such, the Minister of Finance has broad control of the government's spending, making the position quite powerful.

Some analysts, such as Jonathan Boston, claim that the Minister of Finance can sometimes hold more influence than the Prime Minister, if the conditions are right. Gordon Coates, Finance Minister in the early 1930s, was sometimes such a figure. Some political scientists, such as Boston, believe that in the government of David Lange, Minister of Finance Roger Douglas held more power than was proper, and that the Treasury was using its control of government finances to take a supervisory role across the whole administration. It was probably for this reason that Lange's successor, Geoffrey Palmer, established the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which could offer the Prime Minister advice independent of that given by individual ministers.

History

The office of Minister of Finance has existed since 1841. [5] Apart from the office of Prime Minister itself, the only other cabinet posts to have existed since the first cabinet are those of Attorney-General and Minister of Internal Affairs. Originally, the holder of the post was designated "Colonial Treasurer", but this term was replaced with "Minister of Finance" shortly after New Zealand ceased to be a Colony and became a Dominion. This occurred in 1907, during the cabinet of Joseph Ward.

In the past, several Prime Ministers took on the post of Minister of Finance themselves, though in recent times this practice has declined. Robert Muldoon, the last person to concurrently serve as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, created considerable controversy by doing so. It is more common, however, for a Deputy Prime Minister to serve as Minister of Finance. Bob Tizard, Michael Cullen and Bill English served as Deputy Prime Minister when in the position as Minister of Finance.

Traditionally Ministers of Finance rank second or third in seniority lists within Westminster-style Cabinets, although initially Harry Lake was ranked at sixth and his successor Robert Muldoon was ranked at eighth; both because of their short service to date in Parliament, and because Keith Holyoake saw Muldoon as too arrogant and ambitious for his own good.

The convention of making a second, more junior appointment in the Finance portfolio began with Holyoake, who appointed Muldoon as an Assistant Minister to Lake shortly before the latter's death in 1967. [6] Some successive Prime Ministers made similar appointments of an Associate Minister of Finance (for example, Marshall and Kirk) but this was not always done (Rowling, for example, who had Mick Connelly as his associate while serving as Finance Minister did not appoint an associate Minister after succeeding to the premiership in 1974). [6] Associate appointments became standard when Muldoon served concurrently as both Prime Minister and Finance Minister. [7] In his second term, Muldoon appointed both a Deputy Minister of Finance (Hugh Templeton) as well as an associate Minister (Derek Quigley). Muldoon's successors Lange and Palmer continued to have a three-strong Finance team, each appointing two associate Ministers to support their respective Ministers of Finance. [6] [7] At times, the appointment of associate Ministers was intended to temper the reform ambitions of Roger Douglas. [7]

In the coalition governments formed in 1996 and 2017, responsibility for Finance was shared between the parties. After the 1996 elections, the role of the Minister of Finance was formally split between two portfolios – that of Minister of Finance and that of Treasurer. The position of Treasurer was senior to that of the Minister of Finance, and was created as part of the coalition agreement between the National Party and New Zealand First. It was established especially for Winston Peters, leader of New Zealand First, who demanded it as part of the deal. When Peters ended the coalition, the position reverted to the National Party. After the change of government in 1999, both positions were held concurrently by Michael Cullen before they were combined into the old Minister of Finance portfolio in 2002. [8] Both New Zealand First and the Green Party won an associate Finance role in the negotiations that formed the Sixth Labour Government.

List of Finance Ministers

Key

   Independent    Liberal    Reform    United    Labour    National

No.NamePortraitTerm of OfficePrime Minister
1 George Cooper George Cooper NZ.jpg 5 January 18409 May 1842none
2 Alexander Shepherd No image.png 9 May 18427 May 1856
3 Dillon Bell Francis Dillon Bell 1881.jpg 7 May 185620 May 1856 Sewell
4 Charles Brown No image.png 20 May 18562 June 1856 Fox
5 Henry Sewell Henry Sewell, ca 1872.jpg 2 June 18564 November 1856 Stafford
6 William Richmond C William Richmond 1888.jpg 4 November 185625 February 1859
(5) Henry Sewell Henry Sewell, ca 1872.jpg 25 February 185926 April 1859
(6) William Richmond C William Richmond 1888.jpg 26 April 185912 July 1861
7 Reader Wood No image.png 12 July 18616 August 1862 Fox
(3) Dillon Bell Francis Dillon Bell 1881.jpg 6 August 186221 August 1862 Domett
(7) Reader Wood No image.png 21 August 186224 November 1864
Whitaker
8 William Fitzherbert William Fitzherbert.jpg 24 November 186416 October 1865 Weld
9 Edward Stafford Edward William Stafford.jpg 31 October 186512 June 1866 Stafford
10 Francis Jollie Francis Jollie - Crop.jpg 12 June 186624 August 1866
(8) William Fitzherbert William Fitzherbert.jpg 24 August 186628 June 1869
11 Julius Vogel Julius Vogel, ca 1870s.jpg 28 June 186910 September 1872 Fox
12 Thomas Gillies Thomas Gillies.jpg 10 September 187211 October 1872 Stafford
(11) Julius Vogel Julius Vogel, ca 1870s.jpg 11 October 18726 July 1875 Waterhouse
Fox
Vogel
13 Harry Atkinson Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 6 July 187515 February 1876 Pollen
(11) Julius Vogel Julius Vogel, ca 1870s.jpg 15 February 18761 September 1876 Vogel
(13) Harry Atkinson Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 1 September 187613 October 1877 Atkinson
14 William Larnach William Larnach, 1890.jpg 15 October 18775 March 1878 Grey
15 John Ballance John Ballance 1880.jpg 12 March 18781 July 1879
16 George Grey GeorgeEdwardGrey01.jpg 10 July 18798 October 1879
(13) Harry Atkinson Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 8 October 187916 August 1884 Hall
Whitaker
Atkinson
(11) Julius Vogel Julius Vogel, ca 1870s.jpg 16 August 1884
3 September 1884
28 August 1884
8 October 1887
Stout
(13) Harry Atkinson Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 8 October 188724 January 1891 Atkinson
(15) John Ballance John Ballance 1880.jpg 24 January 189127 April 1893 Ballance
17 Joseph Ward Joseph Ward c. 1906.jpg 1 May 189316 June 1896 Seddon
18 Richard Seddon Richard Seddon, 1906.jpg 16 June 189610 June 1906
19 William Hall-Jones William Hall-Jones 2.jpg 21 June 19066 August 1906 Hall-Jones
(17) Joseph Ward Joseph Ward c. 1906.jpg 6 August 190628 March 1912 Ward
20 Arthur Myers Arthur Mielziener Myers Portrait.jpg 28 March 191210 July 1912 Mackenzie
21 James Allen James Allen portrait.jpg 10 July 191212 August 1915 Massey
(17) Joseph Ward Joseph Ward c. 1906.jpg 12 August 191521 August 1919
(21) James Allen James Allen portrait.jpg 4 September 191928 April 1920
22 William Massey William Ferguson Massey 1919.jpg 12 May 192010 May 1925
23 William Nosworthy William Nosworthy.jpg 14 May 192524 May 1926 Bell
Coates
24 William Downie Stewart Jr William Downie Stewart.jpg 24 May 192610 December 1928
(17) Joseph Ward Joseph Ward c. 1906.jpg 10 December 192828 May 1930 Ward
25 George Forbes George William Forbes.jpg 28 May 193022 September 1931 Forbes
(24) William Downie Stewart Jr William Downie Stewart.jpg 22 September 193128 January 1933
26 Gordon Coates Joseph Gordon Coates, 1931.jpg 28 January 19336 December 1935
27 Walter Nash Walter Nash (ca 1940s).jpg 6 December 193513 December 1949 Savage
Fraser
28 Sidney Holland Sidney George Holland (1953) 2.png 13 December 194926 November 1954 Holland
29 Jack Watts Jack Watts.PNG 26 November 195412 December 1957
Holyoake
30 Arnold Nordmeyer Arnold Nordmeyer (1950).jpg 12 December 195712 December 1960 Nash
31 Harry Lake Harry Lake.jpg 12 December 196021 February 1967 Holyoake
32 Robert Muldoon Muldoon 26 June 1969.jpg 4 March 19678 December 1972
Marshall
33 Bill Rowling Bill Rowling, 1962.jpg 8 December 19726 September 1974 Kirk
34 Bob Tizard Bob Tizard, 1968.jpg 6 September 197412 December 1975 Rowling
(32) Robert Muldoon Muldoon 26 June 1969.jpg 12 December 197526 July 1984 Muldoon
35 Roger Douglas Roger Douglas, 1965.jpg 26 July 198414 December 1988 Lange
36 David Caygill David Caygill, 2015.jpg 14 December 19882 November 1990
Palmer
Moore
37 Ruth Richardson No image.png 2 November 199029 November 1993 Bolger
38 Bill Birch Bill Birch.jpg 29 November 19931 February 1999
Shipley
39 Bill English Bill English 3by2.png 1 February 199922 June 1999
(38) Bill Birch Bill Birch.jpg 22 June 199910 December 1999
40 Michael Cullen Michael Cullen, 2008.jpg 10 December 199919 November 2008 Clark
(39) Bill English Bill English September 2016.jpg 19 November 200812 December 2016 Key
41 Steven Joyce Steven Joyce crop.jpg 12 December 201626 October 2017 English
42 Grant Robertson Grant Robertson.jpg 26 October 2017Incumbent Ardern

List of Treasurers

Key

   NZ First    National    Labour

No.NamePortraitTerm of OfficePrime Minister
1 Winston Peters Winston Peters, 2019.jpg 16 December 199614 August 1998 Bolger
Shipley
2 Bill Birch Bill Birch.jpg 14 August 199822 June 1999
3 Bill English Bill English 3by2.png 22 June 199910 December 1999
4 Michael Cullen Michael Cullen, 2008.jpg 10 December 199915 August 2002 Clark

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