New Zealand National Party

Last updated

New Zealand National Party

Rōpū Nāhinara o Aotearoa
President Peter Goodfellow
Leader Simon Bridges
Deputy Leader Paula Bennett
Founded14 May 1936;82 years ago (1936-05-14)
Preceded by United–Reform Coalition
Headquarters41 Pipitea Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011
Youth wing Young Nationals
Ideology Conservatism [1] [2]
Liberalism [1] [2]
Liberal conservatism [3]
Economic liberalism [4]
Political position Centre-right [5] [6]
Regional affiliation Asia Pacific Democrat Union [7]
International affiliation International Democrat Union
ColoursBlue
MPs in the House of Representatives
55 / 120
Website
www.national.org.nz

The New Zealand National Party (Māori : Rōpū Nāhinara o Aotearoa), [8] shortened to National (Nāhinara) or the Nats, [9] is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. [6] It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

Māori language Polynesian language spoken by New Zealand Māori

Māori, also known as te reo, is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Māori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand. Closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan, and Tahitian, it became one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987. The number of speakers of the language has declined sharply since 1945, but a language revitalization effort halted its extinction, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since about 2015.

Centre-right politics or center-right politics, also referred to as moderate-right politics, are politics that lean to the right of the left–right political spectrum, but are closer to the centre than other right-wing politics. From the 1780s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure and the economy, moving away from the nobility and mercantilism, as well as moving towards the bourgeoisie and capitalism. This general economic shift towards capitalism affected centre-right movements such as the British Conservative Party, that responded by becoming supportive of capitalism.

A major party is a political party that holds substantial influence in a country's politics, standing in contrast to a minor party. It should not be confused with majority party.

Contents

National was formed in 1936 through amalgamation of conservative and liberal parties, Reform and United respectively, and is New Zealand's second-oldest extant political party. [10] National's predecessors had previously formed a coalition against the growing labour movement. National governed for five periods during the 20th and 21st centuries, and has spent more time in government than any other party. [11] [12]

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, human imperfection, organic solidarity, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as monarchy, religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more extreme elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support civil rights, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free markets.

The Reform Party, formally the New Zealand Political Reform League, was New Zealand's second major political party, having been founded as a conservative response to the original Liberal Party. It was in government between 1912 and 1928, and later formed a coalition with the United Party, and then merged with United to form the modern National Party.

In 1949, Sidney Holland became the first Prime Minister from the National Party, and remained in office until 1957. He was succeeded by Keith Holyoake, who was soon defeated at a general election by the Labour Party in 1957. Holyoake was in office for a second period from 1960 to 1972. The party's policy platform shifted from moderate economic liberalism to increased emphasis on state interventionism [13] under the National government of Robert Muldoon, in office from 1975 to 1984. In 1990, Jim Bolger formed another National government, which continued the radical free-market reforms initiated by the preceding Labour government. The party has since advocated free enterprise, reduction of taxes, and individual rights. After the first MMP election in 1996, the National Party governed in a coalition with the populist New Zealand First. National Party leader Jenny Shipley became New Zealand's first female Prime Minister in 1997; her government was defeated by a Labour-led coalition in 1999.

Sidney Holland New Zealand politician

Sir Sidney George Holland was a New Zealand politician who served as the 25th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 13 December 1949 to 20 September 1957. He was instrumental in the creation and consolidation of the New Zealand National Party, which was to dominate New Zealand politics for much of the second half of the 20th century.

Prime Minister of New Zealand head of the New Zealand government

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand. The incumbent Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, took office on 26 October 2017.

Keith Holyoake Viceroy, Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.

The National Party was most recently in government from 2008 to 2017 under John Key and Bill English; it governed with support from the centrist United Future, the classical-liberal ACT Party and the indigenous-rights-based Māori Party. At the 2017 general election, the party gained 44.4 percent of the party vote and won 56 seats, making it the largest caucus in the House of Representatives. [14] National was unable to form a government following the election and is currently the Official Opposition. Simon Bridges has been the Leader of the National Party and Leader of the Opposition since 27 February 2018.

John Key 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand

Sir John Phillip Key is a former New Zealand politician who served as the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the New Zealand National Party. He was elected leader of the party in November 2006 and appointed Prime Minister in November 2008, resigning from both posts in December 2016. After leaving politics, Key was appointed to board of director and chairmanship roles in New Zealand corporations.

Bill English New Zealand politician

Sir Simon William English is a retired New Zealand politician of the National Party who served as the 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2016 to 2017.

In a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster system, confidence and supply are required for a minority government to retain power in the lower house.

History

Formation

The National Party was formed in May 1936, but its roots go considerably further back. The party came about as the result of a merger between the United Party (known as the Liberal Party until 1927, except for a short period between 1925 and 1927 when it used the name "National Party") and the Reform Party. [10] The United Party gained its main support from the cities, and drew upon businesses for money and upon middle class electors for votes, [15] while the Reform Party had a rural base and received substantial support from farmers, [16] who then formed a substantial proportion of the population.

The United Party of New Zealand, a party formed out of the remnants of the Liberal Party, formed a government between 1928 and 1935, and in 1936 merged with the Reform Party to establish the National Party.

The New Zealand Liberal Party was the first organised political party in New Zealand. It governed from 1891 until 1912. The Liberal strategy was to create a large class of small land-owning farmers who supported Liberal ideals, by buying large tracts of Māori land and selling it to small farmers on credit. The Liberal Government also established the basis of the later welfare state, with old age pensions, developed a system for settling industrial disputes, which was accepted by both employers and trade unions. In 1893 it extended voting rights to women, making New Zealand the first country in the world to enact universal female suffrage.

Business organization involved in commercial, industrial, or professional activity

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products. Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."

Liberal Party (1890)
Reform Party (1909)
United Party (1927)Independents (1931)
National Party (1936)

Historically, the Liberal and Reform parties had competed against each other, but from 1931 until 1935 a United–Reform Coalition held power in New Zealand. [17] The coalition went into the 1935 election under the title of the "National Political Federation", a name adopted to indicate that the grouping intended to represent New Zealanders from all backgrounds (in contrast to the previous situation, where United served city-dwellers and Reform served farmers). However, because of the effects of the Great Depression and a perception that the existing coalition government had handled the situation poorly, the National Political Federation lost heavily in 1935 to the Labour Party, the rise of which had prompted the alliance. The two parties were cut down to 19 seats between them. Another factor was a third party, the Democrat Party formed by Albert Davy, a former organiser for the coalition who disapproved of the "socialist" measures that the coalition had introduced. The new party split the conservative vote and aided Labour's victory. [18]

The United–Reform Coalition, also known as the National Political Federation from 1935, was a coalition between two of the three major parties of New Zealand, the United and Reform parties, from 1931–1936. The Coalition formed the Government of New Zealand from its formation in September 1931, successfully contesting and winning the 1931 general election in December. The Coalition was defeated at the 1935 general election by Labour. The following year the coalition was formalised by the formation of the modern New Zealand National Party.

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Adam Hamilton was the first leader of the National Party. Adam Hamilton (1926).jpg
Adam Hamilton was the first leader of the National Party.

In hopes of countering Labour's rise, United and Reform decided to turn their alliance into a single party. [19] This party, the New Zealand National Party, was formed at a meeting held in Wellington on 13 and 14 May 1936. Erstwhile members of the United and Reform parties made up the bulk of the new party. [19] The United Party's last leader, George Forbes, Prime Minister from 1930 until 1935, opened the conference; he served as Leader of the Opposition from May until November, when former Reform MP Adam Hamilton was elected the first leader. Hamilton led the party into its first election in 1938. He got the top job primarily because of a compromise between Forbes and Reform leader Gordon Coates, neither of whom wished to serve under the other. Hamilton, however, failed to counter Labour's popular Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage effectively. Because of this, perceptions that he remained too much under the control of Coates and because he lacked real support from his party colleagues, Hamilton failed to prevent Labour's re-election in 1938. In 1940 Sidney Holland replaced Hamilton. William Polson "acted effectively as Holland's deputy". [20] One former Reform MP Herbert Kyle resigned in 1942 in protest at the "autocratic" behaviour of Holland and the new party organisation. [21]

In the 1943 election Labour's majority was reduced, but it remained in power. In the 1946 election, National also failed to unseat Labour. However, in the 1949 election, thirteen years after the party's foundation, National finally won power, and Holland became Prime Minister.

First Government (1949–1957)

Sir Sidney Holland was the first National Prime Minister, 1949–1957 Sidney George Holland (1953) 2.png
Sir Sidney Holland was the first National Prime Minister, 1949–1957

In 1949 National had campaigned on "the private ownership of production, distribution and exchange". Once in power the new Holland Government proved decidedly administratively conservative, retaining, for instance, the welfare state set up by the previous Labour Government; though National gained, and has largely kept, a reputation for showing more favour to farmers and to business than did the Labour Party.

In 1951 the Waterfront Dispute broke out, lasting 151 days. The National government stepped into the conflict, acting in opposition to the maritime unions. Holland also used this opportunity to call the 1951 snap election. Campaigning on an anti-Communist platform and exploiting the Labour Opposition's apparent indecisiveness, National returned with an increased majority, gaining 54 parliamentary seats out of 80.

In the 1954 election, National was elected to a third term, though losing some of its seats. Towards the end of his third term, however, Holland became increasingly ill, and stepped down from the leadership shortly before the general election in 1957. Keith Holyoake, the party's long-standing deputy leader, took Holland's place. Holyoake, however, had insufficient time to establish himself in the public mind as Prime Minister, and lost in the election later that year to Labour, then led by Walter Nash.

Second Government (1960–1972)

Sir Keith Holyoake, Prime Minister, 1957 and 1960–1972 Keith Holyoake (crop).jpg
Sir Keith Holyoake, Prime Minister, 1957 and 1960–1972

Nash's government became very unpopular as Labour acquired a reputation for poor economic management, and much of the public saw its 1958 Budget, known since as the "Black Budget", as miserly. [22] After only one term in office, Labour suffered defeat at the hands of Holyoake and the National Party in the elections of 1960.

Holyoake's government lasted twelve years, the party gaining re-election three times (in 1963, 1966, and 1969). However, this period Social Credit arose, which broke the National/Labour duopoly in parliament, winning former National seats from 1966. Holyoake retired from the premiership and from the party leadership at the beginning of 1972, and his deputy, Jack Marshall, replaced him. [23]

Marshall suffered the same fate as Holyoake. Having succeeded an experienced leader in an election-year, he failed to establish himself in time. Marshall had an added disadvantage; he had to compete against the much more popular and charismatic Norman Kirk, then leader of the Labour Party, and lost the ensuing election. Unpopular policies, including initiating clear felling of parts of the Warawara kauri forest, also needlessly alienated voters. [24]

Third National Government (1975–1984)

Sir Robert Muldoon, Prime Minister, 1975–1984 Muldoon 26 June 1969.jpg
Sir Robert Muldoon, Prime Minister, 1975–1984

Within two years the National Party removed Marshall as its parliamentary leader and replaced him with Robert Muldoon, who had previously served as Minister of Finance. An intense contest between Kirk and Muldoon followed. Kirk became ill and died in office (1974); his successor, Bill Rowling, proved no match for Muldoon, and in the 1975 election, National under Muldoon returned comfortably to power.

The Muldoon administration, which favoured interventionist economic policies, arouses mixed opinions amongst the free-market adherents of the modern National. Bill Birch's "Think Big" initiatives, designed to invest public money in energy self-sufficiency, stand in contrast to the party's contemporary views. [13] Muldoon's autocratic leadership style became increasingly unpopular with both the public and the party, and together with disgruntlement over economic policy led to an attempted leadership change in 1980. Led by ministers Derek Quigley, Jim McLay, and Jim Bolger, the challenge (dubbed the "colonels' coup") against Muldoon aimed to replace him with Brian Talboys, his deputy. However, the plan collapsed as the result of Talboys' unwillingness, and Muldoon kept his position. [25]

A former National Party logo, used during the Muldoon era National Party Logo 1970s.png
A former National Party logo, used during the Muldoon era

Under Muldoon, National won three consecutive general elections in 1975, 1978 and 1981. However, public dissatisfaction grew, and Muldoon's controlling and belligerent style of leadership became less and less appealing. In both the 1978 and 1981 elections, National gained fewer votes than the Labour opposition, but could command a small majority in Parliament because of the then-used First Past the Post electoral system.

Dissent within the National Party continued to grow, however, with rebel National MPs Marilyn Waring and Mike Minogue causing particular concern to the leadership, threatening National's thin majority in parliament. When, in 1984, Marilyn Waring refused to support Muldoon's policies on visits by nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed ships, Muldoon called a snap election. Muldoon made the television announcement of this election while visibly inebriated, and some believe [26] that he later regretted the decision to "go to the country". National lost the election to Labour under David Lange.

Fourth Government (1990–1999)

Jim Bolger, Prime Minister, 1990–1997 Jim Bolger at press conference retouched.jpg
Jim Bolger, Prime Minister, 1990–1997

Shortly after this loss, the National Party removed Muldoon from the leadership. Jim McLay, who had replaced Brian Talboys as deputy leader shortly before the election, became the new leader. McLay, an urban liberal with right-wing views on economics, however, failed to restore the party's fortunes. In 1986 Jim Bolger took over the leadership with the support of centrists within the party.

In the 1990 election National defeated Labour in an electoral landslide and formed a new government under Jim Bolger. However, the party lost some support from Muldoon era policy based conservatives when it continued the economic reforms which had ultimately led to the defeat of the previous Labour government—these policies, started by Labour Party Finance Minister Roger Douglas and popularly known as Rogernomics, centred on the privatisation of state assets and on the removal of tariffs and subsidies. These policies alienated traditional Labour supporters, who saw them as a betrayal of the party's social service based character, but did not appear to appease the membership base of the non-parliamentary party either, which still had a significant supporter base for the statist intervention style policies of the Muldoon Government.

Many more conservative and centrist National supporters preferred Muldoon's more authoritarian and interventionist policies over the free-market liberalism promoted by Douglas. However, the new National Party Finance Minister, Ruth Richardson, strongly supported Rogernomics, believing that Douglas had not gone far enough. Her policies—dubbed "Ruthanasia"— encouraged two MPs to leave the National Party and form the New Zealand Liberal Party (1992). Richardson's views also met with considerable opposition within the National Party Parliamentary Caucus and for a time caused damage to the party's membership base. [27]

At the 1993 election, National was narrowly able to secure its position in government due partly to a strongly recovering economy, after its large majority disappeared and the country faced an election night hung parliament—National one seat short of the required 50 seats to govern. With special votes counted in the following days, National won Waitaki, allowing it to form a government but requiring the election of a Speaker from the opposition benches (Peter Tapsell of the Labour Party) to hold a working majority in the House. At the same time as the election, however, a referendum took place which established the MMP electoral system for future use in New Zealand general elections. This would have a significant impact on New Zealand politics. Some National Party MPs defected to a new grouping, United New Zealand in mid-1995. And as a result of the new electoral mechanics, the New Zealand First party, led by former National MP and former Cabinet minister Winston Peters, held the balance of power after the 1996 election. After a prolonged period of negotiation lasting nearly two months, in which New Zealand First played National and Labour off against each other (both parties negotiated complete coalition agreements), New Zealand First entered into a coalition with National.

Under the coalition agreement, Peters became Deputy Prime Minister and had the post of Treasurer especially created by the Crown for him. New Zealand First extracted a number of other concessions from National in exchange for its support. The influence of New Zealand First angered many National MPs, particularly Jenny Shipley. [28]

Dame Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister, 1997–1999 Jenny Shipley 2013 (crop).jpg
Dame Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister, 1997–1999

When, in 1997, Shipley toppled Bolger to become National's new leader, relations between National and its coalition partner deteriorated. After Shipley sacked Peters from Cabinet in 1998, New Zealand First split into two groups and half the MPs followed Peters out of the coalition but the remainder broke away, establishing themselves as independents or as members of new parties of which none survived the 1999 election. From the latter group National gained enough support to continue in government with additional confidence support of Alamein Kopu a defect Alliance List MP. [29] The visibly damaged National Government managed to survive the parliamentary term, but lost the election to Labour's Helen Clark and the Alliance's Jim Anderton, who formed a coalition government.

Opposition (1999–2008)

Shipley continued to lead the National Party until 2001, when Bill English replaced her. English, however, proved unable to gain traction against Clark, and National suffered its worst-ever electoral defeat in the 2002 election, gaining only 27 of 120 seats. [30] Many hoped that English would succeed in rebuilding the party, given time, but a year later polling showed the party performing only slightly better than in the election. In October 2003 English gave way as leader to Don Brash, a former governor of the Reserve Bank who had joined the National Parliamentary caucus in the 2002 election.

Under Brash, the National Party's overall popularity with voters improved markedly. Mostly, however, the party achieved this by "reclaiming" support from electors who voted for other centre-right parties in 2002. National's campaigning on race relations, amid claims of preferential treatment of Māori, and amid their opposition to Labour Party policy during the foreshore-and-seabed controversy, generated considerable publicity and much controversy. Strong campaigning on a tax-cuts theme in the lead-up to the 2005 election, together with a consolidation of centre-right support, may have contributed to the National Party's winning 48 out of 121 seats in Parliament. National, however, remained the second-largest party in Parliament (marginally behind Labour, which gained 50 seats), and had fewer options for forming a coalition government. With the formation of a new Labour-dominated Government, National remained the major Opposition party. Before the leadership of John Key, the National Party had made renewed efforts to attract social conservative voters, through adoption of pro-life and anti-same-sex marriage policies.

In the 2005 general election run up, it was revealed that the Exclusive Brethren had distributed attack pamphlets critical of the Labour party and praising of National to letterboxes throughout New Zealand [31] . Labour insisted that National had close ties to and prior knowledge of these attacks, which was repeatedly denied by National. It was later admitted by the leader Don Brash that he indeed did have knowledge of the plan, a statement that was contradicted by MP Gerry Brownlee who subsequently denied the National party had any foreknowledge [32] .

After the 2005 election defeat Don Brash's leadership of National came under scrutiny from the media, and political watchers speculated on the prospect of a leadership-challenge before the next general election due in 2008. Don Brash resigned on 23 November 2006, immediately before the release of Nicky Hager's book The Hollow Men , which contained damaging revelations obtained from private emails. John Key became the leader of the National caucus on 27 November 2006. Key fostered a more "centrist" image, discussing issues such as child poverty.

Fifth Government (2008–2017)

Sir John Key, Prime Minister, 2008–2016 John Key February 2015.jpg
Sir John Key, Prime Minister, 2008–2016

On 8 November 2008 the National Party won 58 seats in the general election. The Labour Party, which had spent three terms in power, conceded the election and Prime Minister Helen Clark stepped down. National formed a minority government under John Key with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT Party (5 seats), the Māori Party (5 seats) and United Future (1 seat). On 19 November the Governor-General swore in the new National-led government. [33] In Key's first Cabinet he gave the ACT Party's Rodney Hide and Heather Roy ministerial portfolios outside Cabinet, and the Māori Party's Tāriana Turia and Pita Sharples the same. United Future leader Peter Dunne retained his ministerial post outside Cabinet which he had held within the immediately preceding Labour Government.

National came to power in the continuing wake of a financial crisis. In response to New Zealand's rising debt, Finance Minister Bill English made budget deficit-reduction his main priority for the first term. The government also cut taxes on all income; the top personal tax rate was lowered from 39% to 38% and then 33% in 2010. [34]

National Party logo, 2002–2017 New Zealand National Party logo.svg
National Party logo, 2002–2017

At the 26 November 2011 general election, National gained 47.31% of the party vote, the highest percentage gained by any political party since MMP was introduced, helped by a lower voter turnout and the misfortunes of its traditional support parties. [35] A reduced wasted vote enabled the party to gain 59 seats in Parliament, one more than in 2008. National re-entered confidence-and-supply agreements with ACT (one seat) and United Future (one seat) on 5 December 2011, enabling it to form a minority government with the support of 61 seats in the new 121-seat Parliament. National also re-entered a confidence-and-supply agreement with the Māori Party on 11 December 2011 for extra insurance, despite the parties differing on National's contentious plans to partially sell (or "extend the mixed ownership model to") four state-owned enterprises. This nearly led to a cancellation of the agreement in February 2012 over Treaty of Waitangi obligations for the mixed ownership companies, and again in July 2012 over water rights.

The government introduced the "mixed ownership model" plan, in which the Government planned to reduce its share in Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy from 100% to 51% and Air New Zealand from 74% to 51%, and sell off the remainder. The plans to sell down Solid Energy were later axed due to the company's poor financial position. A citizens-initiated referendum on the sell-downs returned a 67.3% vote in opposition (on a turnout of 45.1%).

The National Government won a third term at the 2014 general election. The National Party won 47.04% of the party vote, and increased its seats to 60. National resumed its confidence and supply agreements with ACT and United Future. [36] The National government extended free general practitioner visits to children under 13 as part of their 2014 election package, as well as extending paid parental leave by two weeks to 16 weeks. [9] The National parliamentary caucus was split on the issue of same-sex marriage in 2014. [37]

Throughout his second and third terms, Key campaigned heavily in favour of free-trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. [38]

Sir Bill English, Prime Minister, 2016–2017 Prime Minister Bill English.jpg
Sir Bill English, Prime Minister, 2016–2017

After serving Prime Minister for eight years, Key announced his resignation as the party leader on 5 December 2016. He stepped down as Prime Minister on 12 December. [39] Key's deputy Bill English was acclaimed as the party's new leader on 12 December 2016 after Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Police Judith Collins withdrew from the leadership election. [40] [41]

Opposition (2017–present)

In the 2017 general election, National's share of the party vote dropped to 44.4%. It lost four seats, dropping to 56, but remained the largest party in Parliament. Two of the National government's three support parties lost representation in parliament. [14] New Zealand First, led by Winston Peters, held the balance of power, and formed a coalition with Labour, who also gained Green Party support, marking an end to the 9-year National government. English announced his intention to stay on as party leader until the next general election [42] but subsequently resigned. [43] On 27 February 2018, English was succeeded by Simon Bridges. [44]

Ideology and factions

The New Zealand National Party has been characterised as a broad church, [45] encompassing both conservative and liberal tendencies, and outlying populist and libertarian tendencies. All factions tend to be in tension, although the conservative tendency frequently prevails. [1] [2] The broad liberal tendency is expressed by both social liberals and the classical liberals, [2] with the latter supporting economic liberalism. [4] The early National Party was united in its anti-socialism, in opposition to the Labour Party. [19]

The party's principles, last revised in 2003, include "loyalty to our country, its democratic principles and our Sovereign as Head of State; national and personal security; equal citizenship and equal opportunity; individual freedom and choice; personal responsibility; competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement; limited government; strong families and caring communities; sustainable development of our environment." [46] National supports a limited welfare state but says that work, merit, innovation and personal initiative must be encouraged to reduce unemployment and boost economic growth. In a 1959 speech, party leader and Prime Minister Keith Holyoake encapsulated the conservative and liberal principles of the National Party:

We believe in the maximum degree of personal freedom and the maximum degree of individual choice for our people. We believe in the least interference necessary with individual rights, and the least possible degree of state interference. [47]

Historically National supported a higher degree of state intervention than it has in recent decades. [48] The First, Second and Third National governments (1950s–1980s) generally sought to preserve the economic and social stability of New Zealand, mainly keeping intact the high degree of protectionism and the strong welfare state built up by the First Labour Government. [48] The last major interventionist policy was Prime Minister Robert Muldoon's massive infrastructure projects designed to ensure New Zealand's energy independence after the 1973 oil shock, "Think Big". [46] [49] In contrast, the Fourth National Government (1990–1999) mostly carried on the sweeping free-market reforms of the Fourth Labour Government known as "Rogernomics" (after Labour's finance minister Sir Roger Douglas). The corporatisation and sale of numerous state-owned enterprises, the abolishment of collective bargaining and major government spending cuts were introduced under the Fourth National Government, policies that were popularly known as "Ruthanasia" (National's finance minister at the time was Ruth Richardson). [50] The Fifth National Government (2008–2017) took a relatively centrist position. [51]

Organisation

National features both regional and electorate-level organisational structures. National traditionally had a strongly decentralised organisation, designed to allow electorates and the five regions to appeal to the unique voter base in their area. However, in light of the 2002 election result, in which the party suffered a significant loss of its support base, a review of the party organisation resulted in decisions to weaken the regional structure and to implement a more centralised structure. The restructuring was ostensibly planned to make the party organisation more "appropriate" for the mixed member proportional electoral system. [52]

Currently, the affairs of the party are centrally governed by a Board of Directors, comprising the party leader, one caucus representative, the party's general manager and seven elected members. The board elects a Party President from within its members. An Annual Conference determines party policy, and elects members to the Board of Directors. The party is subdivided into Electorate Committees; each committee sends six delegates to Annual Conference, including a chair and any MPs from within the electorate. [53]

Simon Bridges, Leader of the Party Simon-Bridges-Free-Crop.jpg
Simon Bridges, Leader of the Party

The Leader of the National Party (currently Simon Bridges), elected by the party's current sitting MPs, acts as a spokesperson for National and is responsible for managing the party's business within parliament. The President (currently Peter Goodfellow) heads the administration outside of parliament. [53]

Within National there are a number of organised groups of members, called Special Interest Groups, that share a particular belief, interest or cause. Other groups are also involved in the party's policy reviews. [54] For instance, the Bluegreens are a group within National who help formulate environmental policy. [55] The party's youth wing, the Young Nationals (commonly known as the Young Nats), has provided much political impetus as a ginger group. [52] Often the more open minded and liberal views of the Young Nats have been at odds with those in the senior party. [56]

National is affiliated to—and plays a leading part in—the International Democrat Union (IDU) and the Asia Pacific Democrat Union (APDU). [7] Former National Prime Minister John Key was the chairman of the IDU from 2014 to 2018. [57]

Electoral results

ElectionParty votes%Seats wonStatus
1938 [58] 381,08140.30
25 / 80
Opposition
1943 [58] 402,887Increase2.svg 42.78
34 / 80
1946 507,139Increase2.svg 48.43
38 / 80
1949 556,805Increase2.svg 51.88
46 / 80
Government
1951 577,630Increase2.svg53.99
50 / 80
1954 485,630Decrease2.svg 44.27
45 / 80
1957 511,699Decrease2.svg 44.21
39 / 80
Opposition
1960 557,046Increase2.svg 47.59
46 / 80
Government
1963 563,875Decrease2.svg 47.12
45 / 80
1966 525,945Decrease2.svg 43.64
44 / 80
1969 605,960Increase2.svg 45.22
45 / 84
1972 581,422Decrease2.svg 41.50
32 / 87
Opposition
1975 763,136Increase2.svg 47.59
55 / 87
Government
1978 680,991Decrease2.svg 39.82
51 / 92
1981 698,508Decrease2.svg 38.77
47 / 92
1984 692,494Decrease2.svg 35.89
37 / 95
Opposition
1987 806,305Increase2.svg 44.02
40 / 97
1990 872,358Increase2.svg 47.82
67 / 97
Government
1993 673,892Decrease2.svg 35.05
50 / 99
Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system since 1996
1996 701,315Decrease2.svg 33.87
44 / 120
Government (coalition)
1999 629,932Decrease2.svg 30.50
39 / 120
Opposition
2002 [30] 425,310Decrease2.svg 20.93
27 / 120
2005 889,813Increase2.svg 39.10
48 / 121
2008 1,053,398Increase2.svg 44.93
58 / 122
Government (minority)
2011 1,058,638Increase2.svg 47.31
59 / 121
2014 1,131,501Decrease2.svg 47.04
60 / 121
2017 1,152,075Decrease2.svg 44.45
56 / 120
Opposition

Leadership

Party leaders since 1936

Key:
  National   Labour
PM: Prime Minister
LO: Leader of the Opposition

No.NameTerm of OfficePositionPrime Minister
1 Adam Hamilton 2 November 193626 November 1940LO1936–1940 Savage
2 Sidney Holland 26 November 194020 September 1957LO1940–1949 Fraser
PM1949–1957Holland
3 Keith Holyoake 20 September 19577 February 1972PM1957Holyoake
LO1957–1960 Nash
PM1960–1972Holyoake
4 Jack Marshall 7 February 19724 July 1974PM1972Marshall
LO1972–1974 Kirk
5 Robert Muldoon 4 July 197429 November 1984LO1974–1975 Rowling
PM1975–1984Muldoon
LO1984 Lange
6 Jim McLay 29 November 198426 March 1986LO1984–1986
7 Jim Bolger 26 March 19868 December 1997LO1986–1990
Palmer
Moore
PM1990–1997Bolger
8 Jenny Shipley 8 December 19978 October 2001PM1997–1999Shipley
LO1999–2001 Clark
9 Bill English 8 October 200128 October 2003LO2001–2003
10 Don Brash 28 October 200327 November 2006LO2003–2006
11 John Key 27 November 200612 December 2016LO2006–2008
PM2008–2016Key
(9) Bill English 12 December 201627 February 2018PM2016–2017English
LO2017–2018 Ardern
12 Simon Bridges 27 February 2018PresentLO2018–present

Living former party leaders

As of May 2018, there are six living former party leaders, as seen below.

Deputy leaders

No.NameTerm
1 William Polson 1940–1946
2 Keith Holyoake 1946–1957
3 Jack Marshall 1957–1972
4 Robert Muldoon 1972–1974
5 Brian Talboys 1974–1981
6 Duncan MacIntyre 1981–1984
7 Jim McLay 1984
8 Jim Bolger 1984–1986
9 George Gair 1986–1987
10 Don McKinnon 1987–1997
11 Wyatt Creech 1997–2001
12 Bill English 2001
13 Roger Sowry 2001–2003
14 Nick Smith 2003
15 Gerry Brownlee 2003–2006
12Bill English2006–2016
16 Paula Bennett 2016–present

Party presidents

No.NameTerm
1Sir George Wilson1936
2Colonel Claude Weston 1936–1940
3Alex Gordon1940–1944
4Sir Wilfrid Sim 1944–1951
5Sir Alex McKenzie1951–1962
6John S. Meadowcroft1962–1966
7Edward Durning (Ned) Holt1966–1973
8Sir George Chapman 1973–1982
9 Sue Wood 1982–1986
10 Neville Young 1986–1989
11 John Collinge 1989–1994
12 Lindsay Tisch 1994
13 Geoff Thompson 1994–1998
14 John Slater 1998–2001
15 Michelle Boag 2001–2002
16 Judy Kirk 2002–2009
17 Peter Goodfellow 2009–present

Short biographies of all presidents up to Sue Wood appear in Barry Gustafson's The First Fifty Years.

See also

Related Research Articles

Politics of New Zealand

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.

George Forbes (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

George William Forbes was a New Zealand politician who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 28 May 1930 to 6 December 1935.

Robert Muldoon Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

Sir Robert David Muldoon, also known as Rob Muldoon, was a New Zealand politician who served as the 31st Prime Minister of New Zealand, from 1975 to 1984, while Leader of the National Party.

New Zealand First, commonly abbreviated to NZ First, is a nationalist and populist political party in New Zealand. It was founded in July 1993, following the resignation on 19 March 1993 of its leader and founder, Winston Peters, from the then-governing National Party. It has formed governments with both major parties in New Zealand: first with the National Party from 1996 to 1998, and then with the Labour Party from 2005 to 2008 and from 2017 to present.

Ruthanasia, a portmanteau of "Ruth" and "euthanasia", is the pejorative name given to the period of free-market policies conducted during the first term of the fourth National government in New Zealand, from 1990 to 1993. As the first period of reform from 1984 to 1990 was known as Rogernomics after the Labour Party Minister of Finance, Roger Douglas, so the second period became known as "Ruthanasia", after the National Party's Minister of Finance, Ruth Richardson.

Jim Bolger Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

James Brendan Bolger is a New Zealand politician of the National Party who was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997.

Jack Marshall Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

Sir John Ross Marshall, generally known as Jack Marshall, was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He entered Parliament in 1946 and was first promoted to Cabinet in 1951. After spending twelve years as Deputy Prime Minister, he served as the 28th Prime Minister for most of 1972.

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.

Leader of the Opposition (New Zealand) parliamentary position of the Parliament of New Zealand

In New Zealand, the Leader of the Opposition is the politician who commands the support of the Official Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition by convention leads the largest party not supporting the government: this is usually the parliamentary leader of the second largest caucus in the House of Representatives. In the debating chamber the Leader of the Opposition sits directly opposite the Prime Minister.

Gordon Coates New Zealand politician

Joseph Gordon Coates served as the 21st Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1925 to 1928. He was the third successive Reform prime minister since 1912.

Second National Government of New Zealand

The Second National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1960 to 1972. It was a conservative government which sought mainly to preserve the economic prosperity and general stability of the early 1960s. It was one of New Zealand's longest-serving governments.

The First National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1949 to 1957. It was a conservative government best remembered for its role in the 1951 waterfront dispute. It also began the repositioning of New Zealand in the cold war environment. Although New Zealand continued to assist Britain in situations such as the Malayan Emergency, it now became connected to Australia and the United States through the ANZUS agreement.

The Reform Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1912 to 1928. It is perhaps best remembered for its anti-trade union stance in the Waihi miners' strike of 1912 and a dockworkers' strike the following year. It also governed during World War I, during which a temporary coalition was formed with the Liberal Party.

1984 New Zealand National Party leadership election

The New Zealand National Party leadership election, 1984 was held to determine the future leadership of the New Zealand National Party. The election was won by former Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay.

References

  1. 1 2 3 James, Colin (13 December 2016). "National Party: Party principles". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 9 September 2017. Usually the conservative and liberal tendencies have been central
  2. 1 2 3 4 Vowles, Jack (1987). "The New Zealand Journal of History". University of Auckland. p. 225. [T]he National Party is both conservative and liberal, its liberalism containing both elements of classical and new liberalism, the implications of the latter also overlapping with elements of conservatism. Within the National Party, it is the liberals rather than the conservatives who are most self-conscious and vocal, although the conservatives most frequently seem to prevail.Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. Cheyne, Christine (2009). Social Policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. Oxford University Press. p. 70. The ideological underpinnings of policy directions in the National Party under the leadership of John Key appear to reflect a liberal conservatism
  4. 1 2 Johnson, Norman (2014). Mixed Economies Welfare. Routledge. p. 62.
  5. "Voters' preexisting opinions shift to align with political party positions". Association for Psychological Science. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018 via Science Daily.
  6. 1 2 Papillon, Martin; Turgeon, Luc; Wallner, Jennifer; White, Stephen (2014). Comparing Canada: Methods and Perspectives on Canadian Politics. UBC Press. p. 126. ISBN   9780774827867 . Retrieved 12 October 2018. ...in New Zealand politics, by the centre-left Labour Party and the centre-right National Party
  7. 1 2 "International Democrat Union » Asia Pacific Democrat Union (APDU)". International Democrat Union. 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  8. "Ngā Rōpū Pāremata" (in Maori). New Zealand Parliament Pāremata Aotearoa. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  9. 1 2 "Election 2014: Nats' promises to you". New Zealand Herald. 2014-09-21. ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  10. 1 2 Raymond, Miller (2005). Party Politics in New Zealand. Australia: Oxford University Press. p. 32.
  11. Hossain, Akhand Akhtar (2015). The Evolution of Central Banking and Monetary Policy in the Asia-Pacific. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 317. ISBN   9780857937810.
  12. James, Colin (20 June 2012). "National Party". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  13. 1 2 Scharpf, Fritz Wilhelm; Schmidt, Vivien Ann (2000). Welfare and Work in the Open Economy: From vulnerability to competitiveness. Oxford University Press. p. 246. ISBN   9780199240876.
  14. 1 2 "2017 General Election – Official Result". New Zealand Electoral Commission . Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  15. Miller, Raymond (2005). Party Politics in New Zealand. Australia: Oxford University Press. pp. 28–31.
  16. Miller, Raymond (2005). Party Politics in New Zealand. Australia: Oxford University Press. p. 29.
  17. Miller, Raymond (2005). Party Politics in New Zealand. Australia: Oxford University Press. pp. 31–32.
  18. Adams 1980[ page needed ]
  19. 1 2 3 "National Party founded". nzhistory.govt.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  20. Gustafson[ not specific enough to verify ]
  21. Adams 1980
  22. Brian Roper (1993). State and economy in New Zealand. Oxford U.P. p. 204. ISBN   9780195582734.
  23. Adams 1980
  24. Adams 1980
  25. Gustafson, Barry (2013). His Way: a Biography of Robert Muldoon. Auckland University Press. p. 109. ISBN   9781869405175.
  26. Adams 1980
  27. "Bill English staying on through 2020". Stuff.co.nz. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  28. "Bill English staying on through 2020". Stuff.co.nz. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  29. "Bill English staying on through 2020". Stuff.co.nz. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  30. 1 2 "Official Count Results – Overall Status". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  31. Cheng, Derek Cheng, Derek (2005-09-12). "Exclusive Brethren trot out new leaflets". NZ Herald. ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  32. "Brash knew about Exclusive Brethren pamphlets". NZ Herald. 2005-09-08. ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  33. "Key and ministers sworn in". guide2.co.nz. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  34. "Questions and Answers – 25 May 2010 | Scoop News". scoop.co.nz. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  35. "Bill English staying on through 2020". Stuff.co.nz. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  36. "Bill English staying on through 2020". Stuff.co.nz. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  37. Plumb, Alison (2014). "How do MPs in Westminster democracies vote when unconstrained by party discipline? A comparison of free vote patterns on marriage equality legislation" (PDF). Australian National University . Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  38. "PM reinforces TPP benefits in New York". The Beehive. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  39. "New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announces resignation". Stuff.co.nz. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  40. "Live: Prime Minister John Key has resigned. What happens next?". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  41. "The race for Prime Minister gets crowded – It's Bill English, Jonathan Coleman and now Judith Collins". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  42. "Bill English staying on through 2020". Stuff.co.nz. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  43. "Bill English announces retirement from Parliament". Scoop News . 13 February 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  44. Bracewell-Worrall, Anna (27 February 2018). "Live updates: National chooses Simon Bridges" . Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  45. Vowles, Jack (2013). Towards Consensus?: The 1993 Election and Referendum in New Zealand and the Transition to Proportional Representation. Auckland University Press. p. 20. ISBN   9781869407162.
  46. 1 2 Palffy, Georgina (2008). New Zealand. New Holland Publishers. p. 65. ISBN   9781860114052 . Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  47. Keith Holyoake, New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, 14 July 1959, vol. 319, p. 406.
  48. 1 2 Gustafson, Barry (1 October 2013). "His Way: a Biography of Robert Muldoon". Auckland University Press. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  49. Hembry, Owen (31 January 2011). "In the shadow of Think Big". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  50. "New Zealand as it might have been: From Ruthanasia to President Bolger". New Zealand Herald. 12 January 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  51. "The Great Reassurer: How John Key's calmness was his greatest strength". The Spinoff. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  52. 1 2 Stephens, Gregory R. Electoral Reform and the Centralisation of the New Zealand National Party , MA thesis, Victoria University of Wellington
  53. 1 2 "Constitution and Rules of the New Zealand National Party" (PDF) (25th ed.). New Zealand National Party. October 2016.
  54. "Policy Advisory Groups". New Zealand National Party. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  55. "About Us". bluegreens.national.co.nz. New Zealand National Party. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  56. "Our Story". Young Nats. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  57. "John Key chairs International Democrat Union". Newshub . 21 November 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  58. 1 2 "General elections 1853–2005 – dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 12 January 2011.

Further reading