New Zealand Parliament
|Houses||House of Representatives|
|Founded||24 May 1854|
since 6 February 1952
Dame Patsy Reddy
since 28 September 2016
Leader of the House
House of Representatives political groups
| Government |
|New Zealand Parliament Buildings, Wellington|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The New Zealand Parliament (Māori : Pāremata Aotearoa) is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.
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 gained recognition as one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987. The number of speakers of the language has declined sharply since 1945, but a Māori language revitalisation effort slowed the decline, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since about 2015.
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.
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.
The House of Representatives normally consists of 120 members of Parliament (MPs), though sometimes more due to overhang seats. There are 71 MPs elected directly in electorate seats and the remainder are filled by list MPs based on each party's share of the total party vote. Māori were represented in Parliament from 1867, and in 1893 women gained the vote.Although elections can be called early, each three years Parliament is dissolved and goes up for reelection.
Overhang seats can arise in elections under the traditional mixed member proportional (MMP) system, when a party's share of the nationwide party votes entitles it to fewer seats than the number of constituencies it won.
An electorate is a geographical constituency used for electing members to the New Zealand Parliament. In informal discussion, electorates are often called seats. The most formal description, electoral district, is used in legislation. The size of electorates is determined on a population basis such that all electorates have approximately the same population.
A list MP is a member of parliament (MP) who is elected from a party list rather than from a geographical constituency. Their presence in Parliament is owed to the number of votes that their party won, not to votes received by the MP personally. This occurs only in countries which have an electoral system based on party-list proportional representation.
Parliament is closely linked to the executive. The New Zealand Government comprises a prime minister (head of government) and other ministers. In accordance with the principle of responsible government, these individuals are always drawn from the House of Representatives, and are held accountable to it.
Fusion of powers is a feature of some parliamentary forms of government, especially those following the Westminster system, where the executive and legislative branches of government are intermingled. It is contrasted with the more rigorous separation of powers found in presidential and semi-presidential forms of government where the legislative and executive powers are in origin separated by popular vote. Fusion of powers exists in many, if not a majority of, parliamentary democracies, and does so by design. However, in all modern democratic polities the judicial branch of government is independent of the legislative and executive branches.
The executive is the organ exercising authority in and holding responsibility for the governance of a state. The executive executes and enforces law.
The Government of New Zealand, or New Zealand Government, is the administrative complex through which authority is exercised in New Zealand. As in most parliamentary democracies, the term "Government" refers chiefly to the executive branch, and more specifically to the collective ministry directing the executive. Based on the principle of responsible government, it operates within the framework that "the Queen reigns, but the government rules, so long as it has the support of the House of Representatives".
Neither the monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) nor her governor-general participates in the legislative process, save for signifying the Queen's approval to a bill passed by the House, known as the granting of Royal Assent, which is necessary for a bill to be enacted as law.
A bill is proposed legislation under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act of the legislature, or a statute. Bills are introduced in the legislature and are discussed, debated and voted upon.
The New Zealand Parliament is consciously modelled on the Westminster system of parliamentary representation, developed in the United Kingdom. This system can be traced back to the "Model Parliament" of 1295, generally regarded as the first recognisable parliament.
The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government developed in England, now a constituent country within the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament. The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system or a hybrid system as their form of government.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The Model Parliament is the term, attributed to Frederic William Maitland, used for the 1295 Parliament of England of King Edward I.
Over the centuries, parliaments progressively limited the power of the monarchy. The Bill of Rights 1688 (which has been ratified as law in New Zealand) established Parliament's role in law-making, taxation, and supply. Among its provisions, the Bill confirmed absolute freedom of speech in Parliament (see parliamentary privilege).
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term "freedom of expression" is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Parliamentary privilege is a legal immunity enjoyed by members of certain legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties. It is common in countries whose constitutions are based on the Westminster system.
As early as 1846, the British settlers in New Zealand petitioned for self-government.The New Zealand Parliament was created by the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, an Act of the British Parliament, which established a bicameral legislature officially called the "General Assembly", but usually referred to as Parliament. It had a lower house, called the House of Representatives, and an upper house, called the Legislative Council. The members of the House were elected under the first-past-the-post (FPP) voting system, while those of the Council were appointed by the Governor. The first members were sworn in on 24 May 1854 in Auckland.
Originally, Legislative Councillors were appointed for life, but later their terms were fixed at seven years. This change, coupled with responsible government (whereby the Premier advised the Governor on Council appointments) and party politics, meant that by the 20th century, the government usually controlled the Council as well as the House, and the passage of bills through the Council became a formality.In 1951, the Council was abolished altogether, making the New Zealand legislature unicameral.
At the time of its abolition the Council had fifty-four members, including its own Speaker.
Under the Constitution Act, legislative power was also conferred on New Zealand's provinces (originally six in number), each of which had its own elected provincial council. [ citation needed ] Over a twenty-year period, political power was progressively centralised, and the provinces were abolished altogether in 1876.These provincial councils were able to legislate for their provinces on most subjects. However, New Zealand was never a federation comparable to Canada or Australia; Parliament could legislate concurrently with the provinces on any matter, and in the event of a conflict, the law passed by Parliament would prevail.
Unlike other countries, New Zealand had representatives of the indigenous population in its parliament from an early date. Reserved Māori seats were created in 1867 during the term of the 4th Parliament;Māori men aged 21 and over, whether or not they owned property, could vote to elect four Māori members of the House of Representatives.
The Māori electorates have lasted far longer than the intended five years. In 2002, the seats increased in number to seven.
One historical speciality of the New Zealand Parliament was the country quota, which gave greater representation to rural politics. From 1889 on (and even earlier in more informal forms), districts were weighted according to their urban/rural split (with any locality of less than 2,000 people considered rural). Those districts which had large rural proportions received a greater number of nominal votes than they actually contained voters – as an example, in 1927, Waipawa, a district without any urban population at all, received an additional 4,153 nominal votes to its actual 14,838 – having the maximum factor of 28% extra representation. The country quota was in effect until it was abolished in 1945 by a mostly urban-elected Labour government, which switched to a one-vote-per-person system.
Originally the New Zealand Parliament remained subordinate to the British Parliament, the supreme legislative authority for the entire British Empire—although, in practice, Britain's role was minimal from the 1890s.The New Zealand Parliament received progressively more control over New Zealand affairs through the passage of Imperial (British) laws such as the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, constitutional amendments, and an increasingly hands-off approach by the British government. Finally, in 1947, the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act gave Parliament full power over New Zealand law, and the New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1947, an Act of the British Parliament, allowed the New Zealand Parliament to regulate its own composition. In 1986 a new Constitution Act was passed, restating the few remaining provisions of the 1852 Act, consolidating the legislation establishing Parliament, and officially replacing the name "General Assembly" with "Parliament".
Beginning in the 1890s, when the New Zealand Liberal Party was established as the first formal political party in New Zealand, political power shifted from the House of Representatives to elections, parties and leaders. The conservative Reform Party was formed in 1909, and the New Zealand Labour Party in 1916. The New Zealand National Party emerged in 1936 from the amalgamation of Reform and a remnant of the Liberals, the United Party.
The New Zealand Parliament is supreme, with no other government institution able to over-ride its decisions.The ability of Parliament to act is, legally, unimpeded. For example, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is a normal piece of legislation, not superior law, as codified constitutions are in some other countries.
The House of Representatives has the exclusive power to regulate its own procedures. The House has "entrenched" certain issues relating to elections. These include the length of a parliamentary term, deciding on who can vote, how they vote (via secret ballot), how the country should be divided into electorates, and the make-up of the Representation Commission, which decides on these electorates.These issues require either 75% of all MPs to support the bill or a referendum on the issue. As the entrenchment mechanism is not entrenched itself, it could be repealed by a simple majority, thus allowing the entrenched provisions of the Electoral Act to also be repealed by a simple majority.
The monarch of New Zealand – currently Queen Elizabeth II, represented in New Zealand by the Governor-General – is one of the components of Parliament. This results from the role of the monarch to sign into law (give Royal Assent to) the bills that have been passed by the House of Representatives.MPs must express their loyalty to the Queen and defer to her authority, as the Oath of Allegiance must be recited by all new parliamentarians before they may take their seat, and the official opposition is traditionally dubbed Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition .
The House of Representatives was established as a lower house and has been the Parliament's sole house since 1951. As at 2018 [update] , the House consists of 120 members of Parliament (MPs), elected to a three-year term. Parliamentary elections use the mixed-member proportional (MMP) system, a hybrid of first-past-the-post and party-list proportional representation; 71 MPs represent single-member electorates of roughly the same population, while the remainder are list MPs. These MPs assemble to represent the people, pass laws and supervise the work of government. Members also form select committees, appointed to deal with particular areas or issues.
Ministers of the New Zealand Government are always drawn from amongst the members of the House of Representatives (before 1951, there were also ministers who sat in the Legislative Council). The government of the day, and by extension the prime minister, must achieve and maintain the support of the House in order to gain and remain in power.The Government is dependent on Parliament to implement its legislative agenda, and has always required the House's approval to spend money.
The Parliament does not have an upper house; there was an upper house up to 1951, and there have been occasional suggestions to create a new one.The Legislative Council chamber continues to be used during the Opening of Parliament. This is in keeping with the British tradition in which the monarch is barred from entering the lower house.
The Legislative Council was the first legislature of New Zealand, established by the Charter for Erecting the Colony of New Zealand on 16 November 1840,which saw New Zealand established as a Crown colony separate from New South Wales on 1 July 1841. Originally, the Legislative Council consisted of the Governor, Colonial Secretary and Colonial Treasurer (who consisted the Executive Council) and three justices of the peace appointed by the Governor. The Legislative Council had the power to issue Ordinances, statutory instruments.
With the passing of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, the Legislative Council became the upper house of the General Assembly. The Legislative Council was intended to scrutinise and amend bills passed by the House of Representatives, although it could not initiate legislation or amend money bills. Despite occasional proposals for an elected Council, Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) were appointed by the Governor, generally on the recommendation of the prime minister. At first, MLCs were appointed for life, but a term of seven years was introduced in 1891. It was eventually decided that the Council was having no significant impact on New Zealand's legislative process; its final sitting was on 1 December 1950.
In September 1950, the National government of Sidney Holland set up a constitutional reform committee to consider an alternative second chamber, chaired by Ronald Algie. A report produced by the committee in 1952 proposed a nominated Senate, with 32 members, appointed by leaders of the parties in the House of Representatives, according to the parties' strength in that House. Senators would serve for three-year-terms, and be eligible for reappointment.The Senate would have the power to revise, initiate or delay legislation, to hear petitions, and to scrutinise regulations and Orders in Council, but the proposal was rejected by the Prime Minister and by the Labour opposition, which had refused to nominate members to the committee.
After the 1990 election, the National government of Jim Bolger proposed the establishment of an elected Senate, thereby reinstating a bicameral system, and a Senate Bill was drafted. Under the Bill, the Senate would have 30 members, elected by STV, from six senatorial districts, four in the North Island and two in the South Island. Like the old Legislative Council it would not have powers to amend or delay money bills.The intention was to include a question on a Senate in the second referendum on electoral reform. Voters would be asked, if they did not want a new voting system, whether or not they wanted a Senate. However, following objections from the Labour opposition, which derided it as a red herring, and other supporters of the mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation system, the Senate question was removed by the Select Committee on Electoral Reform.
In 2010, the New Zealand Policy Unit of the Centre for Independent Studies proposed a Senate in the context of the 2011 referendum on MMP. They proposed a proportionally-elected upper house made up 31 seats elected using a proportional list vote by region, with the House of Representatives elected by FPP and consisting of 79 seats.
The Constitution Act 1986 outlines that the Governor-General is responsible for proroguing and/or dissolving Parliament,on behalf of the monarch. Dissolution ends a parliamentary term, after which the writs for a general election are usually issued. Upon completion of the election, the Governor-General, on the advice of the Prime Minister, then issues a royal proclamation summoning Parliament to assemble. On the date given, new MPs are sworn in and then are, along with returning MPs, called to the old Legislative Council chamber, where they are instructed to elect their Speaker and return to the House of Representatives to do so before adjourning.
A new parliamentary session is marked by the Opening of Parliament, during which the Governor-General reads the Speech from the Throne, on the Queen's behalf. This speech is given at the start of every new Parliament, and explains why Parliament has been assembled. It outlines the Government's legislative agenda.On occasion, the monarch may open Parliament and deliver the speech herself; for example, the Queen has personally attended the Opening of Parliament in 1954 (to mark the legislature's centenary), and more recently in 1986 and 1990.
MPs receive the Royal Summons to these events from Usher of the Black Rod, after he or she knocks on the doors of the House of Representatives chamber that have been slammed shut, to illustrate the MPs' right to deny entry to anyone, including the monarch.
Before any law is passed, it is first introduced in Parliament as a draft known as a bill.The majority of bills are promulgated by the government of the day. It is rare for government bills to be defeated (the first to be defeated in the 20th century was in 1998). It is also possible for individual MPs to promote their own bills, called member's bills; these are usually put forward by opposition parties, or by MPs who wish to deal with a matter that parties do not take positions on. All bills must go through three readings in the House of Representatives before receiving Royal Assent to become an Act of Parliament (statutory law).
Each bill goes through several stages before it becomes a law. The first stage is a mere formality known as the first reading, where it is introduced without a debate. This is followed by the second reading, where MPs debate on the general principles of the bill. If the House opposes the bill, it may vote to reject the bill.
If the bill goes through the second reading, it is sent to a select committee where every clause in the bill is examined. Members of Parliament who support the bill in principle but do not agree with certain clauses can propose amendments to those clauses at this stage. Following its report back to the House, the bill will be advanced to its third reading where only minor amendments will be allowed before it is passed or rejected.
If a bill passes its third reading, it is passed by the Clerk of the House of Representatives to the Governor-General, who will (assuming constitutional conventions are followed) grant Royal Assent as a matter of course. Some constitutional lawyers, such as Professor Philip Joseph, believe the governor-general does retain the power to refuse Royal Assent to bills in exceptional circumstances – specifically if democracy were to be abolished.Others, such as former law professor and Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Professor Matthew Palmer argue any refusal of Royal Assent would cause a constitutional crisis.
As a practical reality, because the Royal Assent to a bill must follow quickly after its passage by the House of Representatives, if there is any substantial issue about the constitutional validity of a bill, the issue must be considered by the Attorney-General before the bill is introduced into the House.
Parliament is currently in its 52nd term.
|1st Parliament||1853 election||Non-partisan|
|2nd Parliament||1855 election|
|3rd Parliament||1860 election|
|4th Parliament||1866 election|
|5th Parliament||1871 election|
|6th Parliament||1875 election|
|7th Parliament||1879 election|
|8th Parliament||1881 election|
|9th Parliament||1884 election|
|10th Parliament||1887 election|
|Liberal Party era|
|11th Parliament||1890 election||Liberal|
|12th Parliament||1893 election|
|13th Parliament||1896 election|
|14th Parliament||1899 election|
|15th Parliament||1902 election|
|16th Parliament||1905 election|
|17th Parliament||1908 election|
|18th Parliament||1911 election||Reform|
|19th Parliament||1914 election|
|20th Parliament||1919 election|
|21st Parliament||1922 election|
|22nd Parliament||1925 election|
|23rd Parliament||1928 election||United|
|24th Parliament||1931 election||United–Reform coalition|
|25th Parliament||1935 election||First Labour|
|26th Parliament||1938 election||First Labour|
|27th Parliament||1943 election|
|28th Parliament||1946 election|
|29th Parliament||1949 election||First National|
|30th Parliament||1951 election|
|31st Parliament||1954 election|
|32nd Parliament||1957 election||Second Labour|
|33rd Parliament||1960 election||Second National|
|34th Parliament||1963 election|
|35th Parliament||1966 election|
|36th Parliament||1969 election|
|37th Parliament||1972 election||Third Labour|
|38th Parliament||1975 election||Third National|
|39th Parliament||1978 election|
|40th Parliament||1981 election|
|41st Parliament||1984 election||Fourth Labour|
|42nd Parliament||1987 election|
|43rd Parliament||1990 election||Fourth National|
|44th Parliament||1993 election|
|Mixed-member proportional (MMP) era|
|45th Parliament||1996 election||Fourth National (in coalition)|
|46th Parliament||1999 election||Fifth Labour (in coalition)|
|47th Parliament||2002 election|
|48th Parliament||2005 election|
|49th Parliament||2008 election||Fifth National (in coalition)|
|50th Parliament||2011 election|
|51st Parliament||2014 election|
|52nd Parliament||2017 election||Sixth Labour (in coalition)|
During her first eagerly awaited tour over the summer of 1953-4 Parliament was summoned for a special short session in January to allow her to open Parliament and deliver the Speech from the Throne. She again opened a special session of Parliament in February 1963. She also opened Parliament in March 1970 and February 1974. In February 1977 she opened another special session at the same time as formally opening the Beehive (the Executive Wing). More recently she has opened Parliament in February 1986 and February 1990.
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.
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The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It consists of three elements: the Crown, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modelled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, however, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system.
The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.
Chapter 6: The Parliament.Chapter 6 of the Fiji Constitution is titled The Parliament. The five Parts, further subdivided into forty sections making up this chapter, set out the composition, functions, and powers of Fiji's bicameral legislature.
The Parliament of Pakistan is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral federal legislature that consists of the Senate as the upper house and the National Assembly, as the lower house. According to the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President of Pakistan is also a component of the Parliament. The National Assembly is elected for a five-year term on the basis of adult franchise and one-man one-vote. The tenure of a Member of the National Assembly is for the duration of the house, or sooner, in case the Member dies or resigns. The tenure of the National Assembly also comes to an end if dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister or by the president in his discretion under the Constitution.
The Parliament of Victoria is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Victoria that follows a Westminster-derived parliamentary system. It consists of the Queen, represented by the Governor of Victoria, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. It has a fused executive drawn from members of both chambers. The Parliament meets at Parliament House in the state capital Melbourne. The current Parliament was elected on 24 November 2018, sworn in on 19 December 2018 and is the 59th parliament in Victoria.
The Legislative Council of New Zealand existed from 1841 until 1951. When New Zealand became a colony in 1841 the Legislative Council was established as the country's first legislature; it was reconstituted as the upper house of a bicameral legislature when New Zealand became self-governing in 1852.
The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is also commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government.
The Parliament of Queensland is the legislature of Queensland, Australia. According to the state's constitution, the Parliament consists of the Queen and the Legislative Assembly. It is the only unicameral state parliament in the country. The upper chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922. The Legislative Assembly sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Brisbane.
A double dissolution is a procedure permitted under the Australian Constitution to resolve deadlocks in the bicameral Parliament of Australia between the House of Representatives and the Senate. A double dissolution is the only circumstance in which the entire Senate can be dissolved.
The Italian Parliament is the national parliament of the Italian Republic. It is the representative body of Italian citizens and is the successor to the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia (1848–1861) and the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946). It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members and a small number of unelected members (parlamentari). The Italian Parliament is composed of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate of the Republic. The two houses are independent from one another and never meet jointly except under circumstances specified by the Constitution of Italy.
The Parliament of the Republic of Singapore and the President jointly make up the legislature of Singapore, which is based on the Westminster system. Parliament is unicameral and is made up of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are elected, as well as Non-constituency Members of Parliament (NCMPs) and Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) who are appointed. Following the 2015 general election, 89 MPs and three NCMPs were elected to the 13th Parliament. Nine NMPs were appointed during the first session of this Parliament. The first sitting of the 13th Parliament took place on 15 January 2016.
A joint sitting of the Australian parliament was convened in 1974, in which members of the Senate and House of Representatives sat together as a single legislative body. The joint sitting was held on 6 and 7 August 1974, following the double dissolution 1974 federal election, and remains the only time that members of both houses of the federal parliament have sat together as a single legislative body pursuant to section 57 of the Constitution.
The Constitution of New Zealand is the sum of laws and principles that make up the body politic of the realm. It concerns the relationship between the individual and the state, and the functioning of government. Unlike many other nations, New Zealand has no single constitutional document. The Constitution Act 1986 comprises only a portion of the uncodified constitution, along with a collection of statutes, the Treaty of Waitangi, Orders in Council, letters patent, decisions of the courts and unwritten conventions.
The Parliament of the Cook Islands is the legislature of the Cook Islands. Originally established under New Zealand’s United Nations mandate it became the national legislature on independence in 1965.
The politics of Australia take place within the framework of a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Australians elect parliamentarians to the federal Parliament of Australia, a bicameral body which incorporates elements of the fused executive inherited from the Westminster system, and a strong federalist senate, adopted from the United States Congress. Australia largely operates as a two-party system in which voting is compulsory. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Australia as a "full democracy" in 2018.
The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the government of the Commonwealth of Australia operates, including its relationship to the States of Australia. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, which is referred to as the "Constitution" in the remainder of this article. The Constitution was approved in a series of referendums held over 1898–1900 by the people of the Australian colonies, and the approved draft was enacted as a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The Coloured vote constitutional crisis, also known as the Coloured vote case, was a constitutional crisis that occurred in the Union of South Africa during the 1950s as the result of an attempt by the Nationalist government to remove Coloured voters in the Union's Cape Province from the common voters' rolls. It developed into a dispute between Parliament and the judiciary, on the one hand, and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, on the other hand, over the power of Parliament to amend an entrenched clause in the South Africa Act and the power of the Appellate Division to overturn the amendment as unconstitutional. The crisis ended when the government enlarged the Senate and altered its method of election, allowing the amendment to be successfully enacted.