Official Opposition (New Zealand)

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Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, or commonly the Official Opposition, in New Zealand is usually the largest political party or coalition which is not a member of the ruling government—it does not provide ministers. This is usually the second-largest party in the House of Representatives, although in certain unusual circumstances it may be the largest party (due to a larger government bloc, as is currently the case) or even a third or fourth party.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

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

Government of New Zealand Central government of New Zealand

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".

Ministers of the New Zealand Government

Ministers, in the New Zealand Government, are members of Parliament who hold ministerial warrants from the Crown to perform certain functions of government. This includes formulating and implementing policies and advising the governor-general. Ministers collectively make up the executive branch of the New Zealand state. In practice, the governor-general is obliged to follow the advice of the prime minister on the appointment and dismissal of ministers.

Contents

Overview

The Opposition aims to hold the government accountable and to present itself to the national electorate as a credible government in waiting. For example, during Question Time, Opposition spokespersons will ask questions of ministers with the aim of highlighting a weakness or embarrassing the government. Oppositions also engage in parliamentary gestures such as refusal to grant confidence or voting down the budget. [1]

The New Zealand Budget is statement by the Government of New Zealand, usually set annually, of the state's revenues and expenditures for the preceding fiscal year and years to come. It is prepared by the New Zealand Treasury for the Minister of Finance.

With the introduction of MMP in 1996 (after referendums in 1992 and 1993), there was consideration to remove the official role of the Opposition; with several parties outside the government, it was no longer clear which party, if any, was 'the' opposition. [2] This is complicated more by parties which occasionally act with the government and at other times vote against it. The unusual positioning that developed after the 2005 election further complicated the idea of 'opposition'. However, the continued dominance of the political scene by the National and Labour Parties means that the official Opposition has been retained, and inevitably the official Opposition is whichever of the National and Labour parties is not leading a Government at the time. Parties and members of parliament outside the government which do not work with the official Opposition party are said to "sit on the cross-benches". [3]

Electoral reform in New Zealand

Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both Parliamentary and local government electoral systems.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

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

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.

Grand coalitions have been formed only twice in New Zealand, and on both occasions with the aim of forming a national response to a crisis. The first was the War Cabinet of 1915–1919, involving the Reform and Liberal Parties, under the leadership of Reform Prime Minister William Massey. The second was the Coalition Government of 1931–1935 to combat the Great Depression, between the United Party (successor to the Liberal Party) and the Reform Party, and led by United leader George Forbes. In both cases, Labour formed the official Opposition. (It is however anachronistic to speak of a Labour Party until 1916; in 1915, the handful of MPs who were to become part of the Labour Party had been elected as "independent" candidates on behalf of several different social-democratic organisations.)

A grand coalition is an arrangement in a multi-party parliamentary system in which the two largest political parties of opposing political ideologies unite in a coalition government. The term is most commonly used in countries where there are two dominant parties with different ideological orientations, and a number of smaller parties that have passed the election threshold to secure representation in the parliament. The two large parties will each try to secure enough seats in any election to have a majority government alone, and if this fails each will attempt to form a coalition with smaller parties that have a similar ideological orientation. Because the two large parties will tend to differ on major ideological issues, and portray themselves as rivals, or even sometimes enemies, they will usually find it more difficult to agree on a common direction for a combined government with each other than with smaller parties.

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.

William Massey Prime Minister of New Zealand

William Ferguson Massey, commonly known as Bill Massey, was an Irish-born politician in New Zealand who served as the 19th Prime Minister of New Zealand from May 1912 to May 1925. He was the founding leader of the Reform Party, New Zealand's second organised political party, from 1909 until his death.

The National Party currently form the Official Opposition.

Shadow Cabinet

List of Shadow Cabinets

Below is a list of the shadow cabinets of New Zealand from 1965 to the present date.

Date Leader of the Opposition Shadow CabinetGovernment
1965 Norman Kirk Kirk Second National
1972 Jack Marshall Marshall Third Labour
1974 Robert Muldoon Muldoon
1975 Bill Rowling Rowling Third National
1983 David Lange Lange
1984 Jim McLay McLay Fourth Labour
1986 Jim Bolger Bolger
1990 Mike Moore Moore Fourth National
1993 Helen Clark Clark
1999 Jenny Shipley Shipley Fifth Labour
2001 Bill English English
2003 Don Brash Brash
2006 John Key Key
2008 Phil Goff Goff Fifth National
2011 David Shearer Shearer
2013 David Cunliffe Cunliffe
2014 Andrew Little Little
2017 Jacinda Ardern Ardern
2017 Bill English English Sixth Labour
2018 Simon Bridges Bridges

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References

  1. Schmitz, Gerald (December 1988). "The opposition in a Parliamentary system". Political and Social Affairs Division, Government of Canada . Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  2. "Role of the Opposition in government". decisionmaker.co.nz. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  3. "John Armstrong: What does sitting on cross benches actually mean?". The New Zealand Herald . 2 September 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2019.