Español

The Government and Political System in New Zealand

You are here: Countries / New Zealand



New Zealand has a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy type of government. The head of state is the Queen of New Zealand while head of government is the Prime Minister. It has no official, written constitution instead a combination of various documents such as certain acts of the United Kingdom and New Zealand Parliaments. The New Zealand Royal Titles Act of 1953 separates the New Zealand monarchy from the British monarchy.

The Governor-General has the control to assign and discharge Prime Ministers and suspend Parliament. He also leads the Executive Council which composes of all ministers of the Crown. The Cabinet is the most superior policy-making led by the Prime Minister. The main legislative body of New Zealand is unicameral parliament called the House of Representatives. Parliaments have a maximum of 3 years in the office. The Supreme Court of New Zealand is the highest court in the country formed in 2004 after the passing of Supreme Court Act in 2003. Every superior court judge is selected by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, Chief Justice, and Solicitor-General. The New Zealand law has 3 main sources: English common law, certain legislations of the UK Parliament, and statutes of the New Zealand Parliament.

In 2005 to 2006, the nation became the first country in the world with all highest offices all occupied by women: Queen Elizabeth II, Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, Prime Minister Helen Clark, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Margaret Wilson, and Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias.

Share this page: