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Politics of New Zealand

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  • 1. Politics of New Zealand Benedict (Viktor) Gombocz
  • 2. New Zealand: Geography  Location: Oceania, group of islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia  Area:  Total: 267,710 sq km  Country comparison to the world: 76  Land: 267,710 sq km  Water: N/A (note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands)  Area – comparative: about the size of Colorado  Land boundaries: 0 km  Coastline: 15,134 km
  • 3. New Zealand: Physical Map
  • 4. Politics of New Zealand: Background  The political system of New Zealand functions in a structure of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy.  While the fundamental structure is strictly modeled on that of the Westminster System, numerous important changes have taken effect.  Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by the Governor-General, is the head of state; the PM, who leads the Cabinet drawn from an elected Parliament, is the head of government.
  • 5. Politics of New Zealand: Government of New Zealand  Capital: Wellington  Largest city: Auckland  Official languages: 95.9% English, 4.2% Māori, 0.6% NZ Sign Language  Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy  Monarch: Elizabeth II (see Politics of the United Kingdom slide 13 for information)  Governor-General: Sir Jerry Mateparae  Prime Minister: John Key  Legislature: Parliament (House of Representatives)
  • 6. Politics of New Zealand: Constitution  New Zealand does not have an official codified constitution; the constitutional structure comprises a blend of assorted documents (among these are specific acts of the United Kingdom and New Zealand parliaments), the Treaty of Waitangi, and constitutional conventions.  The Constitution Act in 1852 set up the system of government; these were later merged in 1986.  Constitutional freedoms are defended under common law and are strengthened by the Bill of Rights Act 1990 and Human Rights Act 1993, even though they are not established and can be overturned by Parliament through a simple majority.  The Constitution Act describes New Zealand’s three branches of Government: the executive (the sovereign and cabinet), the legislature (parliament), and the judiciary (courts).
  • 7. Politics of New Zealand: Parties currently represented in the House of Representatives  National Party  Labour Party  Green Party  New Zealand First  Māori Party  ACT  Mana Party  United Future
  • 8. Sir Jerry Mateparae  Born 14 November 1954 in Whanganui; was born to the Andrews family.  20th and current Governor-General of New Zealand.  Was Chief of the New Zealand Defense Force between 2006-2011 (the second Māori person, after Sir Paul Reeves, to occupy the post) and the Director of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau from 7 February 2011-1 July 2011.  His nomination as Governor-General was declared on 8 March 2011; he assumed office on 31 August 2011.  Was given to his mother’s brother, a Mateparae, to be raised in the Māori traditional adoption called whāngai.  Both his birth father and his adoptive father were ministers in the Rātana Church.  Is descended from the Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu tribes; also has links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui.  Was raised in the Whanganui suburb of Castlecliff; attended Castlecliff Primary School, Rutherford Intermediate School, and Whanganui High School.  Has three children with his first wife, Raewynne (who passed away in 1990), and two children with his second wife, Janine.
  • 9. John Key  Born 9 August 1961 in Auckland.  38th and current PM of New Zealand; assumed office 19 November 2008.  Has been the 12th and current leader of the National Party since 27 November 2006.  Moved to Christchurch as a kid; attended the University of Canterbury, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor of commerce.  Started a career in the foreign exchange market in New Zealand prior to moving abroad to work for Merrill Lynch, becoming the head of global foreign exchange in 1995, a post he occupied for six years.  Was nominated a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1999; left in 2001.  Entered the New Zealand Parliament representing the Auckland electorate of Helensville as one of the only new National members of parliament in the 2002 election after that party’s major defeat that year; has occupied the seat ever since.  Was nominated Finance Spokesman for National in 2004; eventually replaced Don Brash as National Party’s leader in 2006.  Led his party to victory in both the November 2008 and November 2011 general elections, following two years as Leader of the Opposition.  As PM, he leads the Fifth National Government of New Zealand which entered government at the onset of the late-2000s recession in 2008; in his first term, his government executed a GST rise and personal tax cuts.  In February 2011, a major earthquake in Christchurch, the country’s second biggest city, considerably affected the national economy; the government responded by creating the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.  During its second term, Key’s administration declared a policy of fractional privatisation of state-run benefits.  In foreign policy, Key declared the removal of New Zealand Defense Force personnel from their exploitation in the War in Afghanistan, signed the Wellington Declaration with the U.S., and called for more countries to join the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership.
  • 10. National Party  Right of centre New Zealand political party, and one of the two biggest parties in New Zealand politics, the other being the Labour Party.  Founded in 1936 upon the merger of the United and Reform parties; is thus New Zealand’s second-oldest political party.  Has the biggest split of seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives as of April 2012, with 59 out of a 121 total.  Has been the current ruling party since November 2008, and governs as a minority government with support from three minor parties.  Member of International Democrat Union (international affiliation).
  • 11. Labour Party  Left of centre New Zealand political party, and one of the two biggest parties in New Zealand politics; the other major party is the rival National Party.  Founded in 1916; it is consequently the oldest political party in New Zealand.  Was last the governing party from 1999-2008; Helen Clark was the party’s leader and PM of New Zealand.  Has formed the second-biggest (with relation to parliamentary seats) political party represented in the Parliament of New Zealand since it was defeated in the 2008 general election; functions as the Official Parliamentary Opposition’s core.  Phil Goff and Annette King resigned as leader and deputy leader, correspondingly, after the 2011 general election; the parliamentary assembly subsequently voted David Shearer and Grant Robertson to replace them.  Shearer declared his resignation from his post on 22 August 2013.  Observer member of Socialist International (international affiliation).
  • 12. Wellington
  • 13. Auckland
  • 14. The End