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How Central Government Works


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A few slides to act as triggers for classroom conversation about the structure and roles of central government in New Zealand. Feedback welcome.

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How Central Government Works

  1. 1. A (very) brief overview of Central Government in New Zealand Julie Starr |
  2. 2. government noun 1 (often the Government) a body of people, usually elected, with the power to control the affairs of a country or state. 2 a the way in which this is done; b the particular system used. 3 the act or practice of ruling; control. - Chambers 21st Century Dictionary
  3. 3. 1. Central Government 2. Parliament 3. The Executive 4. Policy
  4. 4. 1. Central Government
  5. 5. 1. Central Government: Structure Sovereign (Represented by Governor General) 1. Legislature (Parliament) House of Representatives 2. Executive 3. Judiciary Ministers & State Services Judges & Courts
  6. 6. 1. Central Government: Responsibilities Sovereign (Represented by Governor General) 1. Legislature (Parliament) House of Representatives Create, modify, delete laws
  7. 7. 1. Central Government: Responsibilities Sovereign (Represented by Governor General) 2. Executive Government ministers & State Services Draft laws, research, propose & implement policy
  8. 8. 1. Central Government: Responsibilities Sovereign (Represented by Governor General) 3. Judiciary Judges & Courts Interpret and apply laws
  9. 9. 2. Parliament
  10. 10. 2. Parliament: Structure House of Representatives (Government + Opposition Members of Parliament) Sovereign (Represented by Governor General) + The Debating Chamber
  11. 11. 2. Parliament: Main Roles Make, modify & unmake law Provide a Government Hold Government to account Approve Government taxes and spending Forum for political contests Represent citizens
  12. 12. 2. Parliament: Members of Parliament work in… Cabinet (Senior Government ministers) Executive Council (Government ministers, senior policy advisers) Debating Chamber (Where proposed laws & other matters are debated) Select Committees (Small committees that consider proposed laws) Electorate Offices (Electorate MPs only)
  13. 13. 3. The Executive
  14. 14. 3. The Executive: Structure Government Ministers State Services including: State Services Commission Public Service Departments Non-Public Service Departments Crown Entities Reserve Bank of New Zealand +
  15. 15. 3. The Executive: Roles Government Roles State Services Roles Determines policy (takes advice from State Services) Decides what to spend in which policy areas Acts to amend, add or delete laws accordingly Directs State Services on policy implementation Research policy Give policy advice to Government Implement policy through agencies (Overseen by State Services Commission)
  16. 16. 4. Policy
  17. 17. Policies address the supply and regulation of the requirements of life
  18. 18. Birth Childhood Workforce Families Ageing Death Healthcare Schools Jobs & Houses Retirement Economy Cemeteries
  19. 19. What is required? How much/many required? What is best way to provide structure, services and safeguards? Should government provide it? When is it needed by? How much will it cost? With limited funds available, what will be prioritised?
  20. 20. “Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” JK Galbraith 1908-2006 Economic adviser to President John Kennedy
  21. 21. What to read next: Parliament Works Nation & Government: Te Ara NZ (Encyclopedia) Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet Who makes and applies the law: Ministry of Justice Courts of NZ NZ: Our Constitution About the State Services Commission List of State Sector Organisations Julie Starr |