New Parline: the IPU’s Open Data Platform (beta)
Your one-stop-shop for information about national parliaments

New Zealand

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House of Representatives

Oversight

Data on parliament’s oversight role and activities

Oversight tools

Parliament has the power to summon members of the government
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
s 242(1) of the Legislature Act 1908; http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/cabinet/ministers/executive See also: 2008 Cabinet Manual at: http://www.cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/1.18
Parliament has the power to summon senior government officials
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Standing Orders of the House of Representatives 2011, §193 and 194
Parliament has the power to approve key government appointments Key government appointments include, for example, ambassadors or the head of the central bank.
Approximate number of government appointments subject to parliamentary approval
0
Number of written questions asked, per year
Not available
See historical data for this field. Compare data of this field.
Number of written questions answered by the government, per year
Not available
See historical data for this field. Compare data of this field.
Notes
Under the Standing Orders, Ministers must lodge a reply to a written question no more than 6 working days after the question was lodged. A small number of oral questions are not answered each year, this is either because the member asking the question withdrew it, or, in an election year because answers were outstanding when the House dissolved.
Parliament has power to carry out inquiries
Yes
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Standing Order 186(2)
Number of parliamentary inquiries, per year
Not available
See historical data for this field.
Notes
In the New Zealand parliamentary context it is common for select committee inquiries to range over a number of years, and sometimes between Parliaments. In answering this question, we have given numbers for any inquiry that was active (i.e. an inquiry that commenced, continued or completed) in the given calendar year.

Head of State and/or Government

Head of State and/or Government
Parliament’s role in the designation of the Head of Government Some parliaments elect the Head of Government or approve the nomination for the Head of Government. Others do not play a role.
Other (please specify)
Notes
The House is an electoral college which translates the will of the people, as expressed at a general election, into a Government (a “Ministry”) composed of a Prime Minister and Ministers. The member of the House who commands majority support from the other members is asked by the Governor-General to form a Government by taking office as Prime Minister and recommending to the Governor-General the appointment of other members as Ministers of the Crown. There is no legal or political necessity for this action to be ratified or confirmed by the House when it meets, though the justification for the choice of the Government is constantly tested throughout the life of the Parliament.
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Constitution Act 1986
The Head of Government is also the Head of State
No
Parliament’s role
Parliament’s role in the designation of the Head of State Some parliaments designate the Head of State or approve the nomination for the Head of Government. Others do not play a role.
Other (please specify)
Notes
The Head of State of New Zealand (Queen Elizabeth II) who is represented by the Governor-General. The Governor-General is appointed by the Sovereign on the Prime Minister's recommendation for a term of five years.
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Letters Patent 1983

Impeachment and confidence motions

Procedure for parliament
There is a procedure for parliament to dismiss or impeach the following persons/institution There is a procedure to dismiss or impeach the following persons/institution: Not applicable (there is no procedure); The whole Government; The Head of Government; The Head of State; Individual members of the Executive; Other (please specify)
Other (please specify)
Notes
The Governor-General formally effects a Minister’s departure from office by accepting the Prime Minister’s advice on the Minister’s resignation or dismissal, both from individual portfolios and from the Executive Council. Prime Ministers have advised the dismissal of Ministers for a range of reasons. Procedurally, all that is required is for the Governor-General to execute an advice sheet that has been signed by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is not legally required to give grounds for dismissing a Minister.
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Cabinet Manual, 2008, 2.18-2.19; Constitution Act 1986.
Chambers that play a role in the dismissal or impeachment In bicameral parliaments: Chambers that play a role in the dismissal or impeachment: Lower chamber; Upper chamber; Not applicable
Not applicable
Impeachment Role
There is a procedure for parliament to express no confidence in the following persons/institution There is a procedure for parliament to express no confidence in the following persons/institution: Not applicable (there is no procedure); The whole Government; The Head of Government; Individual members of the Executive; Other (please specify)
The whole Government
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Cabinet Manual, 1.12; see also McGee, David, Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand, 3rd ed., 2005, pp. 94-97.
Chambers that play a role in motions of no confidence In bicameral parliaments: Chambers that play a role in motions of no confidence: Lower chamber; Upper chamber; Not applicable
Not applicable
Parliament is automatically dissolved when a motion of no confidence is adopted In some countries, the adoption of a motion of no confidence in the Government automatically leads to the dissolution of Parliament in certain countries. In other cases, a new government can be formed.
No