Dominion of New Zealand

The Dominion of New Zealand was the historical successor to the Colony of New Zealand. It was a constitutional monarchy with a high level of self-government within the British Empire.

Dominion of New Zealand
1907–1947[note 1]
Motto: "Onward"
Anthem: "God Save the King"
StatusDominion of the British Empire
CapitalWellington
Common languagesEnglish, Māori
GovernmentParliamentary constitutional monarchy
Monarch 
 1907–1910
Edward VII
 1910–1936
George V
 1936
Edward VIII
 1936–1947
George VI
Governor/Governor-general 
 1907–1910
William Plunket (first)
 1946–1947
Bernard Freyberg (last)
Prime minister 
 1907–1912
Joseph Ward (first)
 1940–1947
Peter Fraser (last)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly (Parliament)
 Upper house
Legislative Council
 Lower house
House of Representatives
History 
26 September 1907
25 November 1947[note 1]
CurrencyNew Zealand pound[note 2]
ISO 3166 codeNZ
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Colony of New Zealand
New Zealand
Cook Islands
Niue

New Zealand became a separate British Crown colony in 1841 and received responsible government with the Constitution Act in 1852. New Zealand chose not to take part in the Federation of Australia and became the Dominion of New Zealand on 26 September 1907, Dominion Day, by proclamation of King Edward VII. Dominion status was a public mark of the political independence that had evolved over half a century through responsible government.

Just under one million people lived in New Zealand in 1907 and cities such as Auckland and Wellington were growing rapidly.[1] The Dominion of New Zealand allowed the British Government to shape its foreign policy, and it followed Britain into the First World War. The 1923 and 1926 Imperial Conferences decided that New Zealand should be allowed to negotiate its own political treaties, and the first commercial treaty was ratified in 1928 with Japan. When the Second World War broke out in 1939 the New Zealand Government made its own decision to enter the war.

In the post-war period, the term Dominion has fallen into disuse. Sovereignty on external affairs was granted with the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and adopted by the New Zealand Parliament in 1947. The 1907 royal proclamation of Dominion status has never been revoked and remains in force today.[2][3]


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