New Zealand Government
The New Zealand Government (Māori: Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa), formally termed Her Majesty's Government, is the central government through which governing authority is exercised in New Zealand. As in most parliamentary democracies, the term "Government" refers chiefly to the executive branch, and more specifically to the collective ministry directing the executive. Based on the principle of responsible government, it operates within the framework that "the Queen reigns, but the government rules, so long as it has the support of the House of Representatives". The Cabinet Manual describes the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of the Government.
|Formation||30 June 1852|
|Founding document||Constitution of New Zealand|
|Head of state (sovereign)||Monarch (Queen)|
|Legislature||New Zealand Parliament|
|Meeting place||Parliament House|
|Head of government||Prime Minister|
|Main organ||Executive Council|
|Seat||Supreme Court building, Wellington|
|New Zealand portal|
Executive power is exercised by ministers, all of whom are sworn into the Executive Council and accountable to the elected legislature, the House of Representatives. Several senior ministers (usually 20) constitute a collective decision-making body known as the Cabinet, which is led by the prime minister (currently Jacinda Ardern). A few more ministers (usually junior or supporting) are part of the Executive Council but are outside Cabinet. Most ministers have a portfolio of specific responsibilities such as departments or policy areas, although ministers without portfolio can be appointed.
The position of prime minister belongs to the person who commands the confidence of the majority of members in the House of Representatives. The position is determined also by several other factors, such as support agreements between parties and internal leadership votes in the party that leads the Government. The prime minister and other ministers are formally appointed by the governor-general (who is the Queen's representative in New Zealand). By convention, the governor-general acts on the advice of the prime minister in appointing ministers.