Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947

The Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947 (Public Act no. 38 of 1947)[2] was a constitutional Act of the New Zealand Parliament that formally accepted the full external autonomy offered by the British Parliament. By passing the Act on 25 November 1947, New Zealand adopted the Statute of Westminster 1931, an Act of the British Parliament which granted full sovereign status and Commonwealth membership to the Dominions ratifying the statute. New Zealand was the last Dominion to do so, as the Dominion of Newfoundland voted to become a part of Canada in 1948.

Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947
New Zealand Parliament
  • An Act to Adopt certain sections of the Statute of Westminster 1931[1]
Passed25 November 1947
Amended by
Related legislation
Statute of Westminster 1931 (UK)
New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1947 (UK)
New Zealand Constitution Amendment (Request and Consent) Act 1947
Status: Repealed

At the time of its adoption in New Zealand, the Statute of Westminster was seen as a necessary constitutional step to clarify the sovereignty of the New Zealand Parliament,[3] and not a change in New Zealand's relationship with its former coloniser,[4] to which New Zealand politicians stressed continued loyalty.[5] It has come to be regarded as an important step in the independence of New Zealand.[6]

The Act was later repealed by the Constitution Act 1986, which, among other provisions, removed all ability of the British Parliament to pass laws for New Zealand.