The Cabinet and Political Power in New Zealand

The Cabinet and Political Power in New Zealand

Book - 1995
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It has often been said that the New Zealand political system provides one of the 'purest' examples of government by party. Constitutionally, political decision-making is in the hands of the governing committee of the majority party; and unlike its Westminster parent, in New Zealand cabinetpower is untrammelled by the need to negotiate with a second chamber. Moreover, New Zealand has a unitary rather than federal political structure. These circumstances will change as New Zealand adopts proportional representation and if it institutes a senate to constrain the actions of the House ofRepresentatives.The primary purpose of this book, therefore, is to examine how cabinet governs New Zealand, and to set the New Zealand experience in the context of theories and practices of cabinet government elsewhere. Models of cabinet power are developed.Second, the aim is to document a system which might substantially be altered, thus providing the basis for future comparison and evaluation.The third aim concerns the dramatic changes undergone by New Zealand in the past decade. The Labour and National governments since 1984 have liberalised economic policy and the state sector has been restructured. Moreover, new social and political movements (women, Maori, the environmental movement)have placed their demands upon the political agenda. It is pertinent to ask whether the nature of cabinet government itself has responded to these changes.Sources: Much of the material for this book has been gathered through interviews of ministers conducted during 1991 and 1992. These interviews sought to uncover the extent to which ministerial roles have changed. They also discuss the nature of consultation with interests and ministerial views onthe relationship between government and the individual. A further data set is another, one hundred (approximately) interviews conducted by the author during the early 1970s on parliamentary careers and cabinet selection. Supplementary material is gathered from ministerial speeches, official reportsand newspaper articles. There will be frequent references to policy examples throughout the book.
Publisher: Auckland ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1995
ISBN: 9780195583120
Characteristics: x, 256 p. ; 22 cm


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