A report on Executive Council of New Zealand

Full group of "responsible advisers" to the governor-general, who advise on state and constitutional affairs.

- Executive Council of New Zealand

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Governor-General of New Zealand

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Viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

Viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Keith Holyoake, a former prime minister, was a controversial choice as Governor-General.
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy (right) takes the affirmation after being sworn in by the Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, on 28 September 2016
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae performs a hongi with the Prime Minister at his swearing-in ceremony outside parliament, 31 August 2011
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy presides over the swearing in of the new Sixth Labour Government on 26 October 2017
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae reads a speech from the throne at the opening of parliament, 2011
Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys receives US President Bill Clinton at Government House, Wellington, 11 September 1999
Government House, Wellington, the primary residence of the governor-general
The official vehicle of Government House in 2010, a Jaguar XJ8. During official travel it is the only vehicle in the country not required to use standard number plates.
Military personnel holding the governor-general's flag. This flag was first flown on 5 June 2008.
Lord Islington in the traditional ceremonial uniform
Document appointing William Hobson as Lieutenant Governor of New Zealand in 1839
William Hobson, first Governor of New Zealand
Sir George Grey, twice Governor of New Zealand and later Premier
Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead Proclamation as Governor (1879)
Dame Catherine Tizard, the first female governor-general, appointed in 1990
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne with Governor-General of Australia David Hurley and Linda Hurley in 2021

Constitutional functions of the governor-general include presiding over the Executive Council, appointing ministers and judges, granting royal assent to legislation, and summoning and dissolving parliament.

Ministers of Peter Fraser's War Cabinet, 1941

Ministers in the New Zealand Government

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Ministers, in the New Zealand Government, are members of Parliament (MPs) who hold ministerial warrants from the Crown to perform certain functions of government.

Ministers, in the New Zealand Government, are members of Parliament (MPs) who hold ministerial warrants from the Crown to perform certain functions of government.

Ministers of Peter Fraser's War Cabinet, 1941
Ministers of the Coalition Cabinet, 1931

All ministers serve concurrently as councillors of the Executive Council of New Zealand.

Swearing-in of ministers by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, 26 October 2017. Cabinet members are first appointed as executive councillors before receiving warrants for their ministerial portfolios.

Cabinet of New Zealand

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New Zealand Government's body of senior ministers, accountable to the New Zealand Parliament.

New Zealand Government's body of senior ministers, accountable to the New Zealand Parliament.

Swearing-in of ministers by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, 26 October 2017. Cabinet members are first appointed as executive councillors before receiving warrants for their ministerial portfolios.
A meeting of Cabinet in 1972. At this time, Cabinet members were usually Pākehā and male; Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan (seated second-left from the centre) was the only female Cabinet minister.
Photograph taken before the first meeting of the Cabinet of the Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand, Beehive, 26 October 2017

All ministers in Cabinet also serve as members of the Executive Council, the body tasked with advising the governor-general in the exercise of his or her formal constitutional functions.

Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor-General of New Zealand

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Royal decree and a part of the uncodified New Zealand constitution.

Royal decree and a part of the uncodified New Zealand constitution.

The letters patent—essentially an open letter from the monarch (in this case, Queen Elizabeth II) that is a legal instrument—constitutes the office of governor-general as the monarch's representative in the Realm of New Zealand, vests executive authority in the governor-general, establishes the Executive Council to advise the governor-general, and makes provision for the exercise of the governor-general's powers should the office be vacant.

Constitution Act 1986

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Act of the New Zealand Parliament that forms a major part of the constitution of New Zealand.

Act of the New Zealand Parliament that forms a major part of the constitution of New Zealand.

Ministers of the Crown and members of the Executive Council of New Zealand must be Members of Parliament (section 6), with two exceptions:

Order in Council

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Type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realms.

Type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realms.

In New Zealand, the Orders in Council, undertaken by the Executive Council, are required to give effect to the government's decisions.

Peters in 2019

Winston Peters

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New Zealand politician serving as the leader of New Zealand First since its foundation in 1993.

New Zealand politician serving as the leader of New Zealand First since its foundation in 1993.

Peters in 2019
Peters became an outspoken critic of his party leader, Jim Bolger (pictured in 1992).
Peters on the campaign trail in Auckland, c. 1993
Peters had a strained relationship with Prime Minister Jenny Shipley (pictured), who sacked him from Cabinet.
Winston Peters greets US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at Auckland Airport in 2008
Peters at the Europa Lecture 2008, University of Auckland
Peters talking to Bryce Edwards as a part of the Vote Chat forum at the University of Otago, 2011
Peters with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy at the swearing-in of the new Cabinet on 26 October 2017
Peters meets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 17 July 2018
Peters speaks to Grey Power members, August 2011

He was a member of the Executive Council, although he was outside cabinet; he was able to criticise the government in areas not related to his portfolios, which experts said was an unprecedented situation.