A report on New Zealand Legislative Council

The upper house of the General Assembly of New Zealand between 1853 and 1951.

- New Zealand Legislative Council

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The General Assembly House in Auckland, 1861

New Zealand Parliament

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Unicameral legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives.

Unicameral legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives.

The General Assembly House in Auckland, 1861
Chamber of the House of Representatives, c. 1900–1902
Queen Elizabeth II at the Opening of Parliament in 1963
House of Representatives crest, surmounted by a St Edward's Crown
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Opening of Parliament, 13 November 1986
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy giving Royal Assent to a bill for the first time. Government House, Wellington, 28 September 2016

Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council.

Montage of portraits depicting members of the House, the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Clerk of the House, during the Second Parliament in 1860.

New Zealand House of Representatives

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Sole chamber of the New Zealand Parliament.

Sole chamber of the New Zealand Parliament.

Montage of portraits depicting members of the House, the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Clerk of the House, during the Second Parliament in 1860.
Example of a House of Representatives ballot paper used in MMP elections
Trevor Mallard is the current Speaker of the House
The mace is carried into Parliament by the Serjeant-at-Arms during the Opening of the 29th Parliament, 1950
Layout of important roles and where they are seated in the Debating Chamber
Chamber pictured during a debate by members of the 49th Parliament, 11 June 2011
A parliament publicity photograph from 1966. The Prime Minister, Keith Holyoake, addresses the House.
A select committee hearing in action during the 49th Parliament

The House of Representatives was created by the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 (effective 1853), an Act of the British Parliament, which established a bicameral legislature; however the upper chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1950.

Suicide squad (New Zealand)

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The "suicide squad" was the group of New Zealand Legislative Councillors appointed in 1950 by Prime Minister Sidney Holland tasked with voting the New Zealand Legislative Council out of existence.

The 1852 Constitution Act established the Provinces of New Zealand.

New Zealand Constitution Act 1852

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The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 (15 & 16 Vict.

The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 (15 & 16 Vict.

The 1852 Constitution Act established the Provinces of New Zealand.

The bicameral General Assembly (often referred to as Parliament, but not officially so called until 1986), consisting of the governor, a legislative council and a House of Representatives;

Prime Minister of New Zealand

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Head of government of New Zealand.

Head of government of New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern is sworn in as the 40th prime minister by the governor-general, Dame Patsy Reddy, 26 October 2017
The prime minister chairs meetings of Cabinet, where government policy is formulated.
Premier House in Wellington is the prime minister's residence.
Henry Sewell, regarded as New Zealand's first premier
Richard Seddon styled himself "Prime Minister" in 1901
The 37th and 38th prime ministers of New Zealand, pictured in 2009: John Key meets his predecessor, Helen Clark.

In 1893, the premier gained the ability to restrict the term of appointments to the Legislative Council.

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

The new parliamentary session is marked by the opening of parliament, during which the governor-general delivers the 'Speech from the Throne' in the Legislative Council Chamber, outlining the Government's legislative agenda.

Agnes Weston (politician)

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Agnes Louisa Weston (née Steuart, 18 January 1879 – 8 August 1972) from Wellington was appointed a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council on 22 June 1950.

Ethel Gould

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Ethel Marion Gould (née Hirst; 2 February 1895 – 9 March 1992) from Auckland was appointed a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council on 22 June 1950.

Cora Louisa Burrell

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National Party activist, on the Canterbury Division executive and a Dominion councillor.

National Party activist, on the Canterbury Division executive and a Dominion councillor.

She was appointed a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council on 22 June 1950, one of three woman members of the suicide squad appointed by the First National Government in 1950 to vote for its abolition.

First National Government of New Zealand

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The government of New Zealand from 1949 to 1957 formed by the National Party.

The government of New Zealand from 1949 to 1957 formed by the National Party.

1954 Cabinet with the Governor-General
Sidney Holland
Keith Holyoake

Abolished the Legislative Council (Upper House), thus making New Zealand's parliament unicameral; see Suicide squad.