Story: Constitution

Power of Parliament

Parliament has the power to make or unmake any law. Because New Zealand has one Parliament and is not federated (divided into separate states), and because the judiciary cannot strike down any laws Parliament makes, parliamentary sovereignty is stronger in New Zealand than in any other Westminster democracy. This means that the governing party led by the cabinet is very powerful. Passing laws under urgency, and foregoing the usual process of public consultation and submissions, is one demonstration of this power. In 2010 the government passed the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Bill under urgency in just three days.

Using this item

Parliament On Demand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Matthew Palmer, 'Constitution - Representative democracy and Parliament', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 April 2024)

Story by Matthew Palmer, published 20 Jun 2012