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 consultations and submissions, is one demonstration of this power. In 2011 the government passed the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Bill under urgency. The bill was passed in three days.

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How to cite this page:

Matthew Palmer, 'Constitution - Representative democracy and Parliament', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/35918/power-of-parliament (accessed 16 October 2019)

Story by Matthew Palmer, published 20 Jun 2012