Story: Constitution

Prime Minister Thomas MacKenzie and cabinet, 1912

Prime Minister Thomas MacKenzie and cabinet, 1912

The convention of collective cabinet responsibility is significant for the stability of a government – if the House of Representatives loses confidence in cabinet, and therefore the government, it can dissolve the government if a vote of no confidence is passed.

Thomas MacKenzie (centre, front row) became the prime minister of New Zealand in March 1912 after the previous leader of the ruling Liberal party, Joseph Ward, resigned in the wake of the December 1911 election, which produced an inconclusive result. Ward's government only won the confidence vote in Parliament, which was held to decide the government, on the speaker of the house's casting vote. MacKenzie was no more successful – his caretaker government was thrown out after a second, successful, no confidence vote in July 1912.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, New Zealand Railways Collection (PAColl-5167)
Reference: 1/2-029364-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Matthew Palmer, 'Constitution - Executive and legislature', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/35885/prime-minister-thomas-mackenzie-and-cabinet-1912 (accessed 12 December 2019)

Story by Matthew Palmer, published 20 Jun 2012