Fcom111 Government Essay

Topics: Law, New Zealand, Constitutional monarchy Pages: 5 (1629 words) Published: January 31, 2013
New Zealand is a country with a very special legal system. The New Zealand constitution is made of both legal documents: the laws that are written in document and others are unwritten laws- conventions. “In 1982, the Supreme court of Canada summarized the constitutional position in that country is an equation: constitutional conventions plus constitutional law equal the total constitution of the country”. (Keith, 2001) This equation is very true, and can be fitted in the condition of New Zealand’s constitution very well. It included both legal and conventions in this equation, and they are exactly what New Zealand’s constitution is made of. Firstly, this essay will smmarise New Zealand`s current constitutional arrangement; Then, talk about New Zealand changes to a republic country is desirable and New Zealand`s fixible constitution should be rigid; Finally, give some suggestions to encourage New Zealanders activly engage with the constitutional review process.

New Zealand current constitutional arrangement
“The constitution of a nation is the set of rules that govern how a government can exercise public power. A constitution identifies who or what institutions should exercise power and how they should do it. The government is usually the most powerful coercive force within a country, so the rules about how a government should exercise power are very important.” (Palmer, 2012) New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy and it has a Westminster system of Government that is modelled after the government of the United Kingdom. This establishes that New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its sovereign and official head of state, represented by the Governor-General of New Zealand. The position is merely symbolic as the Queen has little power to affect the politics of New Zealand. The key thing to note about New Zealand's constitutional arrangement is that there is no 'written' constitution in the same sense as other countries such as the US. New Zealand's constitution is founded upon several statutes, such as the Electoral Act 1993 and the Constitution Act 1986. There is no higher law which prescribes limits on the law making power of parliament. Otherwise, The Treaty of Waitangi plays an important role in elements of the constitution. The Treaty contains two key concepts: one is balancing the respective interests of Maori and the Crown; another one is expressing an ongoing relationship between Maori and the Crown. The Treaty is a vital basis of the New Zealand Government`s moral and political claim to legitimacy in governing the country(Shaw & eichbaum,2008). As such, the New Zealand parliament can create any law it sees fit and the Supreme Court of New Zealand has no authority to invalidate a law that has been passed in the appropriate manner and form. Executive, legislature and judiciary are the three branches of the government system and the constitution usually specify the respective roles of each and relationship between them. The only thing parliament is accountable to is the elections every four years. According to the current New Zealand constitutional arrangement (the monarchy), need New Zealand to become a republic country?

New Zealand as republic
In theory, first of all, the role of the monarch, is the symbol of the colonial era, the New Zealand modern political system has no real meaning. Although the 1986 constitution confirm bill queen Elizabeth ii for New Zealand's head of state, but for years she seldom visit New Zealand, never overseas representatives in New Zealand. Under the current system, she as New Zealand heads of state is made by her responsibilities and is representative of the New Zealand to exercise-the governor, and the governor appointed her to the New Zealand prime minister and need according to the suggestion. Secondly, the monarchy and the basic principles of democratic politics are conflict. New Zealand political system is a fundamental...
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