parties in Parliament
Identifying party principles
What the parties stood for
Political party websites
New Zealand Labour party: policies which offer a better deal to ordinary people
Jim Anderton’s Progressive party: determination of those who have left their old societies to make a better life for themselves and their children in the new.
New Zealand National party: opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams
New Zealand First party: to put New Zealand and New Zealanders first
The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand: commits to the four Principles of Ecological Wisdom, Social Responsibility, Appropriate Decision-making, and Non-Violence
Maori party: driven by values that come from a Maori worldview, and believes strongly that such values are of benefit to all who call Aotearoa home
United Future party: guarantees New Zealand stable government and commonsense policies that benefit the New Zealand family
ACT party: Individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives
Cross party principle themes
The class of 2005
Labour “democracy and core human rights” advocacy
National’s liberal tradition
I believe in freedom
Dr Jonathan Coleman:
defined by its people, not by its Government
Dr Jackie Blue:
breast physician campaign
I stand against unrealistic expectations
anguish after the Pied Piper had lured all the children away
scorn political correctness, value self-reliance
I believe in less Government
to do Justice, love kindness and to walk humbly before my God
how important pastoral agriculture is to the economy
I promise my electorate that I will take the lead
for tax cuts which “send the right signals and incentives”
open debate about what direction we want our country to go
have the courage to confront and address the hard issues
look at issues that affect all of New Zealand, not just some
work together for a better New Zealand
Te Ururoa Flavell:
Maori efforts to be heard are not just in the past, but they are of the now
appalling health, education, housing, mortality and prison statistics
“But our vision
has been to rebuild the fairness, opportunity, and security our people
knew at that time, and to add to it the dynamism, the energy, the momentum,
and the excitement which goes with being a successful nation in the 21st
The Labour Party, formed in 1916, is the longest established political party in New Zealand. “During all that time Labour's vision of a more just society, where all may live in comfort and security, has remained unchanged” says the Party’s historical summary on its official website.
National Party principles are “I have the right to live my own life in my own way provided only that this does not interfere with the rights of others. I should be free to do so as I wish subject only to the rule of law” said National list MP Christopher Finlayson in his first speech in Parliament in 2005.
The 70th anniversary of the formation of the National Party is in 2006. “It is the true heir to the liberal and conservative traditions of New Zealand politics” said Christopher Finlayson, who has held most senior positions in the National Party apart from President.
In this search to identity what some call party principles, but which others describe with other language, DecisionMaker accentuates the information and interpretation of participants in the Parliamentary process.
A decade on two of the leaders remain the same (Helen Clark, Labour, Winston Peters, NZ First), two lead different political parties (Jim Anderton, Progressive, Peter Dunne, United Future), two other parties have new leaders (Don Brash, National, Rodney Hide, ACT) and two new parties (Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green co-leader, Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples, Maori Party co-leaders) have entered Parliament.
Experienced Parliamentarians, present and past, have insights some are willing to share. But this edition draws more heavily on positions taken by new MPs in their first speeches to Parliament in 2005 – they will help us anticipate the future.
We link to website which record party principles.
Under the proportional representation influence of MMP the opening positions of some parties become influences on the shared positions of some governments – as government arrangements respond to the electoral results.
Cabinet practice changed during MMP to allow a party in a coalition or other government arrangement to reflect collective responsibility on particular portfolios for which they have government roles, and to challenge other government policies, and to present their own “party brand” in anticipation of future elections.
We may look at perspectives on policies that illustrate how parties can disagree on some policies, and agree on others. When we review one party’s statement of principle against another, we may see what we want, or want for clarification. When the parties’ strategists see similarity and divergence, they may use the language, with its many meanings, to diverge or converge, depending on the then current political threats and opportunities.
Helen Clark gave
another insight to her view of Labour’s philosophy in past addresses
– such as to the Eighth Women’s Conference of the International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Melbourne, February 2003.
The National Party
seeks a safe, prosperous and successful New Zealand that creates opportunities
for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams.
Loyalty to our country, its democratic principles and our Sovereign as
Head of State
Charter is “the founding document of The Green Party of Aotearoa
MPs work to influence the ways their parties, and the Parliament, addresses policies, sometimes reactively, sometimes proactively. They are influenced by others in their caucuses, their parties, other parties in Parliament, and of course by the established positions expressed by their party leadership, which in turn reflects party history, and the environment in which politics play out. In the democratic process they are influenced by the electors, who over time, reject some electorate MPs and some on some party lists, and elevate others.
“These are fundamental aspects of democracy which are by no means experienced universally. They are rights and also privileges for which wars have been fought and lives have been lost. And the fight continues” she said.
“There are other just as significant yardsticks of a democratic society. One is the existence of strong trade unions, independent of employer or political patronage, and free to affiliate with political allies or not, as they see fit. Another is the existence of political parties, without which political organisation and expression are unfocussed and disparate at best and chaotic at worst. Some might consider that unfocussed political chaos happens anyway, but I am sure, from my own experience as the President of the Labour Party, that having political parties which come from strong philosophical and political traditions, such as the Labour Party does, provides citizens with something to vote for, or against, as they choose. Having such an organised expression of political commitment enhances the political process and allows citizens to participate intelligently and meaningfully in it.”
“Another yardstick of a democratic society is its treatment of minorities. This is not a new thought. It is a truism. But in recent times, it has taken on a new relevance in New Zealand. The shabby, slovenly thinking behind the detractors of what is pejoratively termed “political correctness” must be seen for the crass political opportunism that it is. Pushing people to the margins of our society and then despising them for being there, purportedly in the interests of the great ill-defined “mainstream”, serves our democracy badly. All New Zealanders would be much better served if mainstream society was seen for what it is: a loose conglomeration of varying interests, all seeking to move forward peacefully and profitably within the laws of the land to improve their lot, and the lot of others.
“The true measure of the democratic state however is not in its treatment of the majority but the respect, rights and opportunities it affords its minorities. If any are barred from opportunities by virtue of their gender, colour, race, religious tradition, sexuality, disability, trade union affiliation or political beliefs, then we are not a true democracy.
“If any are allowed to be excluded or despised by virtue of any of the characteristics I have just listed, then our democracy is less than it should be. This isn’t about a government telling people what to think. It is not about saying which jokes are permissible and which are not. This is about basic respect for others who may be different in some identifiable respect but who seek the same law-abiding, improving quality of life in this country that most people seek. A strong, self-confident democracy is one which recognises, embraces and values diversity. Only a cringing, unassertive democracy retains its power by excluding others and stripping them of their place in it.
“A pluralist society is stable because of its differences, not despite them. It is the very differences between people, working together peacefully and with respect for each other, which allow a society to remain strong and cohesive. If there is a recognised and valued place for everyone who is law-abiding, then everyone has a vested interest in ensuring that that society is maintained. If people have a stake in this society by virtue of having a job, by owning a home, or by raising their children here, they will have an interest in preserving its security and stability. The hallmarks of a society which excludes and marginalises people for whatever reason, are instability, disharmony, intolerance and violence. That is not the society I seek for our children” Maryan Street said.
conservative has a deep suspicion of the power of the State, prefers liberty
over equality, is patriotic, believes in established institutions and
hierarchies and is sceptical about the idea of progress” said Christopher
Finlayson, a man with substantial legal experience, including Treaty of
Allan Peachy also said:
"Freedom is always eroded under socialist rule. The Government has become more intrusive, more coercive, more meddlesome, AND less effective. It absorbs too much of New Zealanders’ income and hampers our economy with bureaucracy and restrictive tax rates. Most of our nation’s problems have their cause right here – in Wellington. Our capital has become the seat of a “nanny” system that functions for its own benefit – increasingly insensitive to the needs of New Zealanders who pay the taxes.
….".It troubles me that so many in this House persist in looking at the past instead of the future. They think of people as belonging primarily to a class or interest group, and not as individuals. They seek to explain the problems of our nation in terms of socio-economic background, or school decile rating, or class divisions that should not exist. In the 21st Century, knowledge and how that knowledge is used, will determine the success of the individual and of the nation. There can be no place for a mean-spirited and socialist ideology which subordinates the individual to the ill-defined greater good of the state. History will shame those who seek to impose the crushing mediocrity of collectivism on our communities."
…" I believe in hard work, I believe in individual responsibility, and I believe in freedom.
New Zealand needs leadership that offers:
* progress, not the
strangulation of initiative
"New Zealand needs leaders who share the values that makes ours a great way of life. It needs leadership that is independent of the forces which create our problems – this Labour Government, the Wellington bureaucracy, the interest groups, the trade unions and the petty self-serving arrangements arising from MMP - including the cynical grasp for the baubles of power by the leaders of minor parties.
"For New Zealand to move forward there is much that must change. So let us have leaders who share the New Zealand dream. Let us have leaders who cherish the ideals of freedom. Let us have leadership which stops the steady erosion of those institutions such as family, which form the foundations of our freedom and prosperity.
"Too many New Zealanders have grown up in families trapped by the State into welfare dependency and its accompanying bigotry of low expectations. No New Zealander can be truly free while they remain dependent on the welfare system for a livelihood. No New Zealander can be free as long as the Government keeps them trapped in the cycle of poverty and dependence that arises from being stranded in communities where state-provided housing is poor, where criminals are free on the streets and good New Zealanders are prisoners in their own homes, where the streets are crime-infested and too often the schools are struggling" Allan Peachey said.
National electorate MP for Northcote Dr Coleman, one of 13 medical doctors who have been New Zealand Parliamentarians and one of three in the National caucus in the 48th Parliament said in his maiden speech in 2005 “that the real New Zealand way is defined by its people, not by its Government.”
Dr Coleman, whose electorate is in Auckland, said “what binds the National Members of Parliament together is a belief that the culture that is at the very heart of National Party values is the key to New Zealand success in the 21st century. It is the National party way; it is the true New Zealand way.”
”The reason for the long term success of the National Party is that those very values which our party is founded on are the values which resonate down the generations with every New Zealander as a guide for progress in life both for the individual and the community.”
The value that he believed holds the key to our future, “is the belief in reward for competitive enterprise.
“National is the Party whose every policy can be explained in terms of underlying philosophy, and it is this strength and integrity of values which make me proud to be a Member of the National Party” Dr Coleman said.
”Results must prevail over dogma if New Zealand is to be worthy of a place as a leading Pacific Rim nation. We must analyse what is not currently working then set about finding the most practical and realistic solutions to serve our people's needs. Government should serve the people, not be their master” he said.
”While as a doctor there is no question that one can do many fine deeds to help individuals and communities, equally I have no doubt that it is through the political process that greater good for one's country might be achieved.
”I come here with no illusions about the realities of political life, but equally I remain confident that this is an arena in which humanity, if not always humility, might be expressed. For that is ultimately the purpose for which every member must surely enter this house; the betterment of one's fellow New Zealander. The philosophies may be different, but the purpose must surely be the same” Dr Coleman said.
National list MP
Tim Groser, a NZ international trade negotiator and then senior official
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade before entering Parliament
in 2005, said in his first speech to the House he has
National, Wairarapa electorate MP John Hayes, a former peace broker in the Bougainville crisis and then senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said in his first speech to the Parliament he was elected to in 2005:
“I stand against the unrealistic expectations of the United Nations committee on decolonisation who expect a community of 1500 people subsisting on three atolls 270 miles from Samoa to have the cash to afford their own government. The decolonization model followed by Niue, damaged that society and was a failure. We must not repeat the same mistakes. It is outrageous that the ten thousand Tokelauans living in New Zealand are to be excluded from this vote.”
Hayes also said:
“I am all for helping Niue but in doing so I am also thinking about a constituent who needs to find $90,000 because our government won’t meet the cost of the cancer drug she needs. I think too of the doors I knocked on while campaigning where I met older citizens wrapped in blankets because they could not afford to pay for electricity, or others without sleep and in pain because they had been waiting 18 months for a hip operation.”
He spoke directly to his former colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
“Before you engage in activity on the back of taxpaying citizens please look really carefully at the value being returned to the community. “
John Hayes’ “yardstick is a constituent in Kiripuni who earns $10.50 per hour. Think about how difficult it is to meet the costs of bringing up and educating a family, meeting the cost of accommodation and food, paying for holidays and providing for retirement on this sort of income. Poor incomes set the framework for social problems and we need to address them. “
National List MP Nicky Wagner, told Parliament in her first speech there in 2005 she hates the thought that New Zealand is the birthplace, the nurturer and the educator of a whole generation who may return that investment to another country. “Do you remember the anguish of the people of Hamlin after the Pied Piper had lured all the children away? We must not let that happen to New Zealand” she told the House of Representatives.
She was clear about a group of New Zealanders she wished to represent in Parliament. “These people are the self-employed and owner operators of small businesses employing less than 20 workers.”
She described them as “those 300,000 people who work enormously long hours, often in sub-standard conditions and cannot claim overtime, redundancy or maternity leave. Their jobs and their incomes are totally exposed to local and global economic shifts and their risks and responsibilities continue regardless of ill health, or misfortune. This group includes men and woman of all ages and all races. Many of these people are new immigrants, women with children, and people who have been made redundant. Many have low levels of education and all worry from day to day about their future and the future of those that depend on them” Nicky Wagner said.
New Zealand according to Nicky Wagner is “a wonderfully endowed, beautiful country but we need to look after it much better”.
“Strong families built this country but we the present generation are free riding on the efforts of those that have gone before us. We’re not looking after our elderly properly and we run the risk of losing the next generation to the more productive and faster growing to economies overseas. We’re too tough on those who are working hard to get ahead, especially the self employed and small business owner operators and there is no incentive for New Zealanders to invest in a smarter future as long as we are over-taxed and under-appreciated” she said.
“I believe that every New Zealander needs to take personal responsibility for their own and this country’s future because no organisation, and certainly no government can be flexible enough to manage a world where change is the only constant, and the unexpected is the norm.
“But all is not lost. Just as our ancestors, each and every one of them, took up the challenge of building a better country for future generations so can we. I’m keen……but we better get cracking! “Nicky Wagner told Parliament.
Jo Goodhew, National MP for the Southern South Island Aoraki electorate said in her 2005 maiden speech “Our children deserve to be represented by politicians who are not here solely for the “technology of power and manipulation”. This was Vaclav Havel’s description of undesirable politics she said.
“These children deserve to be represented by New Zealanders who have had to juggle work and family, who scorn political correctness, who value self-reliance and believe that working hard should bring personal benefits, not increased taxation.”
“This I guess, is why I embrace the National Party philosophy enunciated by Don Brash in the campaign - it works. That is why I believe in less Government, and find the move towards more regulation and more proposals for distribution of wealth by stealth, stifling, and counter-productive to a region's well-being” Chris Auchinvole said.
He unashamedly “supports
the National Party philosophies espoused by John Key”.
to do Justice, love kindness and to walk humbly before my God
His parents “believed, as I did for thirty years, that the Social Gospel of our Christian Faith was best reflected politically in the policies of the Labour Party.
“My decision to join the National Party though was initially in response to the then Labour government removing the PEP Scheme, the then Work For the Dole scheme of the late 1980s.
The Minister of Labour decided to stop trying to provide work for the unemployed because of the cost of administration - I saw this as an abdication of social responsibility
Fonterra is New Zealand’s number one company. It is also the world’s leading exporter of dairy products and is ranked among the top 10 dairy companies in the world. We should celebrate this, not ‘knock it’.
Nathan Guy said he would “push hard for increased funding into pastoral research and development, and innovation.”
for tax cuts which “send the right signals and incentives”
He said New Zealanders are struggling under an oppressive tax regime that is sending the wrong signals.
“We should be encouraging a strong work ethic. This enhances self-esteem and brings respect for others. We need to give trust and choice back to the people and not to some government redistribution policy.
“We also need to replace the culture of welfare dependency with the path of personal responsibility.
“The state must ensure that we empower people not entrap them into dependence. For at some point the entrapment will no longer be sustainable and the pain of transition will be greater than at the point of entry” David Bennett said.
“We need to
support and celebrate success. We need an environment that provides the
opportunities to achieve.”
List MP Paula Bennett,
one of the National Party’s part European, part Maori members said
in her first speech to Parliament in 2005 that it is not individual pieces
of legislation that have been passed recently that she rallies against.
“It is the fact that this House of Representatives does not lead
the discussion by encouraging open debate about what direction we want
our country to go in” she said.
He also said Governments should listen carefully to taxpayers views on tax.
”The bigger the Government the harder those workers in the private sector have to work to counter the weight of the state. Even for our economy to stand still, the private sector has to continue to grow” he said.
“The delivery mechanisms for all state assistance need to be examined. This is not hard to achieve. Like so many issues facing New Zealand, the solution will be found if our political leaders have the courage to confront and address the hard issues” Craig Foss told Parliament.
“The dependency drug pushed into Maori by Labour and paid for by their votes, is killing an entire race. That the Maori Party has emerged and flourished under a Labour Government must be the final proof required that the Welfare State, in its present form, has failed” Craig Foss said..
“On the Marae at Waimarama I feel the energy, love, and perhaps a life force that is feeding my need to understand so much more.
As I am asked, and begin to recognise and acknowledge the place that Maori have in our culture, I ask in return that Maori recognise that I am also rooted into and anchored to this great land. This is my home” Craid Foss said.
She invited him and his party “to see what life is like for us in the Deep South, where our population is mostly Pakeha, and where our Chinese gold mining pioneers are also a significant part of our Southern Heritage”.
”I look forward to working with you, and look at issues that affect all of New Zealand, not just some. I am here for Otago, and all of New Zealand. Can you meet THAT challenge?” she said.
Dr Pita Sharples, co-leader, Maori Party and electorate MP for Tamaki Makaurau Electorate choose to talk in his first speech in Parliament in 2005 about beliefs expressed by MP’s, which have served to promote a negative stereotype about Maori and about Maori culture within the community. He did so to clear the air “that we may build strong relationships in this house to work together for a better New Zealand”.
“It is common knowledge that Maori do not enjoy the same socio-economic and educational benefits as non-Maori in this, their country of origin. It strikes me as somewhat amazing, that half the country and probably half of this house, actually believe that Maori are the privileged group within our society. Cries of racial funding, gravy train, special courses, are constant within these walls, and eagerly published by every arm of the media to promote a negative stereotype of Maori.
“If Maori are the privileged group, why in my electorate are Maori not living in prime locations like Kohimarama, St. Heliers, Mission Bay, or conversely, why are Maori concentrated inland in state housing sectors? Does privilege mean we Maori dominate certain illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, glue ear and others? And that we die ten years earlier than Pakeha? Or is our real privilege to be revealed by this countries disgusting incarceration figures? I say disgusting because in 1980, 1 in 1000 New Zealander’s were in jail. In the early 90’s, 1 in 800 were in jail. But today there are 6,961 people in jail. 1 in 570 New Zealander are in jail. But for Maori, the privileged group, 1 in 180 persons are in jail with a total of 3481 Maori inmates.
“And I ask
this House, why are Maori being promoted so negatively by politicians,
the media, and consequently by non-thinking and redneck New Zealanders?
How can that be good for our future? Why were Maori used as a political
football in this past election campaign? Criticism of Maori cultural icons
such as the Powhiri, the Poroporoaki, Te Reo Maori, Waiata Maori, were
all prominent in election campaign speeches. In fact, the negative attacks
were so common, one might say that it is becoming too PC to continue them”
Dr Sharples said.
Te Ururoa Flavel
told Parliament he had been elected “because our people have used
every possible avenue to express our reality and live as Maori. A simple
request? Obviously not!!!”.
appalling health, education, housing, mortality and prison statistics
Hone Harawira told the reporter “that if, after 150 years of being governed in the manner that we are, our customary rights, and in terms of the denial of judicial process, even our basic human rights can be denied, then hell yes, I must be a separatist, for only a fool could allow such destruction to go unchallenged”.
Hone Harawira told Parliament he was not there “to validate a parliamentary process that denies my people the opportunities they deserve”.
“And as a Maori, I was forced to endure the National Party bashing Maori to get votes. I cringe at the thought that in the 21st century, anyone can be so callous in their disregard for the rights of Maori that they would seek to betray our citizenship to get into power” he said.
By Anthony Haas, Asia Pacific Economic News Bureau, Press Gallery, Parliament.
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne, representing three United Future MPs, sits next to the main governing party, Labour, reflecting United Future's agreement with Labour to support it on confidence and supply votes, whilst still leaving it free, as it has done in the past, to work with other parties (e.g. National) who may win a majority of the votes in general election. Peter Dunne and Winston Peters are in front row seats. Parliament's Standing orders provide for leaders to have front row seats - and also note that leader priviledges are for those who have six MPs. Lesser priviledges were applied, for example, when Peter Dunne was granted only ten minutes speaking time in the November 2005 Address in Reply - whilst the leaders of partes with more than six MPs were allocated 20 minutes.
New Zealand First deputy Leader and Whip Peter Brown sits between Peter Dunne and Foreign Minister Winston Peters. This seating may be interpreted as a statement of NZ First independence from the Labour led government NZ First pledged in 2005 to support on confidence and supply - but not on policies not covered by their agreement.
The Green Party sits on the Opposition side of the cross benches, next to the Maori Party, and next to them, the ACT Party. The Green Party location reflects their 2005 agreement with the Labour Party led government to abstain on confidence and supply votes, and their willingness to work with the government on individual pieces of legislation.
The seating of MPs within their party groupings reflects the ranking with their caucus. Those members with the more senior portfolios, or party role such as party whip, are allocated seats in or near the front row. The front row is a prime position for speaking and responding to questions and is closer to the party leader. Some seating reflects functional realities - e.g. the Leader of the House is nearer to the Speaker, and the Whip (whose role includes implementation of the strategies of the leadership) may sit just behind the leader. Some seating reflects how close an mp is to the seat of power.
Modern parties may diverge from some of these conventions - e.g the Maori Party's initial seating plan provided for the co-leaders, Taria Turia and Pita Sharples to have interchangeable seating, one in front, and in the second row.
Find out exactly where each MP sits in Parliament's Debating Find chamber.
Find out what MPs say in Parliament http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/hansard/Hansard.aspx The current Hansard website publishes Advance transcripts of New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) as they become available, usually within 2-4 working days after debate in the House of Representatives. After corrections have been made, a Final transcript replaces the Advance.
Under Section 27 of the Copyright Act 1994, no copyright exists on New Zealand Parliamentary Debates. They can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission being sought.
Hansard 2003-2005 is available in a browsable HTML version, and in a PDF printable Acrobat file You can also see lists of Hansard by year 2003 2004 2005
Sessional Index 2002 - 2005 (PDF) is the index of Parliamentary
Debates for the 47th Parliament, from 26 August 2002 to 2 August 2005.
(Please note that that file is 2MB in size, so may take a while to download
over a slow connection) .
"Questions for Oral Answer ":
out more about Parliament from other publications from the Office
of the Clerk of Parliament.
Photo: Lindsay Haas
Parties compete for voter support to enter Parliament, and the majority in Parliament decide who gets to form the government of the day
Helen Clark "a woman leader of a social democratic party" meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula de Silva, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, and Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-Chen at the February 2006 Progressive Governance Leaders' Summit in South Africa