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Guide to 2008 NZ Election
Archived NZ Parlt 2005-08
Archived NZ Parlt 2002-05
Our Parliament House
International perspectives on democracy
Electing Parliament
General-election results
Parliamentary parties
NZ First
United Future
Forming the government
Composition of Parliament
The role of the Speaker
Who drafts the laws?
How laws are made
How a bill becomes an act
The Office of the Clerk
Parliamentary Service
MP's pay
A Labour example - Darren Hughes
A National example -
John Key
Select committees
Select commitee members
Petitioning Parliament
Visiting Parliament
Opinion polls
Parliamentary history
The New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust



Political parties in Parliament
– what they and MPs elected in 2005 represent

Labour and National
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
Maryan Street:
Labour “democracy and core human rights” advocacy
Christopher Finlayson:
National’s liberal tradition
Allan Peachy:
I believe in freedom
Dr Jonathan Coleman:
defined by its people, not by its Government
Dr Jackie Blue:
breast physician campaign
Tim Groser:
prioritises excellence
John Hayes:
I stand against unrealistic expectations
Nicky Wagner:
anguish after the Pied Piper had lured all the children away
Jo Goodhew:
scorn political correctness, value self-reliance
Chris Auchinvole:
I believe in less Government
Chester Borrows:
to do Justice, love kindness and to walk humbly before my God
Nathan Guy:
how important pastoral agriculture is to the economy
Colin King:
I promise my electorate that I will take the lead
David Bennett:
for tax cuts which “send the right signals and incentives”
Paula Bennett:
open debate about what direction we want our country to go
Craig Foss:
have the courage to confront and address the hard issues
Jacqui Dean:
look at issues that affect all of New Zealand, not just some
Pita Sharples:
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
Hone Harawira:
appalling health, education, housing, mortality and prison statistics

Seating in Parliament's Debating chambe

Labour and National

In her New Zealand General-Election Campaign opening, August 2005, Helen Clark, who has described herself elsewhere as a woman leader of a social democratic party, said we cannot and would not want to re-create the New Zealand of the late 1930s to the 1960s.

“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 century.”

DecisionMaker has highlighted ideas from her government, and from MPs elected in 2005, on vision and national identity.

Labour Party principles say “at the core of democracy are human rights which have, at least in our country, become inalienable” said Labour list MP and former Party President Maryan Street in her first speech in Parliament in 2005.

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.

Identifying party principles

This DecisionMaker briefing on political party principles responds to the question from those teaching students about the foundations of New Zealand politics about the differences between political parties.

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.

The 1997 print edition of DecisionMaker published the then party leaders views on “What the parties stand for”.

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.

Political party websites

What do visits to political party websites show? At the end of 2005 DecisionMaker looked at the site for each registered political party in Parliament – readers are encouraged to make their own site visits, and, they may find parties have changed their content as policy issues unfold. Print publications, including party constitutions, are of course further sources that may record what parties stand for.

New Zealand Labour party:
offer a better deal to ordinary people

The Labour party website includes brief commitments from leader Helen Clark, and the 2005 manifesto, “containing all of the 2005 policies”, indexed, in 218 pages, with summaries, and earlier policies. It does not include an integrated vision – such may be found in comments from the party leader. Helen Clark refers to key values that underpin Labour. In 1997 Helen Clark said in DecisionMaker “Labour’s vision for New Zealand is summed up in our 1996 election slogan: New Heart, New Hope, New Zealand.”
She continued: “Put simply, we will promote policies which offer a better deal to ordinary people.”

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.

“I am a woman leader of a social democratic party which leads a government. That combination of factors is hard to find anywhere else in the world at this time. So I come to offer you my personal encouragement. The issues the conference will discuss are important to me and my government. We share your concern about the need to globalise equality and justice; to build inclusive societies; to fight all forms of discrimination; and to work for a more peaceful world.”

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."

Jim Anderton said in 2003 that the genuine 'progressive left' in New Zealand politics “corresponds to some real historical and contemporary experiences of our society and its communities since its establishment as a colonial outpost of Europe in the mid nineteenth century”

He said wanting to implement these agendas in one form or another is what it means to be 'on the progressive left' in New Zealand.

Jim Anderton, leader of the Progressive Party and the only MP in coalition with Labour during the third Clark Government elected in 2005, left his account of what is progressive on his website
He also listed Progressive Party ambitions
* Full employment
* Free education and health care
* Support for families and those in need, leaving no one behind
* Strong, safe communities
* Investment in New Zealand
and accentuated current campaigns.
Click here for Progressive party policy

In “What is Progressive” Jim Anderton wrote:
“The settlers who came here in increasing numbers throughout that century (the 1800s) brought a radical dissenting and reforming tradition with them. Many of them were Chartists, those who had been part of the movement for reform in nineteenth century Britain.
These included many reforms we now take for granted such as Parliaments which meet regularly, one citizen one vote, education for all, the secret ballot in elections, and legislation to provide for democratic trade unions, among other things.

By the turn of the nineteenth century those reforms had been mostly achieved and we had forged an egalitarian and democratic society that writers and political commentators such as Sydney and Beatrice Webb came from afar to marvel at.

There was always a strand within that broad political culture of a strong tradition of centralised community/ political initiatives which saw the growth of a mixed economy and a clear role for the state to improve the quality of life of its citizens. This owed something, although not exclusively, to the socialism which was in vogue among European radicals at the time.

But it owed far more to the pioneering traditions of community co-operation which is common to immigrant societies as they develop, and to the sense of justice and equity which grows out of the determination of those who have left their old societies to make a better life for themselves and their children in the new. This is where the real origins of the 'progressive' left in New Zealand are to be found.

By the mid twentieth century this had produced in New Zealand two major reforming governments. The Liberals in the two decades prior to the First World War, and Labour from the Depression to the end of the Second World War. These governments of the centre left had developed a political agenda which is now central to the values of many New Zealanders.
Its emphasis was on the need for a comprehensive welfare system to get people through those ups and downs in their lives that are not of their doing – illness, unemployment, accidents and old age. To help them in making their way in life and taking advantage of their opportunities – education, decent housing, and a clean environment. And above all, the chance to work within a strategic framework of full employment underwriting all the rest.”

Jim Anderton, in his article on what is Progressive also said “But there has been a strategic price to pay in the sense that the pursuit of single issues cultivated a frame of mind on the part of 'the left' which never paused to ask what all of this added up to. There was no overall plan of approach, just a series of things to achieve and no way to measure the extent of that achievement because no-one seemed to be thinking about the direction in which it was all headed.”

He says “There's nothing dramatic or spectacular about the exercise of political power and influence in a parliamentary democracy. It's simply a matter of sitting at the table and pressing for change small step by small step. This, in its turn, means having a clear strategic sense of where you are going.”

New Zealand National party:
opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams

The National Party website includes a statement on National’s vision for New Zealand. It says:

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.
We believe this will be achieved by building a society based on the following values:

•   Loyalty to our country, its democratic principles and our Sovereign as Head of State
•   National and personal security
•   Equal citizenship and equal opportunity
•   Individual freedom and choice
•   Personal responsibility
•   Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement
•   Limited government
•   Strong families and caring communities
•   Sustainable development of our environment.

New Zealand First party:
to put New Zealand and New Zealanders first

The New Zealand First party website includes 15 principles, the first being “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

The Green Charter is “the founding document of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand”.
The Green Party accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the four Principles of Ecological Wisdom, Social Responsibility, Appropriate Decision-making, and Non-Violence.
The Greens grouped all 2005 NZ Green policies into four campaign themes: A Cleaner Environment | A Fairer Society | Safe, Sustainable Energy | Healthy Food, Healthy People. The site includes the A to Z list of full policy documents, and the Policy site map with available resources for each policy.

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

The Maori Party says in its section on aims, that the party “is driven by values that come from a Maori worldview, and believes strongly that such values are of benefit to all who call Aotearoa home. The values centre around building relationships between Maori and the Crown, between communities, and in so doing, provide a rich basis for development for the nation.” The document Te Tahuhu Herenga Kaupapa contains the collection of principles from which policy is derived.

The Party says it will remain true to its belief that the kaupapa set out in its constitution are its point of difference from other political parties.  The Party operates on the basis that:

People are its priority (hence the importance given to whaanau)

People cannot be supported without reference to the nation’s constitutional blueprint (hence the attention to Te Tiriti o Waitangi)

People and Te Tiriti o Waitangi are pre-requisites for genuine progress (hence the regard for the economy)
The policy approach
* Kaupapa driven not portfolio driven;
* Maori models not just western ones;
* Top of the cliff not the bottom;
* Positive strengths not negative dysfunction;
* Inventive not conventional;
* Equity based not equality based;
* Investment not expenditure focussed;
* Self determining not dependent.
The Maori party’s policy framework is based on nine kaupapa (values) from which are derived the tikanga or policies, operating procedures and organisational structures.

United Future party:
guarantees New Zealand stable government and commonsense policies that benefit the New Zealand family

The United Future party website says it is “the party that guarantees New Zealand stable government and commonsense policies that benefit the New Zealand family”. It spells out policies for United Future, working with the Outdoor Recreation party.

ACT party:
Individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives

ACT party principles are
* Individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent freedoms and responsibilities.
* The proper purpose of government is to protect such freedoms and not to assume such responsibilities.
Its website lists policies, and leads to pages with fuller detail.

Cross party principle themes

Party principle themes evident amongst parties elected to New Zealand’s 48th Parliament in 2005 include:
o The Labour and National parties are New Zealand’s longest established political parties
o The formation of other parties in Parliament owes much to MPs who left the long established parties
o Progressive party leader Jim Anderton, United Future party leader Peter Dunne, Maori Party leader Tariana Turia are all former Labour MPs
o Act Party leader Rodney Hide campaigned to support a National Party government; the two Act leaders who proceeded him, Richard Prebble and Sir Roger Douglas were former Labour MPs
o NZ First party leader Winston Peters was a National MP
o Green Party former co-leader Rod Donald was a Labour Party member
o New Zealand Parliamentarians put more evident emphasis on issues and policies rather that fully worked statements of political principle
o Some MPs define their party principles in terms of what they are for, and what they are against
o Some MPs define their positions in terms of short term, and longer term policies
o Some MPs support other parties on some issues
o Some MPs emphasise particular groups they represent
o MPs have varied success rates in selling their principles and policies to their caucuses
o Opinion polling, and strategic judgment, influence at least the presentation of principles and policies
o The values, judgments and opportunities facing party leaders sharpens the expression and application of party principles
o The MMP system affects the ways parties advocate their principles and policies – positions are modified to take account of the positions of others
o MMP has transferred the contest of ideas out of a few party caucuses to a contest in public between more party caucus representatives
o Some MPs are very positive about MMP, some have converted to it, and some new MPs are amongst the doubters
o MPS who tend to disagree on principles tend to speak respectfully of the individual worth of their opponents
o As New Zealand’s national identities evolve, the emphasis in the principles and the policies change.

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.

The class of 2005

The MPs elected in 2005 will inevitably have an impact on principles, policies and positions struck in and by Parliament. Their maiden speeches are from a level playing field. As the poppies participate, so parties are likely to change.

Labour “democracy and core human rights” advocacy

Labour list MP Maryan Street said in her first speech to Parliament that democracy and its core human rights “are the right to participate in elections, extended uniquely to women in New Zealand before any other self-governing nation in the world; the right to freedom of expression; the right to be treated equally before the law; the right of the media to operate without interference and political coercion.”

“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.

Christopher Finlayson : National’s liberal tradition

National list MP Christopher Finlayson, now shadow Attorney-General, recalled the 1947 maiden speech former National Party Prime Minister Sir John Marshall gave as MP for the then Wellington seat of Mt Victoria. In that speech Sir John outlined his adherence to the principles of liberalism and the liberal tradition. Almost 60 years later, that speech reads very well and the principles which Sir John outlined are still relevant to the National Party today said Christopher Finlayson in his maiden speech in 2005.

“The classic 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 Waitangi settlements.

“The National Party takes the best of liberalism and conservatism. So, for example, a classical conservative government would not have pursued the Treaty settlement policy advanced by the Bolger Administration in the 1990’s. That great work was liberal-conservatism in action. As Benjamin Disraeli once said, his ideal government would be made up of Tory politicians and Whig policies.

“Some contend that conservatism and liberalism are unhappy partners and that today the Labour Party is really the natural home of the liberal. I disagree. The Labour Party’s philosophy is in fact opposed to liberalism” he said.

His maiden speech considers practical application of liberal conservative principles to what he thinks are some of the issues facing New Zealand in the early years of the 21st Century.

Allan Peachy: I believe in freedom

Allan Peachy, National MP for the Auckland electorate of Tamaki, and educator, told Parliament in opening his first speech there in 2005: "I believe in freedom, in the freedom of every New Zealander, regardless of where they were born, or how they were brought up, or what sort of house and community they lived in, to be the very best that they can be."

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
* truth instead of promises that go unkept behind the excuse of MMP
* hope and optimism, not defeatism and mean-spiritedness.

"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.

Dr Jonathan Coleman: defined by its people, not by its Government

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.

Dr Jackie Blue, National: breast physician campaign

National list MP Dr Blue was New Zealand's first breast physician before entering Parliament in 2005 – and in her maiden speech made it clear she would campaign for that branch of medicine.

Tim Groser, prioritises excellence

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
o an agenda that prioritises excellence, not acceptance of mediocrity, in our schools.

He is
o about removing the more obvious impediments that hold back our workforce and our companies in their endeavors to create the next phase of wealth creation.

John Hayes: I stand against unrealistic expectations

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. “

Nicky Wagner: anguish after the Pied Piper had lured all the children away

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: scorn political correctness, value self-reliance

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.”

Chris Auchinvole: I believe in less Government
“Benjamin Disraeli, known as the father of Conservatism, aptly said "The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own." In his 2005 maiden speech National list MP Chris Auchinvole, quoted Disraeli.

“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”.

Chester Borrows: to do Justice, love kindness and to walk humbly before my God

Chester Borrows, National electorate MP for Whanganui wanted to enter Parliament because he thought he could make a difference. “My inspiration comes from a passage of scripture outlining the requirements of my chosen faith, “….”

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

Nathan Guy: how important pastoral agriculture is to the economy.

List MP Nathan Guy, National, said in his 2005 maiden speech he support Fonterra Chairman Henry van der Heyden’ view that “ the message still hasn’t got across to urban New Zealanders and the Government how important pastoral agriculture is to the economy.

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.”

Colin King: I promise my electorate that I will take the lead

National Kaikoura electorate MP Colin King said in his 2005 maiden speech “we need to be goal setters and achievers. I promise my electorate that I will take the lead. I will set the example in setting and achieving goals within key areas of public interest—issues of national importance such as health, education, care of the elderly, fairer allocation of spending on infrastructure, reward for personal endeavour, and the care of the environment. Those issues will be addressed in the local context for the benefit of the whole electorate.”

David Bennett: for tax cuts which “send the right signals and incentives”

National, Hamilton East electorate MP David Bennett, called for tax cuts which “send the right signals and incentives” in his 2005 maiden speech.

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.”

Paula Bennett: open debate about what direction we want our country to go in

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.

“With women at record levels in tertiary education and in many ways outdoing the boys academically, we seem to have come so far but there are now questions that we need to ask. I want to be part of a government that opens for discussion the type of society that we want to be in the future and the role that the family plays in modern New Zealand society” she said.

“The values that I hold true to of self responsibility, hard work and reward for effort made it an easy decision to join the National Party. With unemployment levels at their lowest in many years, we should also be seeing reduced numbers of those receiving welfare. But we are not. The number of people receiving benefits is still way too high and the cost to taxpayers is huge. The financial costs are not what should concern us the most. Our concern should lie with what it is doing to our culture, and the lack of aspiration and self esteem many beneficiaries feel” said Paula Bennett.

Craig Foss: have the courage to confront and address the hard issues

Craig Foss, the National MP elected in 2005 for the Hawkes Bay electorate of Tukituki said in his maiden speech he was “fearful but vigilant of being beaten down by the faceless grey bureaucratic machine that, it has been whispered, really run the country”.

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.

Jacqui Dean: look at issues that affect all of New Zealand, not just some

Jacqui Dean, elected as National MP for Otago in 2005, responded in her maiden speech to Maori Party leader Dr Pita Sharples’ “passionate challenge to Parliament to work with your party, in an open and constructive way.” I accept your challenge” she said, and challenged him “to look at a part of New Zealand that is very different from your own”.

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.

Pita Sharples: work together for a better New Zealand

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 Flavell: Maori efforts to be heard are not just in the past, but they are of the now

Maori now have a Party that can raise these issues without fear of compromising their party loyalty Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell told Parliament in his first speech in the House. The Waiariki electorate MP said “there are many issues that have not been raised before.  I hope to have the opportunity to raise them.  I would do so not to put Maori ahead of any one else, but simply to ensure that the issues of justice and fair play are exposed and debated, freely and openly by us all.  I believe it is only in that way that we will develop that true understanding of our respective traditions and values that will enable us to move forward as a united people, sharing common goals.”

In his first speech in Parliament in 2005 Te Ururoa Flavell acknowledged Judge Heta Hingston as one who encouraged him to stand for Parliament, and said “It was he who agreed that Maori could follow a process in law in this country to determine an ownership right over the Foreshore and Seabed.”

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!!!”.

The fact that the Maori Party is here because of a protest by Tariana Turia and a hikoi of 40,000 New Zealanders tells us that Maori efforts to be heard are not just in the past, but they are of the now Te Ururoa Flavell said.

His goal in Parliament “is to advance the interests of all New Zealanders in building a society in which all can live in harmony, not in spite of the Maori presence, but because of it. 

“And it is because of this that we believe our connections across and between the distinctive cultural communities of Aotearoa are what binds us together. 

“Take for instance the concept of manaakitanga.  Through manaakitanga, we seek to ensure that the relationships we cultivate and maintain, must be elevating and enhancing for all parties.

“Manaakitanga is about recognising the aspirations of all people to nurture the essence of who they are.

“This is a profoundly different approach to the politics of parliament. 

“I believe wholeheartedly that this country will grow, not through denying cultural difference, but through acknowledging it, and building on diversity as a positive way of improving our collective performance.   All that is required is mutual respect and understanding.  I come to this House to present a Maori perspective, not to put Maori ahead of others, but to help us to stand alongside each other. 

“To do so, I must first respect the contributions of others.  I acknowledge the work of the Labour Party, and recall in particular the contribution of the late Matiu Rata, in promoting much needed reforms in the administration of Maori land and in making a place for the Treaty of Waitangi in law.  I pay tribute to the many of the National Party who were responsible for the first major settlements of the Treaty of Waitangi claims albeit under a fiscal constraint. 
“I appreciate the response of the Act party, in the foreshore debate.  As they could see, the issue was not about access to the beach.  The issue was about access to the Courts to establish and protect such property interests as may be proven by legal process. 

“I acknowledge as well, the presence of the Honourable Winston Peters in this House. If there is one thing our people do admire, it is a fighter. He has provided his support for genuine Maori initiatives.

“We respect greatly the Green Party in recognising the interests of the indigenous people in environmental maintenance.  That recognition is universal today, as is evident in the proceedings of a number of meetings under the banner of the United Nations, but in New Zealand, the Green Party has helped to keep us in line with international expectations.

“Nonetheless, time has proven that Maori must have a truly independent voice in this House if the issues that affect us are to be raised and our rights are to be respected.  It is still the case that those rights are frequently overlooked and that some old colonial attitudes continue to constrain Maori in the management and development of their own affairs. 

Those rights are not hard to identify.  They are set out in the Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” Te Ururoa Flavell said. 

Hone Harawira: appalling health, education, housing, mortality and prison statistics

Hone Harawira, Maori Party electorate MP for Te Tai Tokerau, told Parliament in his first speech to it “when a reporter asked me if I thought that the Maori Party was separatist, I said that if unity meant a continuation of the appalling health, education, housing, mortality and prison statistics that Maori face, then hell yes, I must be a separatist”.

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.

Seating in Parliament's Debating chamber

Eight political parties were elected in September 2005 to New Zealand's 48th Parliament. The seating plan reflects the parties' relationship to each other.

The main Government party sits to the right hand of the Speaker, and the main Opposition party, led by National party leader Don Brash, sits to the Speaker's left. Coalition member, the Progressive Party leader and sole Progressive member Jim Anderton, sits on the front row of the Government benches, next to Prime Minister Helen Clark.

In this Parliament, elected under the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system, Support and Opposition parties sit in the cross benches (the curved area facing the Speaker) in places broadly reflecting their relationship to the main Government or Opposition parties.

A new feature of the MMP system in the 48th Parliament is the seating of two Ministers, Leader of United Future Peter Dunne and Leader of NZ First Winston Peters, on the cross benches from which they may speak for or against government policies other than those on which they agreed, in the government formation negotiations, to accept collective responsibility as ministers.

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 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

The 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) .

Hansard 1987-2005 at the Knowledge Basket includes a search function. Please note that the Knowledge Basket Hansard database is restricted to subscribers.

Parliamentary "Questions for Oral Answer ":
Uncorrected daily transcripts can be found at:

Find out more about Parliament from other publications from the Office of the Clerk of Parliament.

Updated 22 November 2005


Parliament buildings

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 with social democratic leaders at Progressive Governance meeting 2006

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