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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
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The New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust



Composition of 2005 New Zealand Parliament

MPs elected by party, comparisons with previous Parliament

In the 17 September 2005 general election Labour gained 50, National 48, New Zealand First seven, Greens six, Maori four, United Future three, ACT two and Progressives one seat in the 48th Parliament elected at the fourth election under mixed member proportional (MMP) New Zealand rules. These eight parties won seats in what is normally a 120 seat Parliament - to which two seats were added on election night under the "overhang" rules in MMP, coverted to one overhang seat in a 121 seat Parliament as a result of the final count.

In the 27 July 2002 general election Labour gained 52, National 27, New Zealand First 13, ACT and the Greens nine each, United Future eight and the Progressive Coalition two seats in the third mixed member proportional (MMP) New Zealand general election.

More parties
Other parties registered by the Electoral Commission in 2005 who offered Party lists of candidates but got noone elected were the 99 MP Party, Alliance, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, Christian Heritage NZ, Democrats for Social Credit, Destiny New Zealand, Direct Democracy Party, Libertarianz, NZ Family Rights Protection Party, ONENZ Party and the Republic of New Zealand Party. Alltogether, these 19 parties offered 657 candidates on their party lists.

Seven of the political parties who contested the 2002 election gained seats – seven more who contested got no seats but attracted 73,500 or 3.63% of the vote.

There were 69 members elected in electorate seats and 51 on party lists in the Parliament elected in 2002. Thirty of the MPs were new – 22 of them were elected on party lists.

House of representatives
The representativeness of Parliament has increased since the advent of MMP, although it still falls short of reflecting the composition of the New Zealand population.

To see the people elected in the 2005 election, click on the name of the party, above. For details about the parties, such as their leaders, whips, number of seats, next person on the list, click here.

Tariana Turia had resigned from Parliament and the Labour Party to contest a byelection in the Te Tai Hauauru electorate in July 2004. She was returned to Parliament as representative for the new Maori party as a result of that byelection.

Women in Parliament
A third of New Zealand's 48th Parliament are women.. Electoral Commission ceo Dr Helena Catt said on Suffrage Day this is a record, slightly ahead of the previous two Parliaments.

On election-night results, every caucus has at at least one woman, except for Jim Anderton's Progressive Party.

There are 39 women and 82 men in the 48th Parliament.

Suffrage Day is on 19 September. On that day in 1893 New Zealand became the first country to grant women the right to vote in Parliamerntary elections.

Maori in Parliament
The 48th Parliament, accoding to the Parliamentary Service website, has 21 MPs described as Maori - 17.4% of Parliamentatians elected in 2005. Parliamentary Library research refers to those MPs who "identify as Maori".

Maori Members of Parliament from 1868 are named on the Parliamentary Service website. Four Maori seats were established by the Maori representation Act 1867, representing the northern, southern, eastern, and western districts. This number was increased to five by the electoral Act 1993. In 2002 the number of seats grew to seven. Maori were not allowed to stand for general seats until 1967.

Asian, Pacific

Two percent of MPs elected in 2005 have Asian backgrounds, two percent have Pacific backgrounds. Seven percent of the NZ population is ethnically Pacific ( predominantly non Maori Polynesian), and nine percent is ethnically from countries in Asia.

Where MPs worked
Business, teaching and farming backgrounds predominate amongst MPs in recent New Zealand Parliaments.

Voter participation
Total voter turnout in the 2005 election was 80.92%. In 2002 it was 77%, the lowest participation rate for the previous six elections. In 1996, the first MMP election, 88% voted. Special votes totalled 248,677 or 10.8% of total votes cast.

Voter turnout for those on the 2002 Maori roll was 58%, 20 percent lower than 1996. Labour won three Maori seats in 2005, the Maori Party won four: Labour had won the the seven Maori seats in 2002

Find out more
For basic information about the parties who were in Parliament in 2004, such as their leaders, whips, number of seats, go to Parliament 2004.

The website of the Clerk of the House, has useful information about Members of Parliament.

Find out more from the Parliamentary Library research paper on the final result of the 2005 election.

Updated 28 November 2005




MPs assembled in the Legislative Council chamber

When MPs assembled in the Legislative Council chamber to hear the Governor-General give the Speech from the Throne in November 2005 it was obvious the composition of New Zealand's Parliament elected under MMP was diverse. The statistics show inquirers that it was more diverse than during the period when Parliaments were elected under FPP, the First Past the Post electoral system