Public Law A Essay
As a sovereign state, New Zealand is unique in its constitutional arrangements, it inherited the Westminster style of government from the British and has no formal written constitution. Over time New Zealand’s constitution has evolved, most notable examples in recent times are the 1993 Electoral Reform Act and the increasing prominence of the Treaty of Waitangi. The current constitutional arrangements serve New Zealand well but as the country continues to develop there will be a need for change if New Zealand is to maintain the goals underpinning constitutionalism.
The Constitution establishes the major institutions of government, it describes their function and regulates their principle powers. It also outlines the relationship between state and citizen, by establishing the fundamental rights of citizens within the structure of society. New Zealand (NZ) is one of only three countries without a written constitution .
NZ is a Constitutional Monarchy, the British monarch, represented in NZ by the Governor-General, is the head of state. As head of state, the monarch is the nominal source of all law. In practice, this power has been limited by law and convention and superseded by Parliament. The structure of NZ parliamentary system is based on the Westminster style of Government inherited from the British in 1840 . The power of government is divided into three branches: Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. In theory the three main branches are kept apart to maintain accountability, fairness, and liberty. NZ has not embraced a total separation of powers as the government interacts and coordinates the powers.
The role of the Legislature, Parliament, is ‘to represent the view of citizens, influence the policy-makers, and reserve for itself the formal, final say on policy as the ultimate means of assuring policy responsiveness’. The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty ensures that the legislature has supreme law making powers that...