Politics in New Zealand is one of the factors that attracts the most foreign gaze to the region, known internationally for its low level of government corruption. In this post, understand the political context in the nation of Oceania and find out how elections work there. Start reading right now and get your questions answered before studying in New Zealand!
What is the politics in New Zealand?
Located in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is an island country 2,000km away from Australia, across the Tasman Sea. The nation was colonized by the British for centuries, and in 1947 it adopted the Statute of Westminster, which included it in the Commonwealth.
Constitutional monarchy, New Zealand lives a parliamentary democracy, in which the population goes to the polls to indirectly elect political representatives. Officially, Queen Elisabeth II is the country’s top symbolic authority, holding the position of head of state.
In practice, the monarch is represented by the figure of the governor-general, nominated by the prime minister. The governor-general (Dame Cindy Kiro is the currently Governor-General of New Zealand) is responsible for appointing ministers and ambassadors, for example, in addition to reviewing cases of injustice.
The Council of Ministers, led by the prime minister (a position currently held by Jacinda Ardern), is the body that formulates policies and has the most significant decisions for the nation.
For the Judiciary, magistrates and judges are appointed by figures of political prestige and have constitutional independence from the government, which implies a legal interpretation without influence from other decisions of the sovereign power.
Finally, the Legislative Power is made up of the Parliament, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Sovereign (represented by the governor-general). The single Chamber is made up of 120 politicians (the “Members of Parliament”), who are democratically elected.
Are there elections and political parties in the country?
The New Zealand Parliament is divided between the Queen (and her representative, the Governor General) and the House of Representatives. The 120 Members of Parliament (a position similar to that of a federal deputy in Brazil) are elected by the population. Other positions in the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary powers are not chosen by suffrage.
In the list of political parties, two names stand out: the National Party (New Zealand National Party) and the Labor Party (New Zealand Labor Party). Currently, the National Party, whose political spectrum is liberal and center-right conservatism, holds most of the seats in the House of Representatives.
On the other hand, the Labor Party, of social liberalism and linked to the center-left ideology, elected the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. The nation also has parties of lesser political expression, such as New Zealand First, the Green Party (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand) and ACT New Zealand.
What is the level of corruption in politics?
So far, you have discovered the New Zealand political context and how it differs from ours. But, in addition to the aforementioned points, corruption is another factor that differentiates New Zealand from Brazil (we are in 106th position in the Corruption Perception Index), since kiwis are elected, for consecutive years, as the least corrupt country in the country. world.
The explanation is mainly due to the nation’s anti-corruption legislation, which punishes bribery between public and private companies, with sentences that can reach 14 years in prison and fines that start in the range of NZ$2,000.
On the other hand, the judiciary system manages to remain transparent and without interference from other sectors, generating a stable regulatory environment. Civil servants, likewise, cannot earn or request perks, in line with the Code of Conduct of the State Services Commission, which inhibits the practice of bribery.
How does the division between New Zealand’s capital, cities and regions work?
Generally speaking, New Zealand is made up of the North and South Islands, as well as other portions of land, separated by the Cook Strait. With more than 1,600 km in length, the country’s territory is divided into 16 administrative regions, such as Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington.
The most populous cities, which usually coincide with the administrative region’s capital, are Auckland (about 1.657 million people), Wellington (212,700), Christchurch (381,500), Hamilton (579,200), Napier (65,000), Tauranga (131,500), Dunedin (128,800), Palmerston North (88,300 ), Nelson (52,900) and Rotorua (77,300).
Wellington, located in the administrative region of the same name, on the North Island, is the country’s capital and an important economic center. Founded in the 19th century, the city grew up along the coast and is divided into four territorial authorities (Lower Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington). Additionally, the Victoria University of Wellington is one of the best universities in New Zealand.
In this post, you understand the background of politics in New Zealand, a country that has in Queen Elisabeth II the maximum symbolic figure, represented by the office of governor general. With great legal certainty, the parliamentary monarchy has the lowest corruption rate on the planet and promises quality of life for residents and visitors.
The theme was helpful, wasn’t it? So, read this article and find out about the culture of Oceania and the precautions you should take before visiting the region!
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