Milestones in the history of New Zealand’s Parliament.
Britain passes the New Zealand Constitution Act, which enables Parliament to be established here.
New Zealand holds its first elections for 37 members of the House of Representatives. The first Legislative Council (Upper House) has 14 appointed members.
New Zealand's first Parliament opens on 24 May in Auckland.
New Zealand achieves ‘responsible government’. This means that Governments are formed with majority support in the House of Representatives.
New Zealand’s central and provincial Governments agree to a ‘compact’, which resolves their political and financial relationship.
Wellington builds the Provincial Council chambers, soon to become New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings.
Parliament moves from Auckland to Wellington.
Parliament creates four separate Māori seats in the House of Representatives and gives male Māori the right to vote for these seats. The House now has 74 members, and the Legislative Council has 36.
Parliament introduces a secret ballot for its elections.
Parliament abolishes the provincial Governments, leaving the central Government as the only lawmaking body.
Parliament introduces universal male suffrage, which gives all men the right to vote. The parliamentary term reduces from 5 to 3 years.
The number of members of the House of Representatives reduces from 95 to 74. The Legislative Council now has 39 members.
New Zealand women win the right to vote.
The building for the General Assembly Library (now the Parliamentary Library) is constructed.
The number of members of the House of Representatives rises from 74 to 80.
A fire on 11 December destroys most of Parliament Buildings.
Construction of the new Parliament House begins.
Parliament moves into the incomplete Parliament House.
New Zealand women become eligible for election to Parliament.
Elizabeth McCombs becomes New Zealand’s first woman to be elected to Parliament.
Radio broadcasting of Parliament begins.
Iriaka Ratana becomes the first Māori woman elected to Parliament.
The Legislative Council (the appointed Upper House) is abolished.
The number of members of Parliament increases from 80 to 84. From now on, this number rises regularly to keep up with population growth in the North Island. Parliament lowers the voting age from 21 to 20.
Parliament lowers the voting age to 18.
The Government moves into the Beehive.
A royal commission on the electoral system recommends that New Zealand introduce mixed-member proportional representation (MMP).
Parliament moves into Bowen House and a temporary debating chamber while Parliament Buildings are renovated.
The number of members of Parliament reaches 99.
Mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) replaces the first-past-the-post (FPP) electoral system. There are now 120 members of Parliament. They return to the renovated Parliament House after 5 years in Bowen House.
Jenny Shipley becomes the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Margaret Wilson becomes the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives.