Evolution of Parliament

What is this Parliament that represents us? What made Parliament the way it is today? Why is Parliament different now from in the past? Find out all about the different parts that have made up Parliament.

Title Date
Parliament over the years

New Zealand’s Parliament consisted of three parts from its beginning in 1854 until 1951: Governor, House of Representatives, and Legislative Council. The Government was formed with the support of a majority in the House. Discover how these parts interacted and changed over time.

25 July 2006
Governor-General

The Governor used to govern New Zealand — until elected representatives in Parliament took over. Find out about this fascinating shift in power and how the Governor (now Governor-General) became less powerful.

19 July 2006
House of Representatives

The House of Representatives comprises our elected members of Parliament — and provides our Government. With the Legislative Council, the House was one of two chambers from 1854 until 1951. Now, the House alone represents New Zealanders and makes the country’s laws.

25 July 2006
Legislative Council

The Legislative Council was part of New Zealand’s Parliament for almost 100 years. Read the story of this Upper House — from its hopeful beginnings to its eventual abolition by the ‘suicide squad’.

25 July 2006