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Parliamentary cross-party groups

Published date: 9 Sep 2019

Select committee meetings aren’t the only place where MPs from across the House put aside their differences to work together towards a common purpose.

There’s also a wide range of cross-party groups at Parliament, which bring together MPs from different parties to support and promote a specific cause or issue. These groups vary in their size, nature, and how they work, with many of them having global affiliations.

Below are some current examples of parliamentary cross-party groups.

Cross-Party Mental Health and Addictions Wellbeing Group

Group of people in Parliament's Grand Hall posing for a group photo. Enlarge image

The cross-party Mental Health and Addictions Wellbeing Group at its launch event.

Source: Office of the Clerk

This group was launched at Parliament on 28 August 2019, and includes a member from each party in Parliament. It was formed following a recommendation from the 2018 Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

The group's aim is to raise awareness of the issues and challenges surrounding mental health in New Zealand, such as suicide. It will make recommendations and hold the Government to account over policies around mental health.

Platform Trust is involved with the group in a secretariat role.

As of the group’s launch in August 2019, it includes Matt Doocey MP (Opposition Spokesperson for Mental Health), Louisa Wall MP (Chair of the Health Committee), Chloe Swarbrick MP, Jenny Marcroft MP, and David Seymour MP.

New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development (NZPPD)

The New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) is open to any New Zealand MP and focuses its work mainly in the Pacific. The group looks at issues around sexual and reproductive health, women's rights, and development issues.

The group was established in 1998 in response to the International Conference on Population and Development and its programme of action.

Barbara Kuriger MP is the current Chair of the group, with Family Planning acting as its secretariat.

Follow the group's Facebook page for more information and updates.

Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)

Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) is a non-profit, international network of more than 1,000 legislators in around 140 parliaments across the world. The group aims to promote values such as peace, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, gender equality, and population issues. It aims to do this by providing opportunities for parliamentarians to get together and get informed about these issues.

New Zealand MPs’ involvement with PGA since 2014 includes working on arms control in the Pacific region, LGBTI rights, and child marriage.

Human Rights Parliamentary Network

The Human Rights Parliamentary Network’s vision is “a cross-party network of New Zealand parliamentarians working together to champion the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide”.

Network events are held twice a year, featuring high-profile speakers. The events focus on topics that New Zealand, as a member of the global community, can make a positive contribution to. Examples include the protection of civilian populations in war zones; promoting the role of women in peace and security settings; and responding to global mass displacement and humanitarian crises.

Melissa Lee MP, Marama Davidson MP, Jenny Marcroft MP, and Priyanca Radhakrishnan MP are the co-chairs of the network. Past chairs include Rt Hon Paul East QC.

Amnesty International is the secretariat for the network.

The Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE)

GLOBE New Zealand is a chapter of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). This worldwide organisation brings together parliamentarians from more than 80 nations, focusing on implementing laws that support sustainable development.

The New Zealand chapter was established in 2015, with former MP Dr Kennedy Graham as Chair.

Read more about GLOBE New Zealand.

The Parliamentary Rainbow Network

Flags on a wall Enlarge image

The Parliamentary Rainbow Network was involved with the launch of the refurbished Rainbow Room at Parliament.

Source: Office of the Clerk

The Parliamentary Rainbow Network comprises MPs from across the House and has a focus on LGBTI issues. Examples of work it has been involved with include the opening of the refurbished rainbow-themed select committee room in May 2019.

As of the 52nd Parliament, the co-chairs of the group are Jan Logie MP, Louisa Wall MP, and Chris Bishop MP.

Read about the launch of Parliament’s refurbished Rainbow Room in 2019.

Watch the Rainbow Voices documentary.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians

The New Zealand chapter of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) was set up in 2009. CWP is part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

CWP was established to explore ways to increase female representation in parliaments and increase gender considerations in CPA activities and programmes. Work that CWP has been involved with in New Zealand include making a submission on the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill in 2017; producing a report on sexism, harassment, and violence against women parliamentarians in New Zealand in 2018; and celebrating 125 of women’s suffrage in New Zealand in 2018.

Louisa Wall MP and Jo Hayes MP are the co-chairs of the CWP New Zealand chapter.

Read more about Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians and other inter-parliamentary organisations that the New Zealand Parliament is involved with.

Parliamentary Friendship Groups

Group of people talking. Enlarge image

Melissa Lee MP speaks with South Korean Deputy Speaker Shim Jae-Chul and his delegation.

Source: Office of the Clerk.

Parliamentary Friendship Groups help deepen New Zealand’s relations with other countries and promote parliamentary democracy. The groups provide MPs with opportunities for direct engagement with legislators from other countries, and help enhance understanding of regional and global issues.

There are seven region-specific Parliamentary Friendship Groups, partnering New Zealand with each of the following regions: Australia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; Middle East and Africa; North America; North Asia; South and South East Asia.

The Friendship Groups are administered by the Office of the Clerk. Staff from the Office and the Parliamentary Service act as the secretariat for each group.

Find out more about Parliamentary Friendship Groups.