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A Chairman of Committees is elected every session, and holds office till the election of his successor. Speaker and Chairman are both eligible for re-election.

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The Imperial Act under which the earliest appointments were made did not fix a minimum number of members, though it provided that the first appointees should be not less than ten in number. The number actually summoned was sixteen, of whom only fourteen attended and were enrolled. The number increased irregularly for thirty years. In and it stood at fifty-three, but has not since reached that limit. The number on the roll at present is thirty-nine. Provision for an elective Legislative Council is contained in the Legislative Council Act, , which was originally intended to come into operation at the first general election of members of the Lower House after the end of The introduction of the new system has, however, been postponed from time to time, and at present the position is that the Act is to be brought into operation at a date to be specified by Proclamation.

Under the system outlined in the Act the Dominion is to be divided into four electoral divisions, two in the North Island and two in the South, and the number of members is to be forty, divided between the two Islands on a population basis. The Governor-General is empowered to appoint not more than three Maori members to the Council. The qualifications for membership of the Legislative Council are the same as for the House of Representatives, referred to below, with the proviso that a person may not at the same time be a member of both Houses.

Before the year the honorarium of Councillors was understood to be for the session, not for the year, and formed the subject of a special vote every session, the amount varying in different sessions. Besides the honorarium, members are allowed travelling-expenses actually incurred in going to and from Parliament. Subject to certain exemptions, members not attending the Council are liable to be fined.

The number of members constituting the House of Representatives is eighty— seventy-six Europeans and four Maoris. Legislation passed in fixed the number of European members at forty-one; in , at fifty-three; in. By the Maori Representation Act, , which is still in force, as embodied in the Legislature Act, , four Maori members were added, three for the North Island and one for the South.

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The elections are triennial, except in the case of a dissolution by the Governor-General. Quinquennial Parliaments, instituted under the Constitution Act, were abolished by the Triennial Parliaments Act, Every registered elector of either sex who is free from any of the disqualifications mentioned in the Legislature Act, , is eligible for membership. The travelling-expenses to and from Wellington are also allowed. The election of a Speaker is the first business of a new House after the members have been sworn. A Chairman of Committees is elected as soon after as is convenient.

Both Speaker and Chairman of Committees hold office until a dissolution, and receive payment until the first meeting of a new Parliament. The three cardinal principles of the franchise in New Zealand are 1 one man one vote, 2 female suffrage, and 3 adult suffrage. There are, of course, slight exceptions to the last-mentioned, the following classes of persons not being entitled to register as electors or to vote:—. A person convicted of an offence punishable by death or by imprisonment for one year or upwards within any part of His Majesty's dominions, or convicted in New Zealand as a public defaulter, or under the Police Offences Act, , as an idle and disorderly person or as a rogue and vagabond, unless such offender has received a free pardon, or has undergone the sentence or punishment to which he was adjudged for such offence.

To be registered as an elector a person must have resided for one year in the Dominion, and for one month in the electoral district for which he claims to vote. The qualifications for registration are the same for both sexes. Side by side with the general government of the country, but subordinate to it, there has existed a system of local government since the early years of New Zealand's annexation as a British colony. The history of local government divides naturally into two periods representing two distinct systems—viz.

On the 23rd December, , a Charter was signed dividing the colony into two provinces-New Ulster and New Munster—and this was proclaimed in New Zealand on the 10th March, The Province of New Ulster consisted of the whole of the North Island with the exception of that portion adjacent to Cook Strait and lying to the south of a line commencing at the centre of the mouth of the Patea River and running thence due east to the east coast. Each province had a Lieutenant - Governor, an Executive Council, and a Legislative Council, while the Governor-in-Chief for the whole colony was also Governor of each province.

Provision had also been made for a House of Representatives in each province, but this portion of the Charter was suspended for five years, and before it came into operation a new Constitution was obtained.

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Each province was to be presided over by an elective Superintendent, and to have an elective Provincial Council empowered to legislate, except on certain specified subjects. The franchise amounted practically to household suffrage. In each case the election was for four years, but a dissolution of the Provincial Council by the Governor could take place at any time, necessitating a fresh election both of the Council and of the Superintendent.

The Superintendent was chosen by the whole body of the electors of the province, and each member of the Provincial Council by the electors of a district.

The boundaries of the new provinces were gazetted on the 2nd April, , and the boundaries of the electoral districts on the 14th May following, the first general elections for the House of Representatives and the Provincial Councils being held during and the beginning of The Provincial Governments, afterwards increased to nine by the formation of Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, and Southland, later reduced to eight by the merging of Southland with.

Otago, and again increased to nine by the formation of Westland, remained as integral parts of the Constitution of the colony until the 1st November, , when they were abolished by an Act of the General Assembly, that body having been vested with the power of altering the Constitution Act.

Even before the division of New Zealand into the two provinces of New Ulster and New Munster, local government had its inception, Wellington having been created a borough in under the authority of the Municipal Corporations Ordinance of that year.

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The Ordinance was disallowed by the Home Government, but was re-enacted, with necessary alterations, in Wellington, which lost its status on the original Ordinance being disallowed, did not become a borough again until , Auckland constituted in remaining the only borough in New Zealand for several years.

Wellington, which had been the first borough in the country, also became the first town district, with a form of government not differing greatly from that of a municipality. Gradually the more important towns adopted the status of boroughs, while the less important remained town districts. In Otago, however, between and , several small towns were created boroughs under the authority of an Ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council, nineteen of the thirty-six boroughs in existence at the date of the abolition of the provinces being in Otago, all formed under the provisions of the Ordinance referred to.

Another form of local government which came into existence in the provincial days was that of the road districts, or, as they were called in certain parts of the country, highway districts. As the names imply, the road and highway districts were formed for the purpose of extending and maintaining roads. Each district was controlled by an elected Board, which had power to levy rates. The first Road Boards were formed in , and by their number had risen to Among the instructions given Captain Hobson on his appointment as the first Governor of New Zealand was one directing that the colony was to be divided into counties, hundreds, and parishes.


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In accordance with this instruction, the boundaries of the County of Eden, in which Auckland—the then capital—is situated, were proclaimed in , and some years later the county was divided into hundreds. Very little further was done towards giving effect to the instructions, and the first administrative county was Westland, separated from Canterbury Province in , and granted a system of local government in the following year.

It was not until the abolition of the provinces in that a scheme of division of the whole country into counties was introduced. The Counties Act, , which, in conjunction with the Municipal Corporations Act of the same year, provided a comprehensive scheme of local government in lieu of the provincial governments, divided New Zealand into sixty-three counties. With the exception of six, which were exempted from the operations of the Act, each county was placed under the control of an elected Chairman and Council, possessed of fairly full powers of local government—considerably less, however, than those formerly enjoyed by the Provincial Councils.

The Counties Act specially excluded boroughs from the counties within which they geographically lie, and a similar provision has since been made in the case of town districts having a population of over Since the abolition of the provinces and the passing of the Counties and Municipal Corporations Acts of there has been considerable extension of local government. Many of the road districts have merged with the counties within which they lie, while others have become boroughs and town districts. On the other hand, counties, boroughs, and town districts have increased in numbers, while several entirely new classes of local districts, formed for definite purposes—as, for instance, land drainage, or electric-power supply-have come into existence.

In most cases the Boards of these districts have borrowing and rating powers. The numbers of local districts of each class in the Dominion at present are as follow:—. Full information concerning the present system of local government, including the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the various classes of local authorities, will be found in the section of this book devoted to local government. Captain William Hobson, R. Captain Robert Fitzroy, R. Colonel Thomas Gore Browne, C. Sir George Grey, K.

Sir George Ferguson Bowen, G. Sir James Fergusson, Baronet, P. The Marquis of Normanby, P. The Earl of Onslow, G. Governor from 2nd May, The Earl of Glasgow, G. Sir James Prendergast. Chief Justice. Administrator from 8th February to 9th August. The Earl of Ranfurly, G. Sir Robert Stout, K. The Earl of Liverpool, P. Right Hon. Sir Robert Stout, P. Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, G. Mundy, D. Honorary Aides-de-Camp—Colonel H. Hart, C. Melville, C. Young, C. Stewart, C. Allen, D. Honorary Physician—Colonel E. O'Neill, C. McGavin, Kt. Massey, P. Sir W. Herries, K. Sir F. Bell, K.

Sir William Fraser, K. Coates, M. Parr, C. Sir R. Rhodes, K. Sir Maui Pomare, K. Clerk of the Executive Council—F.

Thomson, B. Chairman of Committees—Hon. Clerk of the Legislative Council—A. L OWE. L ANG. Chairman of Committees—A.

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Clerk of the House—E. K ANE. By an Act passed during the year and intituled the Public Service Act, , the Public Service of New Zealand was placed under the direct and sole control of a Commissioner and two Assistant Commissioners, who are appointed for a term of seven years, are responsible only to Parliament, and can be dismissed from office only for misbehaviour or incompetence. The Act, which became operative on the 1st April, , applies to all members of the Public Service with the exception of the Controller and Auditor-General, officers of the Railway Department, members of the Police and Defence Forces, Judges and Magistrates, officers of the House, certain officers of the Legislative Departments, and persons paid only by fees or commission, as well as any officer to whom the Governor-General in Council declares the Act shall not apply.

By the Post and Telegraph Act of the Post and Telegraph Department was exempted from the control of the Commissioner, with the exception that the Commissioner makes all appointments.


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  • Public Service Commissioner: W. Assistant Commissioners: 1 P. Sir James Allen, K. Hawes, Pirie Street, Adelaide. Gall, care of Messrs. Landale and Clark Limited , P. Box , Calcutta. United Kingdom. Trade Commissioner: R. Dalton, 11 Grey Street, Wellington. Beddoe, Customs Street, Auckland. Argentine Republic. Caceres, Wellington. Vice-Consul: H. Rayward, Wellington. Segaert, Sydney. Consuls: A. Ferguson, Auckland; G. Johnston, Wellington; Sir J. Kinsey, Christchurch: G. Denniston, Dunedin.

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    Vice-Consuls: C. Ward, Christchurch; W. Moore, Dunedin; R. Anderson, Invercargill. Consuls: E. Craig, Auckland; J. Montgomery, Christchurch; H. Wellington; J. Roberts, Dunedin. Consul for South Island: H. Sorensen, Christchurch. Vice-Consuls: H. Richmond, Auckland; W. Perry, Hokitika; O. Bendall, Wellington; S. F Dyer, Wellington. Martin, Melbourne. Consul with jurisdiction over New Zealand : A. Grossardi, Melbourne. Tripp, O. Pagni, Auckland. Suzuki, Sydney. Honorary Consuls: A. Robertson, Auckland; A. Young, Wellington. Scansie, Auckland. Acting-Consul: T. Holmden, Wellington.

    Mexico ,—Consul: J. Hall, Auckland. Teppema, Sydney. Consul with jurisdiction over New Zealand : W. Johnston, Wellington. Copeland, Auckland; C. Cooper, Christchurch. Consul: A. Newton, Wellington. Wiig, Invercargill; J. Kernot, Wellington. Paxton, Sydney.