Minister of Finance (New Zealand)
|Minister of Finance of New Zealand|
|Reports to||Prime Minister of New Zealand|
|Appointer||Governor-General of New Zealand|
|Term length||At Her Majesty's pleasure|
|Formation||3 May 1841|
|First holder||George Cooper as Colonial Treasurer|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Minister of Finance, originally known as Colonial Treasurer, is a senior figure within the Government of New Zealand and head of the New Zealand Treasury. The position is often considered to be the most important cabinet post after that of the Prime Minister. The Minister of Finance is responsible for producing an annual New Zealand budget outlining the government's proposed expenditure.
Responsibilities and powers
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One of the Minister of Finance's key roles involves the framing of the annual year budget. According to Parliament's Standing Orders, the Minister of Finance may veto any parliamentary bill which would have a significant impact on the government's budget plans. The Minister of Finance supervises the Treasury, which is the government's primary advisor on matters of economic and financial policy. As such, the Minister of Finance has broad control of the government's spending, making the position quite powerful.
Some analysts, such as Jonathan Boston, claim that the Minister of Finance can sometimes hold more influence than the Prime Minister, if the conditions are right. Gordon Coates, Finance Minister in the early 1930s, was sometimes such a figure. Some political scientists, such as Boston, believe that in the government of David Lange, Minister of Finance Roger Douglas held more power than was proper, and that the Treasury was using its control of government finances to take a supervisory role across the whole administration. It was probably for this reason that Lange's successor, Geoffrey Palmer, established the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which could offer the Prime Minister advice independent of that given by individual ministers.
The office of Minister of Finance has existed since 1841. Apart from the office of Prime Minister itself, the only other cabinet posts to have existed since the first cabinet are those of Attorney-General and Minister of Internal Affairs. Originally, the holder of the post was designated "Colonial Treasurer", but this term was replaced with "Minister of Finance" shortly after New Zealand ceased to be a Colony and became a Dominion. This occurred in 1907, during the cabinet of Joseph Ward.
In the past, several Prime Ministers took on the post of Minister of Finance themselves, though in recent times this practice has declined. Robert Muldoon, the last person to concurrently serve as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, created considerable controversy by doing so. It is more common, however, for a Deputy Prime Minister to serve as Minister of Finance. Bob Tizard, Michael Cullen and Bill English served as Deputy Prime Minister when in the position as Minister of Finance.
Traditionally Ministers of Finance rank second or third in seniority lists within Westminster-style Cabinets, although initially Harry Lake was ranked at sixth and his successor Robert Muldoon was ranked at eighth; both because of their short service to date in Parliament, and because Keith Holyoake saw Muldoon as too arrogant and ambitious for his own good.
After the 1996 elections, the role of the Minister of Finance was split between two portfolios – that of Minister of Finance and that of Treasurer. The position of Treasurer was senior to that of the Minister of Finance, and was created as part of the coalition agreement between the National Party and New Zealand First. It was established especially for Winston Peters, leader of New Zealand First, who demanded it as part of the deal. When Peters ended the coalition, the position reverted to the National Party, and after the change of government in 1999, it was reincorporated into the old Minister of Finance portfolio by Labour in 2002.
List of Finance Ministers
(for political parties)
|No.||Name||Portrait||Term of Office||Prime Minister|
|1||George Cooper||3 May 1841||9 May 1842||none|
|2||Alexander Shepherd||9 May 1842||7 May 1856|
|3||Dillon Bell||7 May 1856||20 May 1856||Sewell|
|4||Charles Brown||20 May 1856||2 June 1856||Fox|
|5||Henry Sewell||2 June 1856||4 November 1856||Stafford|
|6||William Richmond||4 November 1856||25 February 1859|
|(5)||Henry Sewell||25 February 1859||26 April 1859|
|(6)||William Richmond||26 April 1859||12 July 1861|
|7||Reader Wood||12 July 1861||6 August 1862||Fox|
|(3)||Dillon Bell||6 August 1862||21 August 1862||Domett|
|(7)||Reader Wood||21 August 1862||24 November 1864|
|8||William Fitzherbert||24 November 1864||16 October 1865||Weld|
|9||Edward Stafford||31 October 1865||12 June 1866||Stafford|
|10||Francis Jollie||12 June 1866||24 August 1866|
|(8)||William Fitzherbert||24 August 1866||28 June 1869|
|11||Julius Vogel||28 June 1869||10 September 1872||Fox|
|12||Thomas Gillies||10 September 1872||11 October 1872||Stafford|
|(11)||Julius Vogel||11 October 1872||6 July 1875||Waterhouse|
|13||Harry Atkinson||6 July 1875||15 February 1876||Pollen|
|(11)||Julius Vogel||15 February 1876||1 September 1876||Vogel|
|(13)||Harry Atkinson||1 September 1876||13 October 1877||Atkinson|
|14||William Larnach||15 October 1877||5 March 1878||Grey|
|15||John Ballance||12 March 1878||1 July 1879|
|16||George Grey||10 July 1879||8 October 1879|
|(13)||Harry Atkinson||8 October 1879||16 August 1884||Hall|
|(11)||Julius Vogel||16 August 1884
3 September 1884
|28 August 1884
8 October 1887
|(13)||Harry Atkinson||8 October 1887||24 January 1891||Atkinson|
|(15)||John Ballance||24 January 1891||27 April 1893||Ballance|
|17||Joseph Ward||1 May 1893||16 June 1896||Seddon|
|18||Richard Seddon||16 June 1896||10 June 1906|
|19||William Hall-Jones||21 June 1906||6 August 1906||Hall-Jones|
|(17)||Joseph Ward||6 August 1906||28 March 1912||Ward|
|20||Arthur Myers||28 March 1912||10 July 1912||Mackenzie|
|21||James Allen||10 July 1912||12 August 1915||Massey|
|(17)||Joseph Ward||12 August 1915||21 August 1919|
|(21)||James Allen||4 September 1919||28 April 1920|
|22||William Massey||12 May 1920||10 May 1925|
|23||William Nosworthy||14 May 1925||24 May 1926||Bell|
|24||William Downie Stewart, Jr.||24 May 1926||10 December 1928|
|(17)||Joseph Ward||10 December 1928||28 May 1930||Ward|
|25||George Forbes||28 May 1930||22 September 1931||Forbes|
|(24)||William Downie Stewart, Jr.||22 September 1931||28 January 1933|
|26||Gordon Coates||28 January 1933||6 December 1935|
|27||Walter Nash||6 December 1935||13 December 1949||Savage|
|28||Sidney Holland||13 December 1949||26 November 1954||Holland|
|29||Jack Watts||26 November 1954||12 December 1957|
|30||Arnold Nordmeyer||12 December 1957||12 December 1960||Nash|
|31||Harry Lake||12 December 1960||21 February 1967||Holyoake|
|32||Robert Muldoon||4 March 1967||8 December 1972|
|33||Bill Rowling||8 December 1972||6 September 1974||Kirk|
|34||Bob Tizard||6 September 1974||12 December 1975||Rowling|
|(32)||Robert Muldoon||12 December 1975||26 July 1984||Muldoon|
|35||Roger Douglas||26 July 1984||14 December 1988||Lange|
|36||David Caygill||14 December 1988||2 November 1990|
|37||Ruth Richardson||2 November 1990||29 November 1993||Bolger|
|38||Bill Birch||29 November 1993||1 February 1999|
|39||Bill English||1 February 1999||22 June 1999|
|(38)||Bill Birch||22 June 1999||5 December 1999|
|40||Michael Cullen||5 December 1999||19 November 2008||Clark|
|(39)||Bill English||19 November 2008||12 December 2016||Key|
|41||Steven Joyce||12 December 2016||26 October 2017||English|
|42||Grant Robertson||26 October 2017||Incumbent||Ardern|
List of Treasurers
(for political parties)
|No.||Name||Portrait||Term of Office||Prime Minister|
|1||Winston Peters||16 December 1996||14 August 1998||Bolger|
|2||Bill Birch||14 August 1998||June 1999|
|3||Bill English||June 1999||5 December 1999|
|4||Michael Cullen||5 December 1999||15 August 2002||Clark|
- "Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 2016" (PDF). Parliament.nz. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
- Clifton, Jane (19 September 2013). "Influentials: Politics". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- "Ministerial Portfolio: Finance". The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- Cyclopedia Company Limited (1897). "Mr. George Cooper". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington Provincial District. Wellington. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
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