Governor-General Act 2010
|Governor-General Act 2010|
|New Zealand Parliament|
|Reform of the financial support for the office of Governor-General of New Zealand|
|Date of Royal Assent||22 November 2010|
|Date commenced||22 November 2010|
|Introduced by||John Key MP|
|Civil List Act 1979|
|Status: Current legislation|
In 2007, the New Zealand Law Commission began a review of the Civil List Act 1979, with an issues paper being released in July 2008. In a press release, Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer said "The Act has not been comprehensively reviewed for many years. Some of its provisions are outdated. Some of the language is archaic. There is some unnecessary overlap between this Act and other legislation which creates complexity."
The Clerk of the Executive Council, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Graeme Edgeler, Parliamentary Service and the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand made a submissions to the review, largely in favour of the Law Commission's recommendations.
The review was completed on 7 December 2009. The Law Commission recommended that part one of the Civil List Act 1979 be repealed, and replaced with a new statute to reflect the nature of the modern office of Governor-General. It included an example Governor-General Bill in the review's appendix. The most significant change would be that the Governor-General is no longer exempt from paying income tax on their salary. The changes proposed in the report would take effect for the appointment and term of the next Governor-General following Sir Anand Satyanand.
Introduction and first reading
The Governor-General Bill was introduced into Parliament on 28 June 2010. Because the Bill was to be administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, it was introduced by Prime Minister John Key.
Green MP Keith Locke suggested Parliament recommend the next Governor-General's appointment to the Queen, with a recommendation endorsed by three-quarters of parliament. The Bill was passed unanimously and referred to the Government Administration Committee on 20 July 2010.
Three submissions were received on the Bill. Journalist Derek Round submitted that the Bill should be amended so that the Governor-General succeeded the Queen following the end of the Queen's reign.
In line with its submission to the Law Commission, the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand also supported the Bill. It also suggested parliament appoint the next Governor-General with a three-quarters majority plus a majority of party leaders in parliament, with a similar dismissal process and a fixed five-year term. National MP Nikki Kaye queried whether several one-member parties in parliament could veto the decision, which could give them too much power if an appointment was based on one vote per leader. The Republican Movement responded that the method would ensure appointments were made that most MPs and parties found acceptable.
The Select Committee reported back on 8 September 2010, and recommended that the Bill be passed. On suggestions made by submitters on the Bill for an appointment and dismissal process for the Governor-General, the committee stated "As this bill has a single focus on the financial arrangements of the Governor-General, we were advised that all of these issues lie outside its scope." The committee sought advice from the office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, who advised the amendments were out of scope.
Second Reading and Committee of the Whole House
The Second Reading debate took place on 13 September 2010. The Bill was again passed unanimously. The Committee of the Whole House stage occurred on 26 October 2010.
Third Reading and Royal assent
The third reading debate occurred on 16 November 2010. The Bill was granted Royal Assent on 22 November 2010.
- "Review of Civil List Act 1979 Review". New Zealand Law Commission. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Review of the Civil List Act 1979 – Issues Paper for Consultation" (PDF). New Zealand Law Commission. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Submission to the Law Commission on the Civil List Act" (PDF). Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand. September 2008.
- "Review of the Civil List Act 1979 – the Governor-General" (PDF). New Zealand Law Commission. December 2009.
- "Review of the Civil List Act 1979: Law Comm Report". New Zealand Law Commission. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "Parliament of New Zealand - Order Paper" (PDF). Parliament of New Zealand. 30 June 2010.
- Andrea Vance. "New bill doubles governor-general's severance". The Dominion Post.
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- "Submission of Derek Round" (PDF). Parliament of New Zealand. 18 August 2010.
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- "Report of the Government Administration Committee" (PDF). 8 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
- "Scope advice on the Governor-General Bill 163—1" (PDF). Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. 20 August 2010.
- "Governor-General Bill — Second Reading". Parliament of New Zealand. 13 September 2010.
- "Governor-General Act 2010". Government House. 22 November 2010.