Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Effective Parliament or Executive Domain? Case studies investigating parliament and single-party majority under proportional representation (MMP)

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posted on 2023-04-10, 22:09 authored by Coad, James

This thesis explores the impact of a single-party majority government under mixed-member proportional representation (MMP). An unprecedented result – the first single-party majority to occur under MMP in New Zealand – there has thus far been no investigation of the impact of this development on parliamentary processes.

The research makes use of three case studies, each dealing with a distinctive feature of internal parliamentary processes, to investigate the influence of a single-party majority government: the use of urgency with respect to a bill dealing with COVID-19; select committee processes with respect to the “Natural and Built Environments Inquiry”; and the development of government policy with respect to “Three Waters Reform”. The thesis draws conclusions about the executive-legislative relationship and the functioning of MMP since the 2020 general election, set against the background of executive dominance under the former first-past-the-post (FPP) system and the character of MMP government prior to the 2020 single-party majority outcome. The thesis highlights the importance of a governing party’s caucus while exploring the challenges of single-party majority government under an MMP system introduced as a means of promoting more consensual multi-party arrangements.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Political Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Political Science

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

230202 Electoral systems; 230299 Government and politics not elsewhere classified

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Levine, Stephen