Effective Parliament or Executive Domain? Case studies investigating parliament and single-party majority under proportional representation (MMP)
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.