Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Opening and Balancing the Books: the New Zealand Parliament and the Control and Scrutiny of Government Expenditure

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posted on 2021-11-14, 01:25 authored by Thomas, Alexander Sylvan

Controlling and scrutinising government expenditure is an important duty of the New Zealand Parliament. There is an on-going debate on the effectiveness of Parliament in undertaking this. The role, inherited from the British Parliament, has been developed upon and refined by the New Zealand Parliament. Parliament holds the government to account for its expenditure through a system consisting of the Finance and Expenditure Committee, other subject select committees, extensive Budget and Estimates documentation, and detailed appropriations. The Controller and Auditor-General, debate in the House, and thorough accounts and accounting are also a part of the process. The New Zealand Parliament can have more than adequate control of government expenditure, but is sometimes deficient at scrutinising its details. Recommendations to improve Parliament’s ability to control and scrutinise government expenditure must centre on Members of Parliament being willing, able and eager to undertake the role.


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 Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Clark, Margaret