Democracy & Government

Parliament must be a responsive and accountable institution that works for communities. New Zealand First believes that the best approach to ensure this is smaller and more effective government, coupled with direct democracy through referenda. We also recognise the important role that local government plays in our democracy, and believe its actions must achieve the best return for ratepayers.


  • Where practical timelines permit remove the use of personal votes by Members of Parliament on all conscience issues and replace them with citizens binding referenda
  • Continue to advocate for binding referenda in political decision making
  • Ensure greater contestability of policy advice and make social impact a necessary component of the economic cost and benefit analysis in government decision-making processes
  • Conduct a nationwide study into the relationships between regional councils, community boards, and local councils
  • Review the legislative burden that central government has placed on local government to remedy the impact this has on ratepayers
  • Integrate emergency services into a Ministry of Emergency Services
  • Establish an independent firearms authority (IFA)
  • Continue to safeguard our state and local government assets through restricting their sale or use that is outside of New Zealand’s national interest
  • Ensure the future of Maori seats is a decision for the people to make having examined the significant increase in representation numbers of Maori MPs under MMP
  • Bring greater value to New Zealand citizenship through revoking the ability for non-citizens to vote in general elections
  • Continue to oppose the establishment of separate Maori Wards at the local and regional government level