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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Constitution (Election of Governor-General) Amendment Bill

Jerry Mataparae's term will expire in about a year. So it's time to dust this off...

Constitution (Election of Governor-General) Amendment Bill

Member's Bill

Explanatory Note

Constitution (Election of Governor-General) Amendment Bill

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1. Title
This is the Constitution (Election of Governor-General) Amendment Act 2015.

2. Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it received the Royal Assent.

3. Principal Act Amended
This Act amends the Constitution Act 1986.

4. Amendment of section 2

Section 2 of the principal Act is amended in the manner indicated in Schedule 1

Schedule 1

Insert after section 2 of the principal Act:

2A. Governor-General to be nominated to Sovereign by House of Representatives

(1) The Prime Minister will advise the Sovereign of the appointee to the office of Governor-General elected by the House of Representatives, as determined under section 2C.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be elected to the office of Governor-General if-
(a) They are not qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament subject to section 47 of the Electoral Act 1993; or
(b) They are a Member of Parliament; or
(c) They have previously been removed from the office of Governor-General under section 2D.

2B. Term of Office of the Governor-General and re-election to office

(1) The term in office of the Governor-General shall be for a period not greater than 5 years;
(2) On the expiry of the term of office of the Governor-General, a subsequent Governor-General must be elected, who shall only serve one term in office.

2C. Election of the Governor-General

(1) If the office of Governor-General becomes vacant, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall call for the nomination of candidates to be elected for nomination to the Sovereign.
(2) Any person shall be deemed to be a candidate for election as Governor-General who, subject to section 2A(2), delivers a letter signed by themselves and at least two Members of Parliament to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, after the Speaker has given notice under subsection (1).
(3) Five days after the notice of the Speaker in subsection (1), the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall inform the House of Representatives of the nominations received.
(4) If only one candidate is nominated, the Speaker shall declare that candidate to be elected, and the Prime Minister shall advise the Sovereign to appoint that person as Governor-General.
(5) If more than one candidate is nominated, the Speaker shall appoint a day, being a day not more than ten days after the notice in subsection (1) for the House of Representatives to vote on candidates.
(6) On the day appointed in subsection (5), the Speaker shall conduct a ballot in which each Member of Parliament present shall vote for one of the candidates nominated for election.
(7) No candidate shall be elected unless they obtain a majority of two-thirds of the votes of those Members of Parliament present and voting and at least half of the parties represented in the House.
(8) If no candidate obtains an majority of two-thirds of votes in the first ballot, the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated, and a further ballot shall be held, after the elimination of the candidate who received the lowest number of votes in the preceding ballot, until one candidate receives a two-thirds majority of votes.
(9) When a candidate receives the required votes under subsection (7) or subsection (8), the Speaker shall declare him or her to be duly elected, and the Prime Minister shall forthwith advise the Sovereign to appoint that person as Governor-General.

2D. Dismissal of the Governor-General

(1) The Governor-General may be dismissed from office by the Prime Minister advising the Sovereign, following a resolution of the House of Representatives passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of its members.
(2) The Governor-General shall not dissolve, prorogue or otherwise interfere with the business of the House of Representatives if such a resolution or vote specified in subsection (1) is before the House of Representatives.