Parties and Society in New Zealand

Jack Vowles

in Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199240562
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600296 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 Parties and Society in New Zealand

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The first introductory section discusses the evolution of the current party system in New Zealand, from a system dominated by the two parties around which it had aligned in the 1930s, to the consequences for party composition and representation of the change from the first past the post (FPTP) or single‐member plurality (SMP) electoral system, to the new mixed‐member proportional (MMP) system under which the 1996 and 1999 elections were fought. The second introductory section discusses theoretical issues associated with party system dealignment that has resulted. The next three sections cover the same topics as those in the other country case studies in the book, and examine party legitimacy, party organizational strength (party finance, staffing, membership activity, and media), and systemic functionality (governance, interest articulation and aggregation, political recruitment, and political communication and education).

Keywords: case studies; dealignment; electoral systems; first past the post system; governance; interest aggregation; interest articulation; media; mixed‐member proportional system; New Zealand; party finance; party functionality; party legitimacy; party membership; party organization; party performance; party staffing; party system; political communication; political education; political parties; political recruitment; political system; single‐member plurality system

Chapter.  12869 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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