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NZ's Political System Under The Microscope

Media Release from the Royal Society of New Zealand


22 February 2000

New Zealand’s Political System Under The Microscope

New Zealand’s political system will go under the microscope in the indepth research of a newly awarded James Cook Research Fellow.

The President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Sir John Scott announced today that Associate Professor Jack Vowles, from Waikato University is one of four researchers to be awarded a two year James Cook Research Fellowship by the Society.

Since 1984 he has collected extensive information about political behaviour and opinion in New Zealand. He wishes to analyse this information and compare it with other countries whose citizens may have had a similar experience.

“Over the period since 1984 New Zealanders have become progressively disillusioned with politicians and politics,” Associate Professor Vowles said.

“New Zealand has moved from a two party electoral system to a multi party system. This move started before the change in our electoral system, which has further reinforced the trend, seeing our politics become much more complex.

“My research could help us understand the trends and perhaps draw some lessons to assist future institutional design and public policy,” he said.

Associate Professor Vowles plans to write a book to present the results of his research.

For further information:
Associate Professor Jack Vowles, wk 07 838 4445, hm 07 847 2015
Sue Usher, Executive Officer, The Royal Society of New Zealand, 04 472 7421.

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