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New Book Marks 150 Years Of New Zealand Parliament

New Book Marks 150 Years Of New Zealand Parliament

On Wednesday 12 May at Parliament, Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt, Speaker of the House of Representatives will launch The House, the history of one of the world’s oldest functioning legislative chambers. The House: New Zealand’s House of Representatives 1854-2004 is published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of the House of Representatives in Auckland on 24 May 1854.

Written by historian Dr John Martin, The House is a fascinating account of the institution, its practices, the people and colourful personalities who lived and breathed its culture, and of its unfolding political dramas over the past 150 years.

It charts the early beginnings of the House of Representatives in Auckland and the ensuing political struggles with the Governor and Legislative Council. It looks at the impact of Parliament moving to Wellington and the subsequent formation of political parties. Moving into the twentieth century it tells of the shift in balance between the powers of the executive and Parliament, the destruction of the Houses of Parliament by fire, the experience of two World Wars, the abolition of the Legislative Chamber, and the reign of two-party politics. It details the radical changes of the last two decades with the adoption of MMP.

The House, published by Dunmore Press in association with Parliamentary Service, Office of the Clerk and The History Group, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, will be launched at 6.15pm on Wednesday 12 May in the Grand Hall, Parliament, Wellington.

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