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Dissolution of the 49th Parliament



The 49th Parliament will come to an end at 11.00 am on Thursday, 20 October 2011.

A proclamation by the Governor-General dissolving the Parliament will be read on the steps of Parliament House.

Only the Governor-General has the power to dissolve Parliament; the House cannot do so itself, though like other legal powers of the Governor-General, that to dissolve Parliament is exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister.

All parliamentary business comes to a halt at the moment of dissolution. Uncompleted items of business lapse, and will be available for reinstatement by the House when it meets after the election. Reinstated business resumes from the point reached at dissolution.

The dissolution ceremony will begin shortly before 11.00 am on Thursday, 20 October with a procession through the foyer and down the steps of Parliament House (in the event of wet weather, the ceremony will be held in the foyer).

The proclamation will be read by Philip O’Shea (New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary), and witnessed by Mary Harris (Clerk of the House), Debra Angus (Deputy Clerk of the House) and Fay Paterson (Clerk-Assistant House Services).

Under the Constitution Act 1986, dissolution occurs either when the Governor-General’s proclamation is read, or when it is published in the Gazette. The first Parliament to be dissolved by the proclamation being read was the 41st Parliament, in 1987. Every Parliament since the 43rd in 1993 has been dissolved in this way.

The dissolution of Parliament triggers the process leading to the holding of the general election. The date of the first meeting of the 50th Parliament will be announced by a further proclamation.


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