Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/621

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NEW ZEALAND. Crovernment and Constitution.

Tlie present form of government for New Zealand was estab- lished by statute 15 & 16 Vict., cap. 72, passed in 1852. By this Act the colony was divided into six provinces, afterwards increased to nine, each governed by a Superintendent and Provincial Council, elected by the inhabitants according to a franchise practically amounting to household suffrage. By a sub- sequent Act of the Colonial Legislature, 39 Vict., No. xxi., passed in 1875, the provincial system of government was abolished, and the powers previously exercised by superintendents and provincial officers were ordered to be exercised by the Governor or by local boards. By the terms of this and other amending statutes, the legislative power is vested in the Governor and a * General Assembly' consisting of two Chambers — the first called the Legislative Council, and the second the House of Representatives . The Governor has the power of assenting to or withholding con- sent from bills, or he may reserve them for Her Majesty's pleasure. He summons, prorogues, and dissolves the Parliament. He can send drafts of bills to either House for consideration, but in case of appropriations of public money must first recommend the House of Representatives to make provision accordingly before any appro- priations can become law. He can return bills for amendment to either House.

The Legislative Council consists at present of forty-eight mem- bers, who are paid at the rate of 150^. per annum. Those ap- pointed before September 17, 1891, are life members, but those appointed subsequently to that date hold their seats for seven years only, though they are eligible for reappointment. By an Act passed in 1887, the number of members of the House of Representatives was reduced to seventy-four, including four Maoris, elected by the people for three years. They are paid at the rate 'of 240/. per annum. Every man registered as an elector, and not coming within the meaning of section 8 of *' The Electoral Act, 1893 " (alien, felon, public defaulter, &c.), is qualified to be elected a member of the House of Representatives for any Electoral District. Women cannot be members of either branch of the Legislature. For European representation every adult person (of either sex), if resident one year in the colony and three months in one electoral district, can be registered an elector. The property qualification, except in case of existing registra- tions, was abolished by the Amendment Act (Electoral) of 1896. No person may be registered on more than one electoral roll.

For Maori representation every adult Maori resident in any