New Zealand

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Question Value
Legal provisions for mandatory referendums at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for optional referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for citizens' initiatives at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for agenda initiatives at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for recall at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the regional level
  • Not applicable
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the local level
  • Optional referendum
  • Citizens' initiative
Legal basis for direct democracy at the national level
  • Specific laws/legislation
  • Regulations
Legal basis for administrative requirements at the national level
  • Specific laws/legislation
Who administers direct democracy mechanisms at the national level?
  • Independent electoral commission
First referendum/initiative held
  • 1894
Has there been a national referendum since 1980?
  • Yes

Question Value
Issues in relation to which referendums are mandatory at the national level
  • None
Issues in relation to which referendums are optional at the national level
  • Any issue of national importance
Issues excluded from being the subject of referendums at the national level
  • None
Issues of sub-national referendums regulated at the national level
  • None
Who can initiate an optional referendum at the national level?
  • Government
  • Registered electors
Who drafts the referendum question?
  • Optional referendum - Government
  • Optional referendum - Registered electors
  • Governor general
Who decides on the final form of the ballot text?
  • Optional referendum - Government
  • Clerk of the House of Representatives
Quorum requirements for a referendum to be valid
  • No quorum requirements
Requirements for a referendum to pass
  • Not specified by legislation
Are referendum results binding?
  • Optional referendum - sometimes

Question Value
Issues that can be proposed by citizens using the initiative process at the national level
  • Citizens' initiatives - legislative proposals
  • Citizens' initiatives - other issues
Issues excluded from being the subject of an initiative at the national level
  • See comment
Who may propose the registration of an initiative?
  • Citizens' initiative - a number of individuals
Materials to accompany an application for registration
  • Full proposed text
Who determines the title of an initiative?
  • Not specified by legislation
What disqualifies a proposed title of an initiative?
  • Not specified by legislation
Who is responsible for checking the legality of initiatives?
  • Clerk of the House of Representatives
At which stage legality check is conducted?
  • After its registration, before the collection of signatures
Who decides the final ballot text when the initiative is put to a vote?
  • The Clerk of the House of Representatives
When does voting take place once an initiative is qualified for ballot?
  • Within a certain time limit

Question Value
Which individuals/positions may be subject to the recall?
    What are the grounds for recall?
      What restrictions are there in relation to the time period in which an individual or position can be recalled?
        When is the recall put to the vote?
          When does the election to replace an individual who has been recalled take place?
            Can an individual who is the subject of a recall stand on the ballot for his/her own replacement?

              Question Value
              How many signatures are required to start the formal decision making stage of a direct democracy mechanism?
              • Citizens' Initiative - proportion of the electorate
              What is the deadline for collecting required number of signatures?
              • Citizens' Initiative - fixed time period
              Restrictions in relation to the individuals who can sign the proposal
              • Citizens' Initiative - signatories must be registered
              Where can proposals be signed?
              • Anywhere
              What information must signatories provide when signing the proposal?
              • Personal details
              Restrictions in relation to signature collection
              • Not specified by legislation
              What forms of checks are undertaken to verify signatures?
              • Sample of signatures are checked
              Who checks the signatures?
              • Clerk of the House of Representatives