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The Minister of Finance, originally known as Colonial Treasurer, is a senior figure within the Government of New Zealand and head of the New Zealand Treasury. The position is often considered to be the most important cabinet post after that of the Prime Minister.[2] The Minister of Finance is responsible for producing an annual New Zealand budget outlining the government's proposed expenditure.

Minister of Finance of New Zealand
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Grant Robertson.jpg
Incumbent
Hon Grant Robertson

since 26 October 2017
The Treasury
StyleThe Honourable
Member of
Reports toPrime Minister of New Zealand
AppointerGovernor-General of New Zealand
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation3 May 1841
First holderGeorge Cooper as Colonial Treasurer
Salary$288,900[1]
Websitewww.beehive.govt.nz

The current Minister of Finance is Grant Robertson. There are also four Associate Minister roles; they are currently held by David Clark, David Parker, Shane Jones and James Shaw.[3]

Contents

Responsibilities and powersEdit

One of the Minister of Finance's key roles involves the framing of the annual year budget. According to Parliament's Standing Orders, the Minister of Finance may veto any parliamentary bill which would have a significant impact on the government's budget plans. The Minister of Finance supervises the Treasury, which is the government's primary advisor on matters of economic and financial policy.[4] As such, the Minister of Finance has broad control of the government's spending, making the position quite powerful.

Some analysts, such as Jonathan Boston, claim that the Minister of Finance can sometimes hold more influence than the Prime Minister, if the conditions are right. Gordon Coates, Finance Minister in the early 1930s, was sometimes such a figure. Some political scientists, such as Boston, believe that in the government of David Lange, Minister of Finance Roger Douglas held more power than was proper, and that the Treasury was using its control of government finances to take a supervisory role across the whole administration. It was probably for this reason that Lange's successor, Geoffrey Palmer, established the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which could offer the Prime Minister advice independent of that given by individual ministers.

HistoryEdit

The office of Minister of Finance has existed since 1841.[5] Apart from the office of Prime Minister itself, the only other cabinet posts to have existed since the first cabinet are those of Attorney-General and Minister of Internal Affairs. Originally, the holder of the post was designated "Colonial Treasurer", but this term was replaced with "Minister of Finance" shortly after New Zealand ceased to be a Colony and became a Dominion. This occurred in 1907, during the cabinet of Joseph Ward.

In the past, several Prime Ministers took on the post of Minister of Finance themselves, though in recent times this practice has declined. Robert Muldoon, the last person to concurrently serve as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, created considerable controversy by doing so. It is more common, however, for a Deputy Prime Minister to serve as Minister of Finance. Bob Tizard, Michael Cullen and Bill English served as Deputy Prime Minister when in the position as Minister of Finance.

Traditionally Ministers of Finance rank second or third in seniority lists within Westminster-style Cabinets, although initially Harry Lake was ranked at sixth and his successor Robert Muldoon was ranked at eighth; both because of their short service to date in Parliament, and because Keith Holyoake saw Muldoon as too arrogant and ambitious for his own good.

After the 1996 elections, the role of the Minister of Finance was split between two portfolios – that of Minister of Finance and that of Treasurer. The position of Treasurer was senior to that of the Minister of Finance, and was created as part of the coalition agreement between the National Party and New Zealand First. It was established especially for Winston Peters, leader of New Zealand First, who demanded it as part of the deal. When Peters ended the coalition, the position reverted to the National Party, and after the change of government in 1999, it was reincorporated into the old Minister of Finance portfolio by Labour in 2002.

List of Finance MinistersEdit

Key

  Independent   Liberal   Reform   United   Labour   National

No. Name Portrait Term of Office Prime Minister
1 George Cooper   3 May 1841 9 May 1842 none
2 Alexander Shepherd   9 May 1842 7 May 1856
3 Dillon Bell   7 May 1856 20 May 1856 Sewell
4 Charles Brown   20 May 1856 2 June 1856 Fox
5 Henry Sewell   2 June 1856 4 November 1856 Stafford
6 William Richmond   4 November 1856 25 February 1859
(5) Henry Sewell   25 February 1859 26 April 1859
(6) William Richmond   26 April 1859 12 July 1861
7 Reader Wood   12 July 1861 6 August 1862 Fox
(3) Dillon Bell   6 August 1862 21 August 1862 Domett
(7) Reader Wood   21 August 1862 24 November 1864
Whitaker
8 William Fitzherbert   24 November 1864 16 October 1865 Weld
9 Edward Stafford   31 October 1865 12 June 1866 Stafford
10 Francis Jollie   12 June 1866 24 August 1866
(8) William Fitzherbert   24 August 1866 28 June 1869
11 Julius Vogel   28 June 1869 10 September 1872 Fox
12 Thomas Gillies   10 September 1872 11 October 1872 Stafford
(11) Julius Vogel   11 October 1872 6 July 1875 Waterhouse
Fox
Vogel
13 Harry Atkinson   6 July 1875 15 February 1876 Pollen
(11) Julius Vogel   15 February 1876 1 September 1876 Vogel
(13) Harry Atkinson   1 September 1876 13 October 1877 Atkinson
14 William Larnach   15 October 1877 5 March 1878 Grey
15 John Ballance   12 March 1878 1 July 1879
16 George Grey   10 July 1879 8 October 1879
(13) Harry Atkinson   8 October 1879 16 August 1884 Hall
Whitaker
Atkinson
(11) Julius Vogel   16 August 1884
3 September 1884
28 August 1884
8 October 1887
Stout
(13) Harry Atkinson   8 October 1887 24 January 1891 Atkinson
(15) John Ballance   24 January 1891 27 April 1893 Ballance
17 Joseph Ward   1 May 1893 16 June 1896 Seddon
18 Richard Seddon   16 June 1896 10 June 1906
19 William Hall-Jones   21 June 1906 6 August 1906 Hall-Jones
(17) Joseph Ward   6 August 1906 28 March 1912 Ward
20 Arthur Myers   28 March 1912 10 July 1912 Mackenzie
21 James Allen   10 July 1912 12 August 1915 Massey
(17) Joseph Ward   12 August 1915 21 August 1919
(21) James Allen   4 September 1919 28 April 1920
22 William Massey   12 May 1920 10 May 1925
23 William Nosworthy   14 May 1925 24 May 1926 Bell
Coates
24 William Downie Stewart, Jr.   24 May 1926 10 December 1928
(17) Joseph Ward   10 December 1928 28 May 1930 Ward
25 George Forbes   28 May 1930 22 September 1931 Forbes
(24) William Downie Stewart, Jr.   22 September 1931 28 January 1933
26 Gordon Coates   28 January 1933 6 December 1935
27 Walter Nash   6 December 1935 13 December 1949 Savage
Fraser
28 Sidney Holland   13 December 1949 26 November 1954 Holland
29 Jack Watts   26 November 1954 12 December 1957
Holyoake
30 Arnold Nordmeyer   12 December 1957 12 December 1960 Nash
31 Harry Lake   12 December 1960 21 February 1967 Holyoake
32 Robert Muldoon   4 March 1967 8 December 1972
Marshall
33 Bill Rowling   8 December 1972 6 September 1974 Kirk
34 Bob Tizard   6 September 1974 12 December 1975 Rowling
(32) Robert Muldoon   12 December 1975 26 July 1984 Muldoon
35 Roger Douglas   26 July 1984 14 December 1988 Lange
36 David Caygill   14 December 1988 2 November 1990
Palmer
Moore
37 Ruth Richardson   2 November 1990 29 November 1993 Bolger
38 Bill Birch   29 November 1993 1 February 1999
Shipley
39 Bill English   1 February 1999 22 June 1999
(38) Bill Birch   22 June 1999 10 December 1999
40 Michael Cullen   10 December 1999 19 November 2008 Clark
(39) Bill English   19 November 2008 12 December 2016 Key
41 Steven Joyce   12 December 2016 26 October 2017 English
42 Grant Robertson   26 October 2017 Incumbent Ardern

List of TreasurersEdit

Key

  NZ First   National   Labour

No. Name Portrait Term of Office Prime Minister
1 Winston Peters   16 December 1996 14 August 1998 Bolger
Shipley
2 Bill Birch   14 August 1998 June 1999
3 Bill English   June 1999 10 December 1999
4 Michael Cullen   10 December 1999 15 August 2002 Clark

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 2016" (PDF). Parliament.nz. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  2. ^ Clifton, Jane (19 September 2013). "Influentials: Politics". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Ministerial Portfolio: Finance". The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  5. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1897). "Mr. George Cooper". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington Provincial District. Wellington. Retrieved 12 June 2010.

External linksEdit