FANDOM


Template:Politics of New Zealand The Attorney-General is a political office in New Zealand. It is simultaneously a ministerial position and an administrative office, and has responsibility for supervising New Zealand law and advising the government on legal matters.

Responsibilities and powersEdit

The Attorney-General has two main areas of official responsibility. Firstly, the Attorney-General has ministerial jurisdiction over the Crown Law Office, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the Serious Fraud Office. Secondly, the Attorney-General is the principal law officer of the Crown, responsible for supervising the state's administration of the law and for providing legal advice to the government. In the latter role (but strictly not in the former), the Attorney-General is assisted by the Solicitor-General, a non-partisan official. This is to reduce the extent to which the Attorney-General's actions on behalf of the state (as opposed to the government) can be influenced by their political allegiance.

A more complete description of the Attorney-General's powers can be found in the 2004 ministerial briefing prepared by the Crown Law Office, which the Attorney-General supervises.

The position of Attorney-General is distinct from that of Minister of Justice, although the two posts are sometimes held by the same person.

At present, there is no statutory basis which establishes the office of Attorney-General, although the position is referenced by a number of other legal documents, such as the Constitution Act 1986.

HistoryEdit

The post of Attorney-General has existed since the separation of New Zealand as a distinct Crown Colony from New South Wales. Because of the dual nature of the role, however, it has sometimes been filled by politicians and sometimes by jurists — not all Attorney-Generals have been cabinet ministers.

The table below is an incomplete listing of New Zealand politicians who have sat in Cabinet as Attorney-General since 1856. It does not show non-political attorneys-general. There were two previous Attorneys-General before responsible government was introduced in New Zealand in 1856: Francis Fisher who held office for less than one year in 1841, and William Swainson who held office until 7 May 1856.

Name PM Served Took Office Left Office Party
Frederick Whitaker Sewell 7 May 1856 20 May 1856 None
William Fox (himself) 20 May 1856 2 Jun 1856 None
Frederick Whitaker, 2nd time Stafford 2 Jun 1856 12 Jul 1861 None
William Fox, 2nd time (himself) 12 Jul 1961 2 Aug 1861 None
Thomas Gillies Domett 2 Aug 1861 23 Aug 1862 None
Henry Sewell Domett 23 Aug 1862 1 Jul 1863 None
Frederick Whitaker, 3rd time Domett, (himself) 1 Jul 1863 24 Nov 1864 None
Henry Sewell, 2nd time Weld 24 Nov 1864 16 Oct 1865 None
James Prendergast Edward Stafford 16 Oct 1865 1 Sep 1876 None
Frederick Whitaker, 4th time Atkinson 1 Sep 1876 13 Oct 1877 None
Robert Stout Grey 13 Mar 1878 25 June 1879 None
Frederick Whitaker, 5th time (himself) 21 Apr 1882 25 Sep 1883 None
Edward Conolly Atkinson, Harry 25 Sep 1883 16 Aug 1884 None
Robert Stout, 2nd time (himself) 16 Aug 1884 28 Aug 1884 None
Robert Stout, 3rd time (himself) 3 Sep 1884 8 Oct 1887 None
Frederick Whitaker, 6th time Atkinson 11 Oct 1887 24 Jan 1891 None
Patrick Buckley Ballance, Seddon 24 Jan 1891 20 Dec 1895 Liberal
Albert Pitt Seddon, Hall-Jones, Ward 22 Jun 1903 18 Nov 1906 Liberal
John Findlay Ward 23 Nov 1906 26 Dec 1911 Liberal
Alexander Herdman Massey 10 Jul 1912 4 Feb 1918 Reform
Francis Bell (New Zealand Prime Minister) (himself), Coates 14 May 1925 18 Jan 1926 Reform
William Downie Stewart Coates 18 Jan 1926 24 May 1926 Reform
Francis Rolleston Coates 24 May 1926 26 Nov 1928 Reform
Thomas Sidey Ward, Forbes 10 Dec 1928 22 Sep 1931 United
William Downie Stewart, 2nd time Forbes 22 Sep 1931 28 Jan 1933 Reform
George Forbes (himself) 28 Jan 1933 6 Dec 1935 United
Rex Mason Savage, Fraser 6 Dec 1935 13 Dec 1949 Labour
Clifton Webb Holland 13 Dec 1949 26 Nov 1954 National
Jack Marshall Holland, Holyoake 26 Nov 1954 12 Dec 1957 National
Rex Mason, 2nd time Nash 12 Dec 1957 12 Dec 1960 Labour
Ralph Hanan Holyoake 12 Dec 1960 24 Jul 1969 National
Jack Marshall, 2nd time Holyoake 22 Dec 1969 2 Feb 1971 National
Dan Riddiford Holyoake 2 Feb 1971 9 Feb 1972 None
Roy Jack Marshall 9 Feb 1972 8 Dec 1972 National
Martyn Finlay Kirk, Rowling 8 Dec 1972 12 Dec 1975 Labour
Peter Wilkinson Muldoon 12 Dec 1975 13 Dec 1978 National
Jim McLay Muldoon 13 Dec 1978 26 Jul 1984 National
Geoffrey Palmer Lange 26 Jul 1984 4 Aug 1989 Labour
David Lange Palmer, Moore 4 Aug 1989 2 Nov 1990 Labour
Paul East Bolger 2 Nov 1990 5 Dec? 1997 National
Doug Graham Bolger, Shipley 5 Dec? 1997 5 Dec 1999 National
Margaret Wilson Clark 5 Dec 1999 28 Feb 2005 Labour
Michael Cullen Clark 28 Feb 2005 19 Oct 2005 Labour
David Parker Clark 19 Oct 2005 20 Mar 2006 Labour
Michael Cullen Clark 21 Mar 2006 incumbent Labour

External linksEdit


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the English-language Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.