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Sovereign of New Zealand

1.2 New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy. The Sovereign in right of New Zealand is the head of state of New Zealand, and is known by the royal style and titles defined in statute from time to time. Upon the demise of a Sovereign, the transition to the Sovereign's successor is immediate and automatic.

1.3 The Sovereign exercises certain powers and functions as the head of state, acting on the advice of New Zealand Ministers—the Prime Minister being the principal adviser. The appointment of the Governor-General and the conferral of Royal Honours are the principal examples of the matters in relation to which the Sovereign exercises powers. The Sovereign is able to carry out any of the functions delegated to or conferred by statute on the Governor-General.

References to “the Crown”

1.4 The expression ‘the Crown’ is used frequently in descriptions of New Zealand's current constitutional arrangements. The meaning of “the Crown” varies according to the context in which it is used. Generally, it describes executive government conducted by Ministers and their departments. It does not normally include organisations having their own corporate identities, such as state-owned enterprises.

Last updated: 
Friday, 23 June 2017

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