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Speech from the Throne

7.3 The first formal opportunity for a government to outline its legislative intentions is the delivery of the Speech from the Throne. The Speech from the Throne is given by the Governor-General or the Sovereign (if in New Zealand) on the second sitting day of a parliamentary term, when the State Opening of Parliament is held. The formal purpose of the speech is to explain the reasons for summoning Parliament. It is usual for the speech to announce, in broad terms, the government’s policy and legislative proposals on the principal issues of the day. The moving of the Address in Reply and the subsequent debate are the first opportunity after an election for the House of Representatives to express confidence in the government.

7.4 The Speech from the Throne is prepared following a process determined by the Prime Minister, with officials assisting as required. The Prime Minister sends a preview copy to the Governor-General. Once the final text is approved, the Cabinet Office arranges for presentation copies of the speech to be printed and for the speech to be published in the New Zealand Gazette after it has been given. The Prime Minister's Office disseminates the speech to the media.

Last updated: 
Saturday, 24 June 2017

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