Attorney-General (New Zealand)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Attorney-General of New Zealand
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
Flag of New Zealand.svg
David Parker NZ.jpg
Incumbent
David Parker

since 26 October 2017

Crown Law Office

Parliamentary Counsel Office
Style The Honourable
Member of
Reports to Prime Minister of New Zealand
Appointer Governor-General of New Zealand
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation 7 May 1856
First holder Frederick Whitaker
Salary $288,900[1]
Website www.beehive.govt.nz
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
New Zealand
Constitution

The Attorney-General is a political and legal officer in New Zealand. The Attorney-General is simultaneously a ministerial position and the chief law officer of the Crown, and has responsibility for supervising New Zealand law and advising the government on legal matters. The current Attorney-General is David Parker.

Responsibilities and powers

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, e.g. Martyn Finlay 1972–1975.

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.

The Attorney-General usually has a legal background; the recent exception below being Michael Cullen. In November 1906 when Albert Pitt died, there were no suitable members of the legal profession in Parliament.[2] Hence Joseph Ward appointed John Findlay to the Legislative Council on 23 November 1906,[3] and appointed him Attorney-General and Colonial Secretary on the same day.[4]

History

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 Attorneys-General 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. It is also interesting to note that Peter Wilkinson was the half-brother of his successor, Jim McLay.

List of Attorneys-General

Colour key
(for political parties)

 Independent  
 Liberal  
 Reform  
 United  
 Labour  
 National  

No. Name Portrait Term of Office Prime Minister
1 Frederick Whitaker Frederick Whitaker, ca 1870s.jpg 7 May 1856 20 May 1856 Sewell
2 William Fox Sir William Fox, ca 1890.jpg 20 May 1856 2 June 1856 Fox
(1) Frederick Whitaker Frederick Whitaker, ca 1870s.jpg 2 June 1856 12 July 1861 Stafford
(2) William Fox Sir William Fox, ca 1890.jpg 12 July 1861 2 August 1861 Fox
3 Henry Sewell Henry Sewell, 1860 cropped.jpg 2 August 1861 6 August 1862
4 Thomas Gillies Thomas Gillies.jpg 6 August 1862 23 August 1862 Domett
(3) Henry Sewell Henry Sewell, 1860 cropped.jpg 23 August 1862 1 January 1863
(1) Frederick Whitaker Frederick Whitaker, ca 1870s.jpg 1 January 1863 24 November 1864
Whitaker
(3) Henry Sewell Henry Sewell, 1860 cropped.jpg 24 November 1864 16 October 1865 Weld
5 James Prendergast JamesPrendergast.JPG 16 October 1865 1 September 1876 Stafford
(1) Frederick Whitaker Frederick Whitaker, ca 1870s.jpg 1 September 1876 13 October 1877 Atkinson
6 Robert Stout Robert Stout, 1885.jpg 13 October 1877 8 October 1879 Grey
(1) Frederick Whitaker Frederick Whitaker, ca 1870s.jpg 21 April 1882 25 September 1883 Whitaker
7 Edward Conolly No image.png 25 September 1883 16 August 1884 Atkinson
(6) Robert Stout Robert Stout, 1885.jpg 16 August 1884 8 October 1887 Stout
(1) Frederick Whitaker Frederick Whitaker, ca 1870s.jpg 11 October 1887 24 January 1891 Atkinson
8 Patrick Buckley Patrick Alphonsus Buckley.jpg 24 January 1891 20 December 1895 Ballance
Seddon
9 Albert Pitt No image.png 22 June 1903 18 November 1906
Hall-Jones
Ward
10 John Findlay John George Findlay.jpg 18 November 1906 26 December 1911
- Josiah Hanan
acting
Josiah Alfred Hanan, ca 1908.jpg 28 March 1912 10 July 1912 Mackenzie
11 Alexander Herdman Alexander Herdman.jpg 10 July 1912 4 February 1918 Massey
12 Francis Bell Francis Bell.jpg 4 February 1918 18 January 1926
Bell
Coates
13 William Downie Stewart Jr. William Downie Stewart.jpg 18 January 1926 24 May 1926
14 Frank Rolleston Frank Rolleston.jpg 24 May 1926 10 December 1928
15 Thomas Sidey Thomas Kay Sidey.jpg 10 December 1928 22 September 1931 Ward
Forbes
(13) William Downie Stewart Jr. William Downie Stewart.jpg 22 September 1931 28 January 1933
16 George Forbes George William Forbes.jpg 28 January 1933 6 December 1935
17 Rex Mason Rex Mason.jpg 6 December 1935 13 December 1949 Savage
Fraser
18 Clifton Webb Clifton Webb.jpg 13 December 1949 26 November 1954 Holland
19 Jack Marshall Jack Marshall 1951.jpg 26 November 1954 12 December 1957
Holyoake
(17) Rex Mason Rex Mason.jpg 12 December 1957 12 December 1960 Nash
20 Ralph Hanan Josiah Ralph Hanan, ca 1946.jpg 12 December 1960 22 December 1969 Holyoake
(19) Jack Marshall Jack Marshall Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F011973-0020 cropped.jpg 22 December 1969 2 February 1971
21 Dan Riddiford Dan Riddiford.jpg 2 February 1971 9 February 1972
- Roy Jack
acting
No image.png 9 February 1972 8 December 1972 Marshall
22 Martyn Finlay Martyn Finlay, 1945.jpg 8 December 1972 12 December 1975 Kirk
Rowling
23 Peter Wilkinson No image.png 12 December 1975 13 December 1978 Muldoon
24 Jim McLay Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT - Flickr - The Official CTBTO Photostream (18).jpg 13 December 1978 26 July 1984
25 Geoffrey Palmer SirGeoffreyPalmer.jpg 26 July 1984 4 August 1989 Lange
26 David Lange David Lange (cropped).jpg 4 August 1989 2 November 1990 Palmer
Moore
27 Paul East No image.png 2 November 1990 5 December 1997 Bolger
28 Doug Graham No image.png 5 December 1997 5 December 1999
Shipley
29 Margaret Wilson Margaret Wilson Senate of Poland 01.JPG 5 December 1999 28 February 2005 Clark
30 Michael Cullen Michael Cullen, 2008.jpg 28 February 2005 19 October 2005
31 David Parker David Parker NZ.jpg 19 October 2005 21 March 2006
(30) Michael Cullen Michael Cullen, 2008.jpg 21 March 2006 19 November 2008
32 Chris Finlayson Chris Finlayson-Net Hui 2011.jpg 19 November 2008 26 October 2017 Key
English
(31) David Parker David Parker NZ.jpg 26 October 2017 present Ardern

External links

  • Ministerial Briefing describing the role of the Attorney-General

References

  1. ^ https://www.parliament.nz/media/3151/parliamentary-salaries-and-allowances-determination-2016.pdf
  2. ^ Paterson, Donald Edgar (1966), "Findlay, the Hon. Sir John George", An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, retrieved 10 May 2008 
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 153.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 74.
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Attorney-General_(New_Zealand)&oldid=810451553"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney-General_(New_Zealand)
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Attorney-General (New Zealand)"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA