Law & Government

Law & Government

About Law & Government

Our representatives in Parliament and their advisors have the power to affect thousands, even millions, of lives. From the constitutional framework that empowers and limits government, to issues of law and policy that touch on deeper issues like the value and inviolability of human life, we continue an active engagement and interest in a range of policy and legal issues.

Most Recent Activity

Submission: Health Select Committee Inquiry into the ending of one’s life in New Zealand

By Jane Silloway Smith


Since late 2013, Maxim Institute has undertaken a stream of research into the legal and policy arguments regarding euthanasia and…

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Submission: Time for a four-year parliamentary term

Submission: Time for a four-year parliamentary term

By Kieran Madden


It’s time for a four-year term. While it’s been in and out of the news all year, after extensive research…

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Constitutional Theory for the Constitutional Review

Constitutional Theory for the Constitutional Review

By Research Fellow


What is the history of New Zealand’s constitution? What is the nature and purpose of a constitution? What is the…

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Submission: Lobbying Disclosure Bill

Submission: Lobbying Disclosure Bill

By Alex Penk


The Lobbying Disclosure Bill is currently before Select Committee. Maxim Institute has made a submission on the bill, arguing that…

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Kicking the tyres: Choosing a voting system for New Zealand

Kicking the tyres: Choosing a voting system for New Zealand

By Steve Thomas


At the 2011 election in November, voters will get the chance to vote in a referendum on whether New Zealand…

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MMP Review Submission

MMP Review Submission

By Kieran Madden


New Zealand should have a voting system that enables our MPs and the government to have the freedom to lead…

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A Better Mix – Why SM strikes the best balance and should be New Zealand’s voting system

A Better Mix – Why SM strikes the best balance and should be New Zealand’s voting system


New Zealanders have the chance to choose a different voting system from among five different options. In this Research Paper,…

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Enhancing MMP: How to improve New Zealand’s current voting system

Enhancing MMP: How to improve New Zealand’s current voting system

By Steve Thomas


New Zealand’s voting system is under review. We have the opportunity to let the Government know how we think it…

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Being Better Neighbours

Being Better Neighbours

By Jane Silloway Smith


As a member of the international community, New Zealand has a role to play in overseas development. A new policy…

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A Tale of Two Houses: Does MMP mean New Zealand doesn’t need an upper house?

A Tale of Two Houses: Does MMP mean New Zealand doesn’t need an upper house?

By Guest Author


Not all democracies look the same. The type of electoral system we have, and the structure of our Parliament, affect…

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In Search of Better Law-making

In Search of Better Law-making

By Guest Author


Despite good intentions of improving the quality of laws that are passed in Parliament, the Regulatory Responsibility Bill is a…

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Criminal injustice and the proposed “three-strikes” law

Criminal injustice and the proposed “three-strikes” law

By Guest Author


This Guest Paper analyses the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill. The Bill sets out a “three strikes” sentencing regime, which…

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Lock ’em up and throw away the key: Criminal injustice and the proposed “three strikes” law

Lock ’em up and throw away the key: Criminal injustice and the proposed “three strikes” law

By Research Fellow


Legal experts from the University of Auckland, Professor Warren Brookbanks and Dr Richard Ekins critiqued the “three strikes” policy that…

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A heart and mind for the poor

A heart and mind for the poor

By Jane Silloway Smith


New Zealand is a wealthy country in a world with much need. Confronted by this, many are concerned about the…

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A Government for the People: The value of representative democracy

A Government for the People: The value of representative democracy

By Research Fellow


It is common to think that direct democracy is what democracy should be. On this view, democracy in its true…

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Broken Boughs: The role of effective family interventions

Broken Boughs: The role of effective family interventions

By Alex Penk


Too many New Zealand children are mired in dysfunction. But though the problems are bleak, we needn’t throw in the…

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Issues Paper: <em>Money from helicopters?</em>

Issues Paper: Money from helicopters?

By Jane Silloway Smith


Foreign aid is a topic that for decades has generated much concern, study, conversation and debate amongst practitioners and experts…

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Submission: <em>Electoral Finance Reform Issues</em>

Submission: Electoral Finance Reform Issues

By Alex Penk


Maxim Institute has made a submission to the first stage of this process, arguing that the law needs to strike…

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Submission: <em>Policing Bill</em>

Submission: Policing Bill

By Maxim Institute


Maxim Institute believes that the Policing Bill is a timely and appropriate piece of legislation that deserves the support of…

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Submission: <em>Electoral Finance Bill</em>

Submission: Electoral Finance Bill


Maxim Institute opposes the Electoral Finance Bill (“Bill”) on the basis that its core provisions create unjustifiable limits on freedom…

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