ABOUT THESE REPORTS
The reports listed below all relate to the New Zealand Parliament, while dealing with issues of universal interest to all Westminster-style Parliaments. McKinlay Douglas Ltd Principal Adrienne von Tunzelmann advised on, and contributed to the authorship of, each one. Six of the reports were produced by independent committees appointed by the Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament to review aspects of parliamentary governance, administration and budgeting.
Each of the reports can be read in full using the links below.
TRIENNIAL PARLIAMENTARY APPROPRIATION REVIEWS
The New Zealand Parliamentary Service Act 2000 requires that the Speaker of the House of Representatives during the term of each Parliament establish a committee to review money appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of administrative and support services provided to the House of Representatives and to members of Parliament and for funding entitlements for parliamentary purposes. The aim was to provide for a systematic examination of Parliament’s resourcing needs and to ask the question, in what way might a change in resourcing enhance the functioning of Parliament and democracy.
McKinlay Douglas Ltd Principal Adrienne von Tunzelmann was engaged as adviser to the first and subsequent two reviews. The latest review was carried out in 2010.
The committee carrying out the first triennial review of parliamentary appropriations developed a framework of ‘first principles’ that set the pattern for subsequent reviews. Recommendations covered the quantum of budgetary support for parliamentary parties and MPs, and enhancements to services for MPs and staff remuneration, advancing the use of information and communications technology for parliamentary purposes and to enhance public participation, strengthening support for select committees and budget management.
This review focused on how to meet the resource requirements of party groups and members, and ensure fair resource allocation within inevitable budget constraints, while adhering to public expectations of an MMP Parliament.
The focus for this review was the need to enact a vast and far-reaching suite of improvements in four key areas: managing the parliamentary appropriations; service capability; the parliamentary campus; and funding and support services for parties and members including out-of-Parliament offices.
OTHER REVIEWS AND REPORTS
Restoring Public Confidence in Parliament 1998
This work was undertaken by three former Speakers of the New Zealand House of Representatives: Sir Richard Harrison, Sir Robin Gray and Sir Peter Tapsell. The committee invited Adrienne von Tunzelmann to act as adviser. It was sparked by concerns held by the Executive of the Association of Former Members of the New Zealand Parliament about low public perceptions of the performance and relevance of the House of Representatives. The committee’s task was to look into the reasons for this situation and “To see what action could be taken to help restore the perception of the importance and relevance of Parliament and of the democratic processes in the opinion of the public.”
Review of the Parliamentary Service Act (Rodger Report, 1999)
This review was chaired by former Cabinet Minister Hon Stan Rodger. Adrienne von Tunzelmann was a member of review team. The focus was on the governance of parliamentary administration and the role of the Parliamentary Service Commission. A central theme, and basis for the committee’s recommendations, was the issue of accountability. The committee sought to reinforce and strengthen the constitutional principle of the independence of Parliament from the Executive. The other main emphasis in the report was further improving the responsiveness of the processes for allocating and managing the funding for members’ support in an MMP environment.
Review of the System for Determining and Administering Parliamentary Remuneration and Expenses (Todd Report, 2002)
This committee was chaired by Chartered Accountant and Company Director Mr Jeff Todd. Adrienne von Tunzelmann was appointed as adviser. The report proposed a clear direction for improving the arrangements for determining and administering MPs' entitlements, and laid out the practical implications. The committee saw its task as providing “a workable set of proposals designed to resolve past problems in a comprehensive way and to overcome public perceptions arising from confusion over the nature of, and where responsibility lies for, MPs’ remuneration and expenses.”
Review of Bulk Funding (Goulter Report, 2008)
Commissioned by Speaker of the House of Representatives, this review was undertaken by Sir John Goulter, KNZM, with Adrienne von Tunzelmann as adviser. The purpose was to produce an “issues paper” on the subject of “bulk funding” parliamentary parties and/or individual members of Parliament through the parliamentary appropriations. The report takes the form of a discussion paper. Rather than reaching a view for or against bulk funding, the paper canvasses the issues that would or could arise under bulk funding, to allow a better understanding of the implications.