Opposite page: Wellington Harbour; Left: The statue of the longest serving Prime Minister of New Zealand, Richard John Steddon, outside Parliament.
of bills). The data backed up what the interviewees for the project emphasised: the main reason for using urgency was to push forward the government’s agenda. By implication, urgency (despite its name) is not predominantly, or even often,
used to respond to emergencies, or to urgent, unexpected government business. One of the more concerning
uses of urgency is when urgency is used in a way that skips the select committee process. New Zealand’s
select committee system, where a Bill is sent to a multi-party committee for consideration and the hearing of public submissions after the bill’s first reading, is an important check on the otherwise ‘executive paradise’ enjoyed by New Zealand