POLITICS 107/107G : New Zealand Politics


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to understanding who governs New Zealand and in whose interests. Topics include national identity, institutions of government, leadership, voting and elections, the place of Māori within the political system, parties and political participation. The course draws on current research in NZ politics and provides knowledge that can be applied to a variety of careers, including law, business and public service.

Course Overview

There are three main elements to this course:
(1) History and Institutions - this is the part that we could call "NZ Politics 101" - we will cover the basics of NZ government, including the history behind the system. This is to ensure that you know the key institutions, rules, what policy is, why a mace is carried into the house each sitting day, how Parliament and Government works, and so on. In summary, this section of the course provides background so that students understand how parliament and government work in NZ.
(2) Parties, leaders, and elections - we then get into "political science" or politics part of the course - key questions include: what do we mean by left and right? Who are the main, minor, and micro parties? How do the parties campaign? How do they win? What are the Māori seats? Who is the Orange Guy? And why even vote anyway?
(3) Current events and issues in NZ politics - throughout the course we will have a number of guests and place an emphasis on current issues in politics. We will have a number of Members of Parliament as visitors, plus we will cover important issues such as participation, gender, and referenda.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Gain a grounding in the histories, actors, and institutions involved in government and politics in New Zealand. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of New Zealand voters, the NZ party system, and the other forces, such as the electoral system, which shape NZ politics. (Capability 1.1, 1.3, 3.1, 4.1, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  3. Develop a body of knowledge and set of skills that you can take into your professional career (in law, commerce, engineering, the public service, etc.). (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  4. Strengthen your ability to make critical judgments about current social and political issues. These judgments may help to inform your decisions as voters, as participants in the policy-making and policy-implementation processes, and in everyday life. (Capability 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2 and 5.1)
  5. Refine your communication skills. These include skills in meme-making for a defined audience (Assignment 1) and in academic writing (Assignment 2). (Capability 2.1, 2.3, 4.1, 4.2, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Meme Assignment 15% Individual Coursework
Mid-Semester Online Quiz 10% Individual Test
Essay Outline 5% Individual Coursework
Essay 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 x 1 hour lectures, a 1 hour tutorial, and time outside of the class spent reading and thinking about the content and working on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials to complete components of the course.

Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is not required for the test, but will be for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The textbook for this course will be the 2021 edition of Government and Politics in Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Hayward, Greaves, and Timperley. 

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.


Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Well-being always comes first
We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page https://canvas.auckland.ac.nz/courses/33894, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 02/11/2022 10:41 a.m.