Abstract: In New Zealand, the separation of powers is not an organising principle of constitutional thought. It loosely underpins the country’s institutional framework, but it does not feature prominently in its public law discourse. The confl ation of executive and legislative personnel in New Zealand represents a major departure from the ideal of the separation of powers. This ideal is realised only in relation to the judicial branch of government, which is legally independent of the political executive. The article identifi es four models of separation, three of which are relevant to New Zealand. Its New Zealand’s governmental arrangements variously evidence a legal, functional and de facto separation of powers but not a constitutional separation. The absence of a constitutional separation leaves a lacuna that governments might exploit in untoward ways. A case study included below exemplifi es the potential for abuse when powers are not constitutionally vested in separate organs.
Keywords: separation; powers; independence; taxonomy; legal; functional; constitutional; de facto; judiciary; abuse
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