New Zealand National Party
Published 7th November, 2011
The New Zealand National Party or National was formed from two conservative parties, the Reform Party and United Party in 1936. It describes itself as centre-right and believes in conservatism.
National has been one of the most successful parties of New Zealand with a history that goes back to around 1903 when William Massey started gathering conservatives around him and the Reform party was formed in 1909.
Reform were in power from 1912 to 1928, and again with United Party, made up of moderate Liberals, from 1931 to 1935.
The modern day National party won its first election in 1949, when it went on to rule until 1957. It was back in power from 1960 until 1972 and again from 1975 until 1984.
Between 1990 and 1999 the National Party under Prime Minister Jim Bolger carried through a series of economic reforms which, whilst ultimately successful were not popular. As a result the Labour Party won the 1999 election and National dropped to 39 seats. In the 2002 election they had their worst result ever, plummeting to just 20.93% of the vote and 27 of the 120 seats in the House of Representatives.
In 2008 National were back and won the election, taking 48 seats and 39.1% of the vote, but was forced to form a minority government with the support of ACT, United Future and Māori parties.
The New Zealand National Party is a member of the International Democrat Union (IDU).