Ideas and advice to accelerate the transition of MPs entering New Zealand House of Representatives
New MPs are expected to know and perform their roles effectively from the moment they start. This research looks at how they might best cope with this pressure, focusing particularly on the experience of New Zealand parliamentarians.
In New Zealand, as in many other countries, the transition from political candidate to member of parliament is intense, rapid and stressful. Although they are provided with a detailed induction, new MPs can still enter the job feeling under-prepared. Indeed many MPs describe the process as like being 'thrown in at the deep end". They are presented with a huge volume of work almost the moment they assume the role, and they are expected to be able to manage it effectively from the off.
By conducting interviews with 23 MPs who entered the New Zealand Parliament from 2011 to 2014, plus 2 senior public service employees also, the researchers aimed to understand how new MPs learn their role. The research focuses particularly on from whom they learned, what they learn, what problems they encounter and what advice they could themselves offer for future MPs. As such it may provide a useful, informal guide for helping future new MPs make the quick adjustment to their roles that is required.
The research paper is available for download at the link below.