29 Oct 2017

Getting to Swear

From The House, 7:35 am on 29 October 2017

The election is over, a new government has been formed and MPs are readying their best outfits to be officially sworn into the House of Representatives for the 52nd Parliament but what are the rules for who can and cannot be an MP?

Labour MP Damien O'Connor

Labour MP Damien O'Connor swears an oath of allegiance as he's admitted to the Executive Council. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Each MP must be of voting age, a New Zealand citizen and swear an oath or take an affirmation to be "faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors, according to law."   

But other things can rule an MP out, or cost them their seat. 

In Australia MPs have lost their positions over dual citizenship while in New Zealand a National Party MPs links to China's government have been questioned so Phil Smith decided to speak to some electoral law experts and find out just what qualifies (or disqualifies) an MP.