Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/59

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27
THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

an advisory aid to him, whose members he appoints, and under writs of summons from him the members of the upper house obtain and hold their seats. The Governor also has power to dissolve Parliament and to authorize the formation of another ministry. Although he possesses considerable power and authority, he seldom, it is said, exercises his initiative rights, but usually acts as advised by the Executive Council. The Governor receives annually a salary of $25,000, a household allowance of $7500, and $2500 for traveling expenses.

The Executive Council—which many New Zealanders wish to see made elective—is more forward and independent in its actions than its presiding officer. In the name of the "Government," it habitually leads the way in legislation, proposing and introducing many measures. "I propose," or "It is proposed," says the Prime Minister, in Parliament or in public interview; and Parliament, if favorably disposed, incorporates the proposals into acts which become law when approved by the Governor or assented to by the King.

The busiest officials of the New Zealand Government, apparently, are the members of this Council. They are only eight, aside from the Maori representative, yet they hold about forty portfolios. The most overworked of them,probably, is the Prime Minister. For $8000—irrespective of allowances, which are granted all ministers—he sometimes discharges the duties of as many as seven portfolios, and he never has less than five or six. The other ministers usually have from three to four port-