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Election Postcard Activity

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Learning intention:

  • To be able to describe NZ’s system of government – close reading and analysis of information


  • Present it as a postcard so it must be clear and short – writing and IT skills
  • Design the front of the postcard – visual art skills





Malo e lelei! My name is Lia. I am a 10 year old from a beautiful kingdom founded in 1875.  My house is right next to our King’ s palace (see over) – Tau’ahau Tupou IV. He has been our king since 1967 and is the great-great grandson of the original king.


Decisions made in my country are influenced strongly by our King. He appoints the Ministers of the Crown (who make up the Privy Council and the Cabinet) who serve for their lifetime in our Parliament.  We have 33 royal or noble families in my country and from these families, nine nobles are elected to serve the King and our Parliament. There are also ten representatives of the people included as well in our Parliament. People get to vote for them every three years. 


Can you guess where I live? And what system of government is used in my country?


Nofo a






Talofa! My name is Filipo. I am 8. I live in a village with my âiga (extended family). My father is one of 25 000 matai (chiefs) in our country. He represents our âiga at the local fono (council of chiefs). Decisions take a long time to make as they all have to agree before they can move on!


When my country became independent in 1960, my government kept many of the old traditions. When we have elections, only the matai can stand for 47 seats out of the 49 seats in our Parliament – known as the Fale Fono. The 2 other seats represent people from other nations. Only 5% of the matai are women, so we don’t have many women in the Fale Fono.


Our Head of State is the high chief Tanumafili Malietoa II and he appoints 12 Members of Cabinet to advise him. The people in Parliament choose a Prime Minister from the elected matai.


Can you guess the name of my country? What system of government do we use?


Tell me about your government system one day,






Gidday mate,


My name is Jack. I am 11 years old. In my country we vote for people to represent us in our Parliament. I will get to vote when I am 18 too.


We have both a National Government as well as six State or Territory governments which are given power to govern their own state/territory.


In our Parliament we have two ‘Houses’ - a Senate of 76 senators and House of Representatives with 150 Members. Both Senators and MPs are elected by people in the states/territories by voting in the election. This is held every 3 years.


The person with the most power in my country is called the Prime Minister. We also have a Governor-General who is appointed by the Queen and the Prime Minister.


Is your government system different?


Write and let me know,






Kia ora!


My name is Meriama and I am 8 years old.  I am writing to tell you about an experience I had recently at the local meeting place of my people – you have to guess the name!


          The elders in my tribe gathered together to make decisions about the environment in our local area. Some big company wanted to put up some new flash resort near our place. I watched the elders for three days as they discussed and had turns to whai korero. My people have been making decisions like this for hundreds of years!


          If at all possible, the goal was to all agree on the decision, so things did take a while. Some people who spoke were very dramatic! There wasn’t a leader at the event, but my uncle was in charge of making sure everyone spoke at the right time, in the right order       


They did arrive at a final decision and everyone seemed quite happy about it.


How are decisions made in your school or club?


Ka kite ano,





Research brief: Reply to one of the four children and describe the government system used in New Zealand. Use these questions to guide you:

·       Who holds the highest position of power?

·       What system of decision making/government is used?

·       When did this system originate?

Write your answer so it looks like a postcard and on the front, design a symbol or picture of New Zealand’s government system.

New Zealand's system of government - an overview

follow this link for all the info you will need!



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