Is this an official government website?
No. This website is not related to or endorsed by any goverment body, member of parliament, political party, or similar organisation. It is entirely independent.
Where does the data come from?
All the data comes from official parliamentary sources - the Hansard (recording debates and votes), the New Zealand Legislation website and the New Zealand Parliament website. I've just rearranged it, combined it, formatted it and tried to make it easier to explore.
Can I use this data for my own projects?
Of course! The Hansard and Legislation data is in the public domain and free for anyone to use. The Member of Parliament data and other information from the New Zealand Parliament website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license which is very permissive, go have a read of it (it's very short). Any content I've written is also available under that same license. Unfortunately there isn't a nice API to use the data directly, you'll have to go back to the original web sources (let me know if this would be helpful to you, maybe it can be arranged). Also note that the images of Members of Parliament are owned by their respective parties and may have their own licensing requirements.
What time period does this website cover?
Voting and membership data is currently only available for the 50th, 51st and 52nd New Zealand Parliaments, which covers the period from 20 December 2011 to the present day. New members and personal votes are added regularly, soon after they become available on the New Zealand Parliament website. Historical data for previous parliaments will be added as time permits, with plans to also add information on party votes.
What is a personal vote?
A personal vote (or conscience vote) is one where each individual Member of Parliament can decide how to vote on their own, rather than following the party line. Most votes in the New Zealand Parliament are party votes and it is rare for Members to vote against their party, but there is no such restriction for conscience issues. In recent times conscience votes have been held on issues such as abortion, alcohol, drugs, euthanasia, and homosexual law reform. Read more about how personal votes work.
What is a party vote?
A party vote is one where votes are cast as a block by party representatives, and is the most common type of vote in the New Zealand Parliament. For most issues the party has an established position that Members follow, and casting all the votes at once speeds up proceedings. It's possible but rare for members to disagree with the party line and split their vote. Party votes (including split votes) are not currently tracked by this website. Read more about how party votes work.
What is a First/Second/Third Reading?
There are various stages that a Bill must pass through before it can become law, including three major votes. Failing to pass at any of these votes ends its progress through the system. The First Reading of a Bill is the first chance for debate about it, and the first vote on whether it is worth giving further consideration. If it survives then the next step is usually to send the Bill to a select committee where public submissions are heard and experts consulted. The select committee reports back to Parliament with suggested amendments, and the Second Reading with a vote to continue takes place. The next stage involves the committee of the whole House where the Bill is debated and further amendments are voted on before reaching the Third Reading - the final vote where success means the amended Bill is ready to be submitted for Royal assent and become law.
How can I help?
For now this is a solo project that I'm doing for fun, so I'm not looking for any help with the technology or programming side of things. Any ideas for data to display or new ways to present it are quite welcome however. Probably the most useful way to help is to get out and vote, and to vote for a candidate (and party) that you honestly believe will be good for our country. Alternatively, if you would like to donate directly to support my work on this site then you can at https://ko-fi.com/votednz (note that it's in US dollars).