Cabinet Manual

5.2 Cabinet is the central decision-making body of executive government. It is a collective forum for Ministers to decide significant government issues and to keep colleagues informed of matters of public interest and controversy.

5.3 Cabinet is central to New Zealand's system of government. It is established by convention, not law. The legal powers of the Executive are exercised by those with statutory authority to act (for example, the Governor-General, the Governor-General in Council or individual Ministers). In practice, however, all significant decisions or actions taken by the Executive are first discussed and collectively agreed by Cabinet.

5.4 Cabinet determines and regulates its own procedures. Final decisions on Cabinet procedures rest with the Prime Minister, as the chair of Cabinet.

5.5 Cabinet comprises Ministers in Cabinet. Ministers outside Cabinet and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, however, may on occasion attend Cabinet for discussion on particular items with the express prior permission of the Prime Minister.