The House of Representatives is democratically elected and a government is formed from the party or coalition with the majority of seats.If no majority is formed, a minority government can be formed if support from other parties during confidence and supply votes is assured. Since the 2014 election, there have been 71 electorates (which includes 7 Māori electorates), and the remaining 49 seats are assigned so that representation in parliament reflects the party vote, although a party has to win one electorate or 5% of the total party vote before it is eligible for these seats.Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships.They traded European food, metal tools, weapons and other goods for timber, Māori food, artefacts and water.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a governor-general, currently Dame Patsy Reddy.
On 3 September 1939 New Zealand allied itself with Britain and declared war on Germany with Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage proclaiming, "Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand." Permanent migration is regulated under the 1970 Samoan Quota Scheme and the 2002 Pacific Access Category, which allow up to 1,100 Samoan nationals and up to 750 other Pacific Islanders respectively to become permanent New Zealand residents each year.
A seasonal workers scheme for temporary migration was introduced in 2007 and in 2009 about 8,000 Pacific Islanders were employed under it. It has contributed forces to several regional and global peacekeeping missions, such as those in Cyprus, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sinai, Angola, Cambodia, the Iran–Iraq border, Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands.
The New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, and names and alternative names were formalised in 2013.
This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, and South Island or Te Waipounamu.