Click on the buttons to see which party gained the most seats, and hence became the government, in the general elections between 1984 and 1993.
1996 was a watershed election because it was the first to be held under the mixed-member proportional representation electoral system (MMP). Henceforth, the party that gained the most seats did not automatically form a government. Usually, it needed to gain the support of a minor party (or parties) to get the necessary majority of seats to form a coalition government.
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Sources: Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz, and Christof Hartmann, Elections in Asia and the Pacific: a data handbook. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 731–734; New Zealand Election Results