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Margaret Wilson Voted Speaker Of The House

Margaret Wilson Voted Speaker Of The House

By Selwyn Manning - Scoop Co Editor

Parliament today voted Margaret Wilson as Speaker of the House. Mrs Speaker faced two challenges, one from National's Clem Simich and another from ACT's Ken Shirley. A surprise vote for Mr Simich came from Tariana Turia leader of the Maori Party.

Turia's vote for the National Party's preferred Speaker candidate is likely a signal to Labour that Turia - a former Labour minister and party list MP - will not allow her Maori Party to be seen as a sub-faction of Labour and cannot be schmoozed by Labour seeking support for crucial votes.

Prime Minister Helen Clark congratulated Margaret Wilson for successfully becoming New Zealand's first woman Speaker of the House. Helen Clark also noted that Margaret Wilson had proven to be a mentor and icon for other women in her academic career and in legal circles.

Former Speaker Jonathan Hunt vacated the Speaker's position at midnight last night. He has left Parliament to become New Zealand's next High Commissioner in London. He replaces former Labour cabinet minister Russell Marshall.

Mr Hunt said in Parliament yesterday that he had been an MP since 1966 and, over the past five years as Speaker, has heard more than 26,000 supplementary questions.


Parliament is currently hearing speeches from party leaders congratulating Margaret Wilson for her successful campaign.

Margaret Wilson's Parliamentary career began as a party list MP in 1999. Her Parliamentary bio follows:

Former Parliamentary Roles
Minister of Labour 10 December 1999-26 February 2004
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations 10 December 1999-27 July 2002
Associate Minister of Justice 10 December 1999-21 December 2004
Associate Minister of State Services 13 November 2000-15 August 2002
Minister Responsible for the Law Commission 5 June 2001-15 August 2002
Minister for Courts 15 August 2002-19 May 2003
Associate Minister for Courts 19 May 2003-21 December 2004
Acting Minister Responsible for the Law Commission 20 February 2004-26 February 2004
Minister of Commerce 26 February 2004-21 December 2004
Minister for Building Issues 1 November 2004-21 December 2004
Attorney-General [Includes responsibility for Serious Fraud Office] 10 December 1999-28 February 2005
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations 10 December 1999-28 February 2005
Member of Privileges Select Committee 1999-2002

Personal Details
Born 20th May 1947, Gisborne

Education
St Joseph’s School
St Dominic’s College, Northcote
Morrinsville College
LLB (Hons) (University of Auckland)
M.Jr (1st Class) (University of Auckland)

Career
Chair for the National Maternity Advisory Committee 1998
Member of the Judicial Working Group on Gender Equality 1995-1997
Member of the team to review the Crown Forestry Rental Trust 1995
Member of the Advisory Group on restructuring of the Ministry of Justice 1995
Member of the Editorial Board, New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations 1994
Appointed as foundation Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Waikato in 1990
Law Commissioner of the Law Commission 1988-1989
Chairwoman, TV3 News Limited 1988-1989
Chairwoman, National Advisory Council on Employment of Women 1987-1991
Chief Political Adviser and Head of the Prime Minister’s Office 1987-1989
Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand 1985-1989
Convenor of the Government Working Party on Equal Pay and Equal Opportunities 1988
Member of the Advisory Committee to establish the Ministry of Women's Affairs 1985
Founder Member and Vice President of the Auckland Women Lawyers' Association 1984. Made a life member in 1985
Executive Member, Vice-chair and Chair, Auckland Branch, Association of University Teachers, AUT Salary Negotiation 1976-1984
Founder Editor, New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations 1976-1977
Acting Editor for Recent Law 1974
Founder Member of the Industrial Relations Society 1973
Taught at Auckland University
Law Clerk and Solicitor for Peter Jenkins, Barrister and Solicitor in Auckland 1970-1972
Secretary for the Legal Employers Union 1970-1971

Party Activities
President of the New Zealand Labour Party 1984-1987
Chief Political Adviser and Head of the Prime Minister’s Office 1987-1989.

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