Margaret Wilson at Government House on 3 March 2005, on the occasion of her confirmation in office as Speaker of the House.
|Assumed office |
3 March 2005
|Prime Minister||Helen Clark|
|Preceded by||Jonathan Hunt|
|Born|| Template:Birth date and age|
Margaret Wilson (born 20 May 1947), a New Zealand politician, currently serves as Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives. She is a member of the Labour Party.
Born in Gisborne, Wilson studied law at Auckland University. She has worked as a lawyer, a teacher of law, and a trade unionist. From 1984 to 1987, she was president of the Labour Party, and from 1989 to 1990, she worked as chief political advisor to the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Palmer. She has also served on the Law Commission, and was appointed as a director of the Reserve Bank.
Member of ParliamentEdit
Wilson entered Parliament as a list MP in the 1999 elections, and immediately gained election to Cabinet. Her portfolios included those of Attorney-General and Minister of Labour. She remained a list MP after the 2002 elections, serving as Attorney-General, Minister of Commerce, Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Associate Minister for Courts, and Associate Minister of Justice.
Speaker of the HouseEdit
In December 2004, the Clark Labour Government announced that they would nominate Wilson for the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives, a position which would become vacant with the pending retirement of Jonathan Hunt. Previous speculation had focused on Mark Burton, the Minister of Defence. On 3 March 2005, Parliament elected Wilson as their new Speaker over candidacies by Clem Simich from the New Zealand National Party and Ken Shirley from the ACT Party. Wilson became New Zealand's first female speaker. After the 2005 elections, she was re-elected to the position unopposed.
Wilson's style is noticeably different from her predecessor Jonathan Hunt.
Wilson strongly promotes various social causes such as feminism and multiculturalism, and opponents often painted her as Labour's most "politically correct" minister. She was the Minister responsible for the introduction of the new Supreme Court, which was controversial at the time, as well as changing the law on dividing property between partners after a separation, known now as relationship property law.
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