Amy Adams (politician)

Last updated

Amy Adams

Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Selwyn
Assumed office
8 November 2008
Preceded byElectorate Re-established
48th Minister of Justice
In office
8 October 2014 26 October 2017
Prime Minister John Key
Bill English
Preceded by Judith Collins
Succeeded by Andrew Little
26th Minister for Social Housing
In office
20 December 2016 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Paula Bennett
Succeeded by Phil Twyford
Personal details
Amy Juliet Milnes

(1971-05-19) 19 May 1971 (age 47)
Auckland, New Zealand
Political party National
Spouse(s)Don Adams
Residence Aylesbury
Alma mater University of Canterbury

Amy Juliet Adams (née Milnes; born 19 May 1971) is a member of the New Zealand Parliament and was Minister of Justice. [1]


Adams represents the Selwyn electorate and is a member of the National Party. She was the Minister of Justice, Minister for Communications, Associate Minister of Finance, Minister for Courts and Social Housing, and Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand Corporation and Social Investment.

Early life

Adams was born in 1971. When she was two, her mother divorced, raising her and her sister Belinda alone. [2] Adams attended Rangitoto College, where she was friends with Louise Upston [3] (also later a National Party politician), then graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Laws with First-Class Honours. Her first employment as a lawyer was in Invercargill, but she soon moved back to Canterbury. [2] She became a partner in the Christchurch law firm Mortlock McCormack. [2]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
2008 2011 49th Selwyn 52 National
2011 2014 50th Selwyn28 National
2014 2017 51st Selwyn15 National
2017 present 52nd Selwyn7 National

Adams was selected as the National party candidate for the Selwyn seat for the 2008 general election after a contested selection. [4] She won the Selwyn seat with a comfortable majority, achieving 60% of the electorate votes cast. This compares with the National Party achieving 55% of party votes. [5] In the 2014 election, she won more than 70% of the electorate votes based on preliminary results. [6] [7]

In 2009 her Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot. [8] The bill required fundraising companies to disclose the proportion of funds they passed on to the charities they collect for. [9] The bill passed its third reading in June 2012.

Adams was made Chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee and the Electoral Legislation Committee for the final months of the 49th Parliament and was appointed a Cabinet Minister for Internal Affairs, Communications and Associate Earthquake Recovery after the National Party won a second term in Government. [10] After a reshuffle of cabinet responsibilities caused by the resignation of Nick Smith, Adams was made Minister for the Environment, while the responsibility for Internal Affairs was passed to Chris Tremain.

After National won the New Zealand General Election 2014 in September, Adams became the Minister of Justice, Minister for Courts, Minister of Broadcasting and Minister for Communications. [11]

Following the election of Bill English to Prime Minister, Adams also took on the roles of Minister for Social Housing, Minister Responsible for Social Investment and Minister Responsible for Housing, dropping the Broadcasting and Communications portfolio. [12]

Personal life

Adams' house in Aylesbury stands close to the fault line and epicentre of the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, which caused significant damage to her property, but inspection deemed it safe to live in. [13]

She and her husband Robert Donald "Don" Adams own three farms – in Darfield, Kirwee, and Te Kauwhata. The first two of these are sheep and crop farms in Canterbury, and within the area of the Central Plains Water scheme. Through their company Amdon Farms Ltd, they are shareholders of Central Plains Water. [14] The Te Kauwhata farm is located in the Waikato. [14]

Her sister Belinda Milnes was an advisor to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, and when Bennett appointed her as Families Commissioner in 2013, the Opposition complained of cronyism. [15] David Ware, chief executive of NZX-listed company Team Talk, husband of Milnes and brother-in-law of Adams, has publicly criticised Adams in her role as Communications and Information Technology Minister, where government policies favour big telecommunications companies. Ware feels "dreadfully let down" by the Communications and Information Technology Minister. [16]


  1. "Amy Adams profile". Amy Adams. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 Wright, Michael (11 October 2014). "Amy Adams on movies, mothering and money". The Press . p. A18.
  3. Vance, Andrea (22 July 2012). "Amy not afraid to speak her mind". . The Sunday Star-Times . Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  4. Wilson, Peter (12 May 2008). "National selects Amy Adams for Selwyn Seat". National Business Review. NZPA. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  5. "Selwyn: Electoral Profile". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  6. "Election Results – Selwyn". Electoral Commission . 21 September 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  7. Mathewson, Nicole; Stylianou, Georgina; Fulton, Tim (21 September 2014). "Election 2014: Canterbury decides". The Press . Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  8. "Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  9. "Bill forces donation disclosure". Stuff. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  10. "Amy Adams". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  11. "About Amy". Hon Amy Adams. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  12. "Adams, Amy" . Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  13. YouTube video
  14. 1 2 Strongman, Susan (18 March 2014). "Columnist stands by Amy Adams claims". Taranaki Daily News . Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  15. Davison, Isaac (20 July 2013). "It's jobs for the mates – Labour slams Nats". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  16. Vance, Andrea (11 December 2012). "Brother-in-law slams minister's frequency plans". . Retrieved 12 October 2014.
New Zealand Parliament
In abeyance
Title last held by
David Carter
Member of Parliament for Selwyn
Political offices
Preceded by
Nathan Guy
Minister for Internal Affairs
Succeeded by
Chris Tremain
Preceded by
Steven Joyce
Minister for Communications and Information Technology
Succeeded by
Clare Curran
Preceded by
Nick Smith
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Nick Smith
Preceded by
Chester Borrows
Minister for Courts
Succeeded by
Andrew Little
Preceded by
Judith Collins
Minister of Justice