Anne Tolley

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Anne Tolley

Anne Tolley Gisborne 2008.JPG
Deputy Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Assumed office
8 November 2017
Preceded by Chester Borrows
23rd Minister of Social Development
In office
13 October 2014 26 October 2017
Prime Minister John Key
Bill English
Preceded by Paula Bennett
Succeeded by Carmel Sepuloni
44th Minister of Education
In office
19 November 2008 25 November 2011
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Chris Carter
Succeeded by Hekia Parata
Minister for Tertiary Education
In office
19 November 2008 27 January 2010 [1]
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Pete Hodgson
Succeeded by Steven Joyce
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party list
In office
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for East Coast
Assumed office
Preceded by Janet Mackey
Personal details
Anne Merrilyn Hicks

(1953-03-01) 1 March 1953 (age 66)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political party National Party
Allan Hunt Tolley(m. 1973)
OccupationHotelier, Local Government

Anne Merrilyn Tolley JP MP (née Hicks, born 1 March 1953) is a New Zealand politician and member of the New Zealand House of Representatives representing the National Party. She previously served as Minister of Social Development, Minister of Local Government and Minister for Children during the Fifth National Government. From 2008 to 2011 she served as New Zealand's first woman Minister of Education.

New Zealand House of Representatives Sole chamber of New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

The Fifth National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand for three parliamentary terms from 19 November 2008 to 26 October 2017. John Key served as National Leader and Prime Minister until December 2016, after which Bill English assumed the premiership until the National Government's defeat following the October 2017 government-forming negotiations.


Early life and family

Tolley was born in Wellington on 1 March 1953, the daughter of Mary Margaret Hicks (née Norris) and her husband Ronald James Hicks. She was educated at Colenso High School (now William Colenso College) in Napier, and spent time as a Rotary exchange student in Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States. She went on to gain a diploma in computer programming. In 1973 she married Allan Hunt Tolley, and the couple had three children. [2]

Wellington Capital city of New Zealand

Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Its latitude is 41°17′S, making it the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.

Napier, New Zealand Urban area in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Napier is a New Zealand city with a seaport, located in Hawke's Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island. The population of Napier is about 63,900 as of the June 2018. About 18 kilometres (11 mi) south of Napier is the inland city of Hastings. These two neighbouring cities are often called "The Bay Cities" or "The Twin Cities" of New Zealand. The total population of the Napier-Hastings Urban Area is 134,500 people, which makes it the sixth-largest urban area in New Zealand, closely followed by Dunedin (122,000), and trailing Tauranga (141,600).

Rotary Youth Exchange Rotary International student exchange program for students in secondary school

Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) is a Rotary International student exchange program for students in secondary school. Since 1929, Rotary International has sent young people around the globe to experience new cultures. Currently, about 9,000 students are sponsored by Rotary clubs every year. Typically, students are sent to another country for a year-long stay, generally living with multiple host families during the year and being expected to perform daily tasks within the household as well as attend school in the host country. Short term exchange programs are also quite common. These typically involve direct student exchanges between two families arranged through Rotary to coincide with major school holiday periods.

Local-body politics

In 1986 Tolley was elected as a member of the Napier City Council and remained in that role until 1995. She served as deputy mayor of Napier between 1989 and 1995, and was an elected member of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council from 1989 to 1992. She has been a Justice of the Peace since 1989. [2]

Hawkes Bay Region region on the east coast of New Zealands North Island

Hawke's Bay Region is a region of New Zealand on the east coast of the North Island. It is governed by Hawke's Bay Regional Council, which sits in the city of Napier. The region's name derives from Hawke Bay, which was named by Captain James Cook in honour of Admiral Edward Hawke.

Parliamentary career

New Zealand Parliament
1999 2002 46th List20 National
2005 2008 48th East Coast 43 National
2008 2011 49th East Coast10 National
2011 2014 50th East Coast8 National
2014 2017 51st East Coast12 National
2017 present 52nd East Coast11 National

Tolley represents the East Coast electorate, including Whakatane, Ohope Beach, Opotiki, and Gisborne districts.

East Coast (New Zealand electorate) Current New Zealand electorate

East Coast is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. The electorate first existed from 1871 to 1893, and was recreated in 1999. The current MP for East Coast is Anne Tolley of the National Party, who has held office since 2005.

Whakatane Town in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Whakatane is a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty Region in the North Island of New Zealand, 90 km east of Tauranga and 89 km north-east of Rotorua, at the mouth of the Whakatane River. Whakatane District is the encompassing territorial authority, which covers an area to the south and west of the town, excluding the enclave of Kawerau.

Ohope Beach Town in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Ohope Beach is a beach in the eastern Bay of Plenty, on the northeast coast of the North Island of New Zealand, six kilometres east and over the hill, from Whakatane.

Tolley was elected in the 1999 election as a list MP, having unsuccessfully contested the Napier seat against Labour's Geoff Braybrooke. In the 2002 election, she unsuccessfully contested the Napier seat against Braybrooke's successor, Russell Fairbrother. Along with many other National MPs, Tolley did not escape the collapse of the party's vote that year, and so did not return to Parliament as a list MP. [3]

1999 New Zealand general election

The 1999 New Zealand general election was held on 27 November 1999 to determine the composition of the 46th New Zealand Parliament. The governing National Party, led by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, was defeated, being replaced by a coalition of Helen Clark's Labour Party and the smaller Alliance. This marked an end to nine years of National Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the National Party in the 2008 general election.

A list MP is a member of parliament (MP) who is elected from a party list rather than from a geographical constituency. Their presence in Parliament is owed to the number of votes that their party won, not to votes received by the MP personally. This occurs only in countries which have an electoral system based on party-list proportional representation.

Napier (New Zealand electorate) New Zealand parliamentary electorate

Napier is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the House of Representatives. It is named after the city of Napier, the main urban area within the electorate. The electorate was established for the 1861 election and has existed since. Since the 2014 general election, Napier has been held by Stuart Nash of the New Zealand Labour Party. Previously, it had been held by Chris Tremain of the New Zealand National Party, who stood down prior to the 2014 election.

In the 2005 general election, Tolley successfully contested the East Coast Electorate, beating Labour Candidate Moana Mackey, daughter of the previous East Coast MP Janet Mackey. [4]

2005 New Zealand general election general election

The 2005 New Zealand general election on Saturday 17 September 2005 determined the membership of the 48th New Zealand Parliament. One hundred and twenty-one MPs were elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives: 69 from single-member electorates, including one overhang seat, and 52 from party lists.

She served as the first woman National Party Whip from December 2006 until February 2008 when she became the party's Education Spokeswoman after Katherine Rich announced her intention to retire from Parliament after that year's election. [5]

Minister of Education: 2008–2011

As Minister of Education, Tolley was given responsibility for making schools more accountable "so that parents and pupils get the most from them". [6] This led to a battle with teachers over the introduction of a range of new proposals including a requirement for schools to report National Standards results. The controversial proposals were opposed by many teachers and school principals, some of whom refused to implement the standards. [7]

In June 2010, Tolley expressed concerns about a Parliamentary Library research paper that was critical of National Standards, calling it "unprofessional", "highly political" and so biased it could have been written by the union opposing the policy. Such papers are required by the Parliamentary Library to be politically neutral. [8] A month later the New Zealand Principals Federation voted to support regional associations which boycotted training for National Standards. Tolley reminded principals that in her view it would be quicker and give better results to contact herself or the Ministry of Education with concerns about the changes, than to speak through the media. [9]

The stand-off between Tolley and teachers was embarrassing for the Government and resulted in Cabinet changes after National was re-elected in November 2011. [10] Hekia Parata was made Education Minister while Tolley was demoted in the Cabinet rankings, becoming Minister of Corrections and Police. [11] She took over the role from Judith Collins who moved up the rankings to become Minister of Justice - filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Simon Power from Parliament. [12]

Minister of Corrections: 2011–2014

In March 2012, one of her first major announcements as the Minister of Corrections was the proposed closure of the old prisons in Wellington and New Plymouth. She also said that a number of older units at Arohata, Rolleston, Rangipo and Waikeria prisons would close. [13] Later that year, the Government awarded a 25-year contract to Serco to build a 960-bed prison at Wiri, South Auckland, at a cost of NZ$900 million. [14] [15] Tolley attended a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the new prison Wiri in September 2012. [16]

Other ministerial roles: 2008 - 2017

From 2008 to 2011 Tolley was the Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office. From 2008 to 2010 she was the Minister of Tertiary Education. From 2011 to 2014 she was the Minister of Police and Corrections. In 2014 she became the Minister of Social Development.

From September to December 2016 Tolley was the Minister for Youth. On 20 December 2016 she became the Minister for Children and the Minister of Local Government. [17]

Opposition and Deputy Speaker: 2017–present

Tolley and the National Party were returned to opposition after the 2017 general election result which saw kingmaker party, New Zealand First, agree to a coalition with the Labour Party. On 8 November 2017, the House elected Tolley its Deputy Speaker.


It emerged in 2010 that Tolley had undergone gastric bypass (stomach stapling) surgery in order to lose weight. [18] Tolley joins other current and former New Zealand politicians including Rahui Katene, David Lange, Chester Borrows, Donna Awatere-Huata and Tariana Turia to have had gastric bypass surgery at some point in the past.

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  1. "John Key announces Cabinet reshuffle". The New Zealand Herald. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  2. 1 2 Taylor, Alister, ed. (2001). New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa 2001. Auckland: Alister Taylor Publishers. ISSN   1172-9813.
  3. "Candidate profile: Anne Tolley". 20 October 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  4. "Electorate Profile East Coast". October 2005. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  5. "Katherine Rich puts family before politics in her decision to stand down". 13 February 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  6. Editorial: Trust parents with the facts about schools, NZ Herald 22 November 2011
  7. Young, Audrey (30 June 2010). "Tolley upset at paper on standards". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  8. "Women move up the Govt ranks". The New Zealand Herald. 13 December 2011.
  9. Romanos, Amelia (12 December 2011). "Boost for women in new Cabinet". The New Zealand Herald.
  10. "Power hands over SOE portfolio". The New Zealand Herald. 13 April 2011.
  11. Clendon, David (21 June 2012). "$900 million for empty beds" (Press release). Wellington: Green Party. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  12. APNZ (23 March 2012). "Minister defends prison closure plans". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Tolley, Anne - New Zealand Parliament". 7 April 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  15. Forbes, Michael (26 January 2010). "Stomach-stapled MPs put weight behind Turia". Stuff. New Zealand. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Janet Mackey
Member of Parliament for East Coast
Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Carter
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Hekia Parata
Preceded by
Judith Collins
Minister of Corrections
Succeeded by
Sam Lotu-Iiga
Preceded by
Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development
Succeeded by
Carmel Sepuloni