Jill Ovens is a New Zealand unionist and former political candidate. She was co-leader of the Alliance party before changing her allegiance to the Labour Party.
She previously had a long history involved in New Zealand Unions, having served as the president of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education and was heavily involved in the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Women's Council Convenor and attended the ICFTU World Women's Conference as one of two CTU delegates.
Ovens was an Alliance candidate in Auckland's Mount Albert electorate in the 1999 and the 2002 elections, both times contesting the seat against Labour leader Helen Clark. On the party list, she was ranked 28th and 12th, respectively. Ovens became president of the Alliance party in 2004.She had previously been critical of the party's leader, Matt McCarten, for his close associations with the Māori Party. For the 2005 election she unsuccessfully contested the Manukau East electorate and was ranked first on the party list, having been elected a co-leader with Paul Piesse.
In 2006 she resigned as co-leader and left the Alliance party. After being elected the northern secretary of the Service & Food Workers Union in succession to Darien Fenton, she decided to join the Labour Party as it is affiliated with the Union.She is currently an Auckland/Northland regional representative on the Labour Party's Council.
Since her election to the SFWU Ovens has been occasionally blogging on left wing social media websites and supporting union activities primarily based in Auckland. In December 2014 Ovens helped lead a walkout of food service workers at Auckland City Hospital.
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