Megan Woods

Last updated

Megan Woods

Megan Woods 2018 1.jpg
Megan Woods in 2018
28th Minister of Housing
Assumed office
27 June 2019
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Phil Twyford
Minister of Energy and Resources
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Judith Collins
Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Nicky Wagner
Minister of Research, Science and Innovation
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Paul Goldsmith
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Wigram
Assumed office
Preceded by Jim Anderton
Personal details
Born (1973-11-04) 4 November 1973 (age 45)
Political party Labour (since 2007)
Other political
Progressive Party (1999–2007)
Alma mater University of Canterbury
Website Profile on Labour website

Megan Cherie Woods (born 4 November 1973) is the Labour Party Member of Parliament for the Wigram electorate of the New Zealand Parliament.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Wigram (New Zealand electorate) Current New Zealand electorate

Wigram is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. The current MP for Wigram is Megan Woods of the Labour Party. She took over this position from Jim Anderton, who had held this position from 1996 until 2011.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.


Early life

Woods was born and grew up in Wigram, Christchurch. [1] She attended high school at Catholic Cathedral College and has a PhD in history obtained at the University of Canterbury. [2]

Christchurch City in South Island, New Zealand

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

Catholic Cathedral College is an integrated Catholic co-educational secondary school in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was founded in 1987 but its origins go back to more than a 100 years earlier. The college is an amalgamation of two schools: Sacred Heart College for girls, and Xavier College for boys.

Doctor of Philosophy Postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in many countries

A Doctor of Philosophy is the highest university degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most English-speaking countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. As an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are usually required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor or, in non-English-speaking countries, variants such as "Dr. phil." with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil". It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.

Professional life

Woods was a business manager for Crop & Food Research (2005–08) and its successor organisation Plant and Food Research (2008), based at Lincoln. [1]

Lincoln, New Zealand Minor urban area in South Island, New Zealand

Lincoln is a town in the Selwyn District, in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand's South Island. The town is located on the Canterbury Plains to the west of Banks Peninsula, 22 kilometres southwest of Christchurch. The town has a population of 6,100, making it the second largest town in the Selwyn District behind nearby Rolleston.

Political career

Woods and Anderton at the Riccarton Market Megan and Jim with Marty at the Riccarton Market.jpg
Woods and Anderton at the Riccarton Market

Woods was a member of the Progressive Party from 1999 to 2007 and was involved in several of Jim Anderton's re-election campaigns. [3] She contested the Christchurch Central electorate in the 2005 general election and came fourth, receiving 1077 votes (3.2% of the electorate votes). [4] She was placed fourth on the Progressive party list. As the party obtained only 1.2% of the party vote, she did not enter Parliament that year.

Jim Anderton's Progressive Party was a New Zealand political party generally somewhat to the left of its ally, the Labour Party.

Christchurch Central Current New Zealand electorate

Christchurch Central is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate in the South Island city of Christchurch. The electorate was established for the 1946 election and, until 2011 had always been won by the Labour Party. Since 2008, the incumbent was Brendon Burns but the election night results for the 2011 election resulted in a tie; the special vote results combined with a judicial recount revealed a 47-vote majority for Nicky Wagner, the National list MP based in the electorate. Wagner significantly increased her winning margin in the 2014 election after having declared the electorate "unwinnable" for National earlier in the year following a boundary review.

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 was a member of the Spreydon-Heathcote community board in Christchurch in 2004–2007. [1]

Woods joined the Labour Party in 2007. [3] In the same year, she contested the Christchurch mayoralty for the centre-left Christchurch 2021 group, receiving 32,821 votes and coming second against Bob Parker (47,033 votes), but beating Jo Giles (14,454 votes) in the election contested by ten candidates. [5] [6] She did not contest the 2008 general election or the 2010 mayoral election.

2007 Christchurch mayoral election

The 2007 Christchurch mayoral election was part of the 2007 New Zealand local elections. On 13 October of that year, elections were held for the Mayor of Christchurch plus other local government roles. Incumbent Garry Moore retired in 2007 after nine years in the office. Bob Parker, previously mayor of Banks Peninsula, beat the Christchurch 2021 representative, Megan Woods, with a majority of 14,212 votes (13.73%). Media personality Jo Giles, who had previously contested the Ilam electorate for the ACT Party for Parliament, came a distant third. A further seven candidate contested the election. Parker's campaign was supported by businessman and Ngāi Tahu board member Nuk Korako, who himself was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 for the National Party.

Bob Parker (mayor) 45th Mayor of Christchurch

Sir Robert John Parker is a former New Zealand broadcaster and politician. He served as Mayor of Christchurch from 2007 to 2013.

Jo Giles New Zealand politician

Joanne May Giles was a New Zealand television presenter and former representative sportswoman. She represented the country in pistol shooting at the 1997 Oceanian Championships in Adelaide, and the 2000 World Cup in Sydney. She was one of New Zealand's first woman jockeys, and competed in motorsport and Rock 'n Roll competitions.

Woods was selected as the Labour Party candidate for the 2011 election in the Wigram electorate. [1] [3] She succeeded Jim Anderton, who had announced that he would retire either after winning the Christchurch mayoralty (he was unsuccessful) or at the end of the term of the 49th Parliament in November 2011. Woods was a key member of Anderton's campaign committee, along with key Progressive Party members like Jeanette Lawrence and Liz Maunsell, and Labour activists such as campaign manager Tony Milne, Ben Ross and Liana Foster. [7] Until the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, Anderton was leading in the opinion polls, and winning the mayoralty would have caused a by-election in the Wigram electorate. [8] The earthquake resulted in a mood swing in Christchurch, and Anderton lost against Bob Parker. [9] Anderton remained an MP until the end of the term of the 49th Parliament, and Woods won in the 2011 general election in the Wigram electorate. [3]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
2011 2014 50th Wigram 47 Labour
2014 2017 51st Wigram 20 Labour
2017 present 52nd Wigram 6 Labour
Megan Woods and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arriving at an event at Victoria University of Wellington in 2018 Megan Woods + Jacinda Ardern walking 2018.jpg
Megan Woods and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arriving at an event at Victoria University of Wellington in 2018

Woods' candidacy, which began in late 2010, was centred on job creation in her electorate. She stated in her Labour selection speech that "Growing up here in the 1980s, I watched people lose their jobs. I saw workplaces like the Addington Workshops shut their doors forever. Now I am 36 years old and am watching jobs disappear from our communities again." [3] Woods also cited the rising cost of living for everyday people as a major concern.

At the election, Woods won the seat with 45.11% of the vote and a majority of 1,500 votes. [10] Woods won re-election in the 2014 election with an increased majority. [11]

Woods was previously the Labour Party's spokesperson for the Environment and Climate Change and has served prior as the Party's spokesperson for Tertiary Education and associate spokesperson for Science and Innovation. [12] [13]

Woods was elected as a Cabinet Minister by the Labour Party caucus following Labour's formation of a coalition government with New Zealand First and the Greens. [14] As of 2018, Woods is the Energy and Resource Minister. On 12 April, Woods announced that the Government would halt future gas and oil exploration but clarified that the existing 22 contracts would be allowed to continue. [15]

On 27 June 2019, in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first major reshuffle of the coalition government, Woods was appointed Minister of Housing, replacing Phil Twyford. [16]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Conway, Glenn (20 September 2010). "Anderton follower chosen for Wigram". The Press . Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  2. "Dr Megan Woods". Plant & Food Research. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Megan Woods to stand for Labour in Wigram". 3 News. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  4. "Official Count Results -- Christchurch Central". Election NZ. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  5. Edward Gay and James Ihaka (13 October 2007). "New faces aplenty in local government shake-ups". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  6. "Christchurch City Mayor". Local Elections 2010. Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  7. The People's Mayor Announces. 18 July 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  8. Booker, Jarrod (12 September 2010). "Anderton presses on with mayoral bid". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  9. "Parker re-elected in Christchurch". The Press . 9 October 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  10. "Official Count Results -- Wigram". Electoral Commission. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  11. "Official Count Results -- Wigram". Electoral Commission. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  12. "About Megan".
  13. "Megan Woods". New Zealand Labour Party. Archived from the original on 26 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  14. "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  15. "Oil, gas exploration move a 'kick in the guts' for Taranaki - mayor". Radio New Zealand. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  16. "PM takes housing off Phil Twyford in first major reshuffle". . 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Jim Anderton
Member of Parliament for Wigram
Political offices
Preceded by
Judith Collins
Minister of Energy and Resources
2017 - present
Preceded by
Nicky Wagner
Minister for Greater Canterbury Regeneration
2017 - present
Preceded by
Paul Goldsmith
as Minister of Science and Innovation
Minister of Research, Science and Innovation
2017 - present