Nicky Wagner

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Nicky Wagner

Nicky wagner.JPG
Wagner campaigning against the Electoral Finance Bill, in Christchurch, 28 November 2007
Member of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Assumed office
23 September 2017
Constituency National Party List
In office
26 November 2011 23 September 2017
Preceded by Brendon Burns
Succeeded by Duncan Webb
Constituency Christchurch Central
In office
17 September 2005 26 November 2011
Constituency National Party List
Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration
In office
2 May 2017 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Gerry Brownlee
Succeeded by Megan Woods
Personal details
Born (1953-07-23) 23 July 1953 (age 66)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Political party National
ChildrenTwo sons
Website Nicky Wagner

Nicola Joanne Wagner (born 23 July 1953) is a New Zealand teacher, businesswoman and politician. She represented the Christchurch Central electorate for the New Zealand National Party in the New Zealand Parliament.


Early life and career

Born in Christchurch, Wagner received a teaching degree from Christchurch College of Education, a BA from the University of Canterbury, and an MBA from Massey University. After working for a time as a teacher, she entered the business world, and established a successful fashion marketing company and later an internet marketing business. She was an internet pioneer establishing firstly FashioNZ a website to support the New Zealand fashion industry and GardenNZ for the gardening industry.


New Zealand Parliament
2005 2008 48th List 28 National
2008 2011 49th List 43 National
2011 2014 50th Christchurch Central 42 National
2014 2017 51st Christchurch Central25 National
2017 present 52nd List 22 National

In 2003 Wagner was elected to the Canterbury Regional Council, and was a councillor until 2007.

She appeared on the National party list at 37th place for the 2002 general election, which was not enough to win a seat. She contested the Christchurch Central electorate for the National Party in the 2005 general election. While Wagner did not win the electorate, her high list placing (28th, the third highest placing for a newcomer behind Tim Groser and Chris Finlayson) ensured her election to Parliament. Prior to her election, Wagner had endorsed the NZ Trust's campaign for a referendum on New Zealand's flag, stating "Our flag should celebrate our nation's identity and our special foot-print on this earth. We will always respect and cherish our links with the past that are represented in our present flag but a young country needs to create a strong vision for its future." [1] In her first term in Parliament she sat on the Justice and Electoral select committee and later the Local Government and Environment Committee. [2]

In 2005, Wagner voted for the controversial Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill 2005, a bill which would have amended the Marriage Act to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. [3]

Recontesting Christchurch Central in the 2008 general election, Wagner drastically cut Labour's majority in both the electorate and the party vote, reducing the candidate majority from 7,836 to 936. She remained in Parliament, having been re-elected through the National Party list.

In 2009, Wagner voted against the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill, a bill aimed at amending the Misuse of Drugs Act so that cannabis could be used for medical purposes. [4]

She contested Christchurch Central for the third time in the 2011 general election and won the seat off Labour with a 47-vote majority, after special votes broke an exact tie between her and incumbent MP Brendon Burns on election night. This marked the first time National had ever held the Christchurch Central electorate since its creation in 1946.

Wagner was the Chair of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee and sat on the Maori Affairs Select Committee. She also chaired the BlueGreens Caucus Committee and the Arts, Culture and Heritage Caucus Committee. [2] In 2013 she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith in the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery and Conservation portfolios, respectively. [5]

The boundaries of the Christchurch Central electorate were redrawn for the 2014 election. When the draft boundaries were published for consultation, Wagner declared the electorate as more Labour focussed and "unwinnable" due to the proposed loss of more affluent suburbs. When the final boundaries were released in April 2014, Wagner vowed to stand again and fight for re-election. [6] Wagner won the seat with a majority of 2420 at the 2014 general election.

In September 2014, Wagner defended employing Simon Lusk, a controversial political strategist mentioned in Dirty Politics, claiming New Zealand's grassroots campaigning is "very much amateurish". [7]

On 8 October 2014, Wagner was appointed a Minister outside of Cabinet, holding the portfolios of Customs, Disability Issues, Associate Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, and Associate Conservation. She is ranked 23 on the party list.

On 14 June 2017, Wagner made a comment on Twitter that she'd "rather be out on the harbour" while mentioning that she was attending disability meetings, attracting online criticism. Labour and Green politicians commented on the issue, stating "It really makes me question her commitment to the disability community if she'd rather be out on the harbour than in meetings with them." [8]

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  1. "NZ - Endorsements". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Current MPs - Nicky Wagner" . Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  3. "Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill – First Reading". New Zealand Parliament. 7 December 2005. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  4. "Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill — First Reading". Hansard. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand House of Representatives. 655: 4850. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  5. "Parliamentary Private Secretaries appointed". 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  6. Young, Rachel (19 April 2014). "Wagner vows to fight for 'unwinnable' electorate". The Press . p. A7. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  7. "Hard work, not adviser, 'won seat' for Nicky Wagner". The Press . 8 September 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  8. "'Rather be out on the harbour' - National Party MP tweets from disability meetings". Newshub. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Brendon Burns
Member of Parliament for Christchurch Central
Succeeded by
Duncan Webb