Ruth Dyson

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Ruth Dyson

Ruth Dyson, 2011.jpg
Ruth Dyson in 2011
Assistant Speaker of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
3 July 2019
Preceded by Poto Williams
Chief Government Whip in the House of Representatives
In office
26 October 2017 27 June 2019
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Jami-Lee Ross
Succeeded by Michael Wood
28th President of the Labour Party
In office
Leader David Lange
Geoffrey Palmer
Mike Moore
Preceded byRex Jones
Succeeded by Maryan Street
Minister for Senior Citizens
In office
28 January 2003 19 November 2008
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Preceded by Lianne Dalziel
Succeeded by John Carter
Minister for ACC
In office
15 August 2002 5 November 2007
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Preceded by Lianne Dalziel
Succeeded by Maryan Street
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Lyttelton
In office
1993   1996
Preceded by Gail McIntosh
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour party list
In office
1996   1999
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Banks Peninsula
In office
1999   2008
Preceded by David Carter
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Majority1,923 (4.78%)
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Port Hills
Assumed office
Preceded byNew constituency
Personal details
Ruth Suzanne Dyson

(1957-08-11) 11 August 1957 (age 62)
Wellington, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Political party Labour Party

Ruth Suzanne Dyson (born 11 August 1957) is a New Zealand politician. She is a member of the Labour Party and has been a Member of Parliament since 1993. Since the 2008 election, she has represented the Port Hills electorate.

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; observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. The party participates in the international Progressive Alliance.

1993 New Zealand general election

The 1993 New Zealand general election was held on 6 November 1993 to determine the composition of the 44th New Zealand Parliament. Voters elected 99 members to the House of Representatives, up from 97 members at the 1990 election. The election was the last general election to use the first-past-the-post electoral system, with all members elected from single-member electorates.

2008 New Zealand general election election

The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand Parliament. The liberal-conservative National Party, headed by its parliamentary leader John Key, won the largest share of votes and seats, ending nine years of government by the social-democratic Labour Party, led by Helen Clark. Key announced a week later that he would lead a National minority government with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT, United Future and Māori parties. The Governor-General swore Key in as New Zealand's 38th Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. This marked an end to nine years of Labour Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth National Government which governed for the next nine years, until its loss to the Labour Party in the 2017 general election.


Early years

Dyson was born in Lower Hutt. Her father served in the New Zealand Army, and so Dyson's family frequently moved around the country. Dyson joined the Labour Party in Westport in 1979, and worked as a campaign organiser for Labour MP Kerry Burke in the 1981 and 1984 election. In 1985, she moved to Wellington, where she worked with Labour MP Fran Wilde on the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. She worked for Wilde's re-election campaign in the 1987 election, and later held a number of senior offices in the Labour Party, including that of president. [1]

Lower Hutt Place in Wellington, New Zealand

Lower Hutt is a city in the Wellington Region of the North Island of New Zealand. Administered by the Hutt City Council, it is one of the four cities that constitute the Wellington metropolitan area.

New Zealand Army Land component of the New Zealand Defence Force

The New Zealand Army is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted by the New Zealand Army Act 1950. The New Zealand Army traces its history from settler militia raised in 1845.

Westport, New Zealand Place in West Coast, New Zealand

Westport is a town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is on the northern bank and at the mouth of the Buller River, close by the prominent headland of Cape Foulwind. It is connected via State Highway 6 with Greymouth, 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the south, and with Nelson 222 kilometres (138 mi) in the northeast, via the Buller Gorge.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
1993 1996 44th Lyttelton Labour
1996 1999 45th List19 Labour
1999 2002 46th Banks Peninsula 15 Labour
2002 2005 47th Banks Peninsula22 Labour
2005 2008 48th Banks Peninsula14 Labour
2008 2011 49th Port Hills 14 Labour
2011 2014 50th Port Hills5 Labour
2014 2017 51st Port Hillsnone Labour
2017 present 52nd Port Hills24 Labour

Dyson first entered Parliament in the 1993 election, winning the Lyttelton electorate against National's David Carter. [2] In the 1996 election, the Lyttelton electorate was abolished, and Dyson stood in Banks Peninsula, losing to Carter, who had in the meantime become an MP through winning the 1994 Selwyn by-election. She became a list MP owing to her position on the Labour Party's list. In the 1999 election, however, she defeated Carter to win Banks Peninsula. She has remained the MP for the area since that time; however before the 2008 election the boundaries were changed and it was renamed Port Hills.

Lyttelton is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It existed from 1853–90, and again from 1893–1996, when it was replaced by the Banks Peninsula electorate.

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.

David Carter (politician) New Zealand politician

David Cunningham Carter is a New Zealand National Party politician and former Speaker of the House, having also previously been a cabinet minister.

When the Labour Party won power in the 1999 general election, Dyson was appointed to a number of minor ministerial roles, including Disability Issues and Associate Health and Associate Social Development. However, she resigned them on 31 October 2000 after being caught drink driving. [3] She regained most of her ministerial responsibilities on 4 June 2001. [4]

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 the Fourth National Government, and the beginning of the Fifth Labour Government which would govern for nine years in turn, until its loss to the National Party in the 2008 general election.

Driving under the influence Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance

Driving under the influence (DUI) is the crime or offense of driving or operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs, to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.

In a reshuffle on 31 October 2007, Dyson took on the portfolio of Social Development, which she held until the Clark government lost power at the 2008 general election. Despite the swing against Labour at that election, Dyson won her new electorate of Port Hills with an increased margin than that of Banks Peninsula. [5] [6]

Minister for Social Development (New Zealand) New Zealand minister of the Crown

The Minister for Social Development is a minister in the government of New Zealand with responsibility promoting social development and welfare, and is in charge of the Ministry of Social Development. The position was established in 1946.

In December 2009 Dyson's Resource Management (Requiring Authorities) Amendment Bill, which would amend the Resource Management Act 1991 to reintroduce a public interest test for projects seeking requiring authority, was drawn from the member's ballot. [7] The bill was defeated at its first reading. [7]

Resource Management Act 1991 New Zealand law promoting sustainable management of natural and physical resources

The Resource Management Act (RMA) passed in 1991 in New Zealand is a significant, and at times, controversial Act of Parliament. The RMA promotes the sustainable management of natural and physical resources such as land, air and water. New Zealand's Ministry for the Environment describes the RMA as New Zealand's principal legislation for environmental management.

Dyson was re-elected as the MP for Port Hills at the 2011 general election. She is currently the Labour spokesperson for Conservation, Senior Citizens, and Internal Affairs and chairs the Parliamentary Select Committee on Government Administration . [1] When Lianne Dalziel confirmed that she would contest the 2013 Christchurch mayoralty, her Christchurch Earthquake Recovery portfolio was split and assigned to Dyson and Clayton Cosgrove in July 2013. [8]

Dyson contested the 2014 election against Nuk Korako of the National Party and chose not to be placed on Labour's party list. [9] Based on preliminary counts, Dyson has a majority of 1,865 votes over Korako. [9]

Following the formation of the Sixth Labour Government in 2017, Dyson was elected Labour's Senior Whip. [10]

Dyson has indicated that she will not seek re-election at the next general election. [11]

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Port Hills is a parliamentary electorate of New Zealand created for the 2008 general election. Ruth Dyson of the Labour Party had previously held the Banks Peninsula electorate since the 1999 election that was largely replaced by Port Hills, and Dyson is to this day the area's representative. The Port Hills electorate is mostly urban, and lost the more rural Banks Peninsula areas of the old electorate to the Selwyn electorate that was also formed for the 2008 election.

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  1. 1 2 "Ruth Dyson".
  2. Part 1: Votes recorded at each polling place (Technical report). Chief Electoral Office. 1993.
  3. Small, Vernon (1 November 2000). "$9.50 cab ride would have saved Dyson". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  4. "Dyson gets all her portfolios back". Television New Zealand . 5 June 2001. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  5. Port Hills results 2008
  6. Decision 08: Port Hills
  7. 1 2 "Resource Management (Requiring Authorities) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  8. Cairns, Lois (11 July 2013). "Two MPs to take over Dalziel's portfolio". . Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  9. 1 2 Mathewson, Nicole; Stylianou, Georgina; Fulton, Tim (20 September 2014). "Labour's Dyson keeps Port Hills". The Press . Archived from the original on 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  10. Bracewell-Worrall, Anna (30 October 2017). "Ruth Dyson selected as Government whip". NewsHub. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  11. "Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson to stand down at next election". . 4 March 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Gail McIntosh
Member of Parliament for Lyttelton
Constituencies abolished
Preceded by
David Carter
Member of Parliament for Banks Peninsula
New constituency Member of Parliament for Port Hills
Political offices
Preceded by
Lianne Dalziel
Minister for Senior Citizens
Succeeded by
John Carter
Minister for ACC
Succeeded by
Maryan Street
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rex Jones
President of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Maryan Street
Preceded by
Kris Faafoi
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Michael Wood