Sarah Dowie

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Sarah Dowie

Sarah Dowie.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Invercargill
Assumed office
20 September 2014
Preceded by Eric Roy
Personal details
Political party National
Spouse(s) Mark Billcliff (separated in 2018)

Sarah Maree Dowie (born c. 1975) is a New Zealand politician who was elected to the New Zealand parliament at the 2014 general election as a representative of the New Zealand National Party and holds the Invercargill seat.

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.

Invercargill (New Zealand electorate) New Zealand electorate

Invercargill is an electorate of the New Zealand Parliament that has existed since 1866. Since the 2014 election, the electorate's representative is Sarah Dowie of the National Party.


Early life and career

Dowie's parents, Ann and Alan Dowie, [1] were both police officers. [2] At age 15 in 1990, she was a member of a semi-professional dance group that performed in the Soviet Union. [2] Before her election to Parliament, she worked as a lawyer. [1] [2]

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.

Dowie attended the University of Otago, studying law and ecology. After graduating, Dowie worked for the law firm Macalisters and later the Department of Conservation. [2] Dowie joined the National Party and was affiliated with their "Blue Greens" environmentalist faction. [2] She is married to Mark Billcliff, a former first class cricketer for Otago, but it is understood they have separated. [3] Dowie has two young children. [1]

University of Otago university in New Zealand

The University of Otago is a collegiate university located in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.

Department of Conservation (New Zealand) New Zealand government agency

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with the conservation of New Zealand's natural and historical heritage.

Mark Billcliff is a New Zealand former cricketer. He played two first-class matches for Otago in 1998/99.

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
2014 2017 51st Invercargill 57 National
2017 present 52nd Invercargill41 National

Dowie was selected by the National party to replace retiring MP Eric Roy in the Invercargill electorate; at the time, she had a low profile. [4] In the 2014 election, she won with a large margin to Labour's Lesley Soper. [5] [1] She was returned again in 2017 with a slightly reduced margin, but still beating Labour candidate Liz Craig, who was elected to parliament from the Labour list. She also defeated sitting New Zealand First MP Ria Bond, who was too far down the list to be re-elected.

Eric Wilbur Roy is a New Zealand former politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for the National Party. He was first elected in 1993 and served, with one three-year break, until 2014.

2014 New Zealand general election

The 2014 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 20 September 2014 to determine the membership of the 51st New Zealand Parliament.

Lesley Soper New Zealand politician

Lesley Frances Soper is a former New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.

On 25 January 2019, Dowie was revealed as the MP who had an affair with fellow MP Jami-Lee Ross. Ross had disclosed this in October 2018, but the news media chose not to name her at the time. After it was learned that a police investigation had been launched into a text message allegedly sent by Dowie to Ross, media revealed her identity. If the message is found to breach the Harmful Digital Communications Act, Dowie could face up to 3 years in prison, or 14 years if Ross had tried to commit suicide. [6] [2]

Jami-Lee Ross New Zealand politician

Jami-Lee Matenga Ross is a New Zealand politician who has been the Member of Parliament for the Botany electorate in Auckland since the March 2011 Botany by-election, when he became the youngest Member of Parliament at the time. He was previously a local government politician on the Auckland Council and, before that, was on the Manukau City Council from the age of 18.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Berwick, Louise; Mcdougall, Nicci; Mcleod, Hannah (20 September 2014). "Soper won't stand again as Dowie wins city vote". The Southland Times . Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Savory, Logan (25 January 2019). "Sarah Dowie: A journey from talented dancer to representing Invercargill in parliament". . Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  3. Houlahan, Mike (26 January 2019). "Dowie's reign as Invercargill MP looks to be over". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  4. "Invercargill Nats hopeful hits ground running". The Southland Times . 24 March 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  5. "Official Count Results -- Invercargill (2014)". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  6. "Barry Soper: Sarah Dowie, the police inquiry, and the text from her phone". Newstalk ZB.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Eric Roy
Member of Parliament for Invercargill