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Megan Cherie Woods (born 4 November 1973) is a New Zealand politician who, since 2011, has served as the Labour Party Member of Parliament for the Wigram electorate of the New Zealand Parliament.


Megan Woods

portrait photo of a woman in her 40s
Megan Woods in 2018
28th Minister of Housing
Assumed office
27 June 2019
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byPhil Twyford
Minister of Energy and Resources
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byJudith Collins
Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byNicky Wagner
Minister of Research, Science and Innovation
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byPaul Goldsmith
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Wigram
Assumed office
2011
Preceded byJim Anderton
Majority4,040
Personal details
Born (1973-11-04) 4 November 1973 (age 46)
Political partyLabour (since 2007)
Other political
affiliations
Progressive Party (1999–2007)
WebsiteProfile on Labour website
Alma materUniversity of Canterbury
Scientific career
ThesisIntegrating the nation: Gendering Maori urbanisation and integration, 1942–1969 (2002)
Doctoral advisorKatie Pickles

Early lifeEdit

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]

Professional lifeEdit

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

Political careerEdit

 
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.

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.

Woods was selected as the Labour 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 ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
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

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 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]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d 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. ^ a b c d e "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". Stuff.co.nz. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Jim Anderton
Member of Parliament for Wigram
2011–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Judith Collins
Minister of Energy and Resources
2017 - present
Incumbent
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