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Paul Desmond Swain QSO (born 20 December 1951) is a New Zealand politician. He is a member of the Labour Party.[1]

Paul Swain

Paul Swain (cropped).jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Rimutaka
In office
12 October 1996 – 8 November 2008
Preceded bynew constituency
Succeeded byChris Hipkins
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Eastern Hutt
In office
27 October 1990 – 12 October 1996
Preceded byTrevor Young
Succeeded bydiscontinued constituency
Personal details
Born (1951-12-20) 20 December 1951 (age 67)
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Toni Reeves

Early lifeEdit

Swain was born in Palmerston North on 20 December 1951. He attended St. Patrick's College in Wellington. He has obtained a BA from Victoria University of Wellington.[1]

Before entering politics, he worked in the social welfare sector, and has also been a bus driver in Wellington. Swain has two daughters and a son with his wife Toni Reeves-Swain, and two sons from an earlier marriage.

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1990–1993 43rd Eastern Hutt Labour
1993–1996 44th Eastern Hutt Labour
1996–1999 45th Rimutaka none Labour
1999–2002 46th Rimutaka 26 Labour
2002–2005 47th Rimutaka 18 Labour
2005–2008 48th Rimutaka 17 Labour

He was MP for the seat of Eastern Hutt from the 1990 election until the 1996 election, when the electorate boundaries were changed and it became Rimutaka. He won Rimutaka in 1996[2] and held the seat until the 2008 election, which he did not contest, retiring from national politics.[3]


Swain has held a number of ministerial portfolios, including Associate Minister of Finance, Minister of Commerce, Minister of Communications, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Immigration, Minister for Information Technology, Minister of Labour, Minister of Statistics, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Minister of Transport, and Associate Minister for Economic Development.[1]

After the 2005 election, Swain decided not to seek a Cabinet post in the new government.[4]

Life after politicsEdit

In the 2009 New Year Honours, Swain was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order, for services as a Member of Parliament.[5]

In 2009, he was employed by the Crown as their lead negotiator for a settlement of historical grievances with Ngāti Porou.[6]

In 2016, he became chairman of the New Zealand Fire Service; now Fire and Emergency Service New Zealand.[7]

In July 2019 Swain announced that he would not be standing for re-election to the Wellington Regional Council, on which he has been a councillor since 2010. [8]


  1. ^ a b c "Hon Paul Swain – biography". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Electorate Candidate and Party Votes Recorded at Each Polling Place – Rimutaka" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Paul Swain leaves Parliament with sense of humour intact". New Zealand Press Association. The National Business Review. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Swain not seeking Cabinet post". New Zealand Labour Party. 4 October 2005. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  5. ^ "New Year honours list 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Former Labour cabinet minister takes on Treaty role". NZPA. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  7. ^ "NZ Fire Service announces new board chair Paul Swain". Stuff (Fairfax). 25 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Fourth Wellington regional councillor drops out of local elections". Stuff (Fairfax). 29 July 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Matt Robson
Minister of Corrections
Succeeded by
Damien O'Connor
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Trevor Young
Member of Parliament for Eastern Hutt
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Rimutaka
Succeeded by
Chris Hipkins