Darien Fenton

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Darien Fenton

Template:TOCnestleft Darien Fenton is a third-term Labour Party List MP working on the North Shore of Auckland.


She was raised in the Manawatu and studied at Victoria University. After living in India, where she taught music to Indian children and acted in Bollywood films, she returned to New Zealand, met her partner John and raised their son, Aisha in the Northland settlement of Maungakaramea.

Darien Fenton has lived in a variety of countries, including Hong Kong, the UK and India.

Her jobs have been many and varied, including working for Playcentre, being a self-employed music teacher, working at the Tower of London for the Master of Armouries in the UK and at the University of Auckland.[1]

Fenton's father was a socialist.[2]

Union career

She became active in the union movement in the late 1980’s, and in 1997 was elected as the first woman Secretary of the Service and Food Workers Union, representing tens of thousands of New Zealanders working in hotels, hospitals, aged care, factories and schools.

She was also Vice President of the NZ Council of Trade Unions from 1999 – 2003 and was the Affiliates Vice President of the Labour Party from 2003 – 2005.[3]


Since she has been in Parliament, Fenton has "continued her advocacy for low paid workers and their families. Darien says she is proud of Labour’s record and she is determined to defend it".

In her first parliamentary term, Fenton served on the Health Select Committee, the Transport & Industrial Relations Select Committee, the Officers of Parliament Committee and was Deputy Chair of the Government Administration Committee.

In opposition, Fenton is Labour’s Spokesperson for Immigration issues and for Labour issues. She continues to sit on the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee.[4]

"Marxism Alive 2009"


In 2009 Fenton addressed an openly Marxist conference organized by the neo-Trotskyists of Socialist Worker.

Speakers from the Alliance Party, Green Party, RAM-Residents Action Movement, Socialist Worker and Workers Party have been confirmed for Marxism Alive, an upcoming educational forums hosted by Socialist Worker-New Zealand.
Marxism Alive will run from 10am-5pm on Saturday 27 June, @ Socialist Centre, 86 Princes Street, Onehunga, Auckland.
The current global economic crisis will loom large in our discussions. The left has to put forward an ideological, political and organisational challenge to the corporate market if we’re to avoid the crisis being dumped on grassroots people.

2012 "Revolution" conference

The first weekend of September 2012 saw Socialist Aotearoa's Revolution! conference held over the weekend at Auckland Trades Hall.

SA’s pre-conference publicity hoped that the gathering would be this year’s “premier conference of the radical left in Auckland. . . a chance to critically assess the key international and national struggles of the last year. . . and to refresh our theory – Marxism, women’s liberation and socialist environmentalism.”[5]

Debating the future of the left on Saturday afternoon, Matt McCarten from Unite union told the conference that Socialist Aotearoa is a small but serious part of the left, respected for its interventions in union disputes and political campaigns and 'Punched above its weight.' Labour MP Darien Fenton also spoke at the closing session, calling for unity on the left to fight the Government. And Joe Carolan from Socialist Aotearoa discussed the situation of the radical left internationally and the success of parties of the radical left such as Die Linke in Germany andSyriza in Greece and the need for a radical left alternative.[6]

Kingsgate Accord


With Mike Jackson, Bill Andersen, Judy Attenberger, Darien Fenton, Andrew Little, Jim Jones