Margaret Wilson

From KeyWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Margaret Wilson

Margaret Anne Wilson, born 1947, is a New Zealand lawyer, activist and former politician.

She was Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives during the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand. She is a member of the New Zealand Labour Party.

May Day Auckland


Len Smith, Margaret Wilson, Johnny Mitchell, Frank Clarke, Bill Andersen, Jim Knox, Frank Barnard.

Legal career

1973 - Junior Law Lecturer, Auckland University.

1974 - joined staff of Auckland Law Faculty. Has LLB.

1977 - lecturer in Industrial Law at Auckland University.


1973, Sept 15-16 speaker at United Women's Convention.

1976, April 28-29, Margaret Wilson spoke at 2 day trade union seminar with Nellie Bell, Rob Campbell, Johnny Mitchell, Tom Skinner and Jim Knox.[1]. Spoke on Economics.

1977 - August 13, speaker at first public meeting in Auckland of Working Women's Council.

1978, March 2, chaired meeting in Auckland on problems faced by unemployed women. 22 women's organisations represented. Speakers included SUP's Eileen Tourell and Mike Jackson.

1978 - member Auckland Committee on Unemployment. [2]

1984, April, speaker at opening of Womens Resource Centre in Auckland.[3]

1984 May 1, Labour Party vice-president, spoke at May Day rally in Auckand and thankedd May Day Committee for keeping alive the celebration, wanted it made a public holiday. David Lange1 also spoke.

1986 - signatory to "Dear Pope John Paul" ad in Tablet? Zealandia? 17.11.86, calling for ordination of women, acceptance of divorced & remarried people & decentralisation of Church authority

Nicaragua support

1986 - Patron along with Jack Shallcrass, Sonja Davies and Rob Campbell of the Labour Party Nicaragua Support Committee.

1986 July, visited Nicaragua and the Socialist International meeting in Peru, with Helen Clark.

1986 July 19, speaker at meeting in Auckland University Cafe for Nicaragua Must Survive campaign.

July 1987 - leisted as sponsor of For Peace & Justice in Central America conference held at Victoria University. President NZLP (WCL, SUP, SAL also sponsors).

20th February 1987, spoke at Auckland meeting meeting held at Hotel Workers' Union, Newton, with 5 members of recent Harry Holland Brigade to Nicaragua. [4]

Labour Party

1986-87 New Zealand Labour Party. President.

1988 Oct, member of Labour Party appointed to its women's policy committee.

1989 late, works for Prime Ministers Department, position being Chief Political Assistant. [5]

1990 - former advisor to PM Geoffry Palmer distanced herself from Employment Equity Act because it was "riddled with freemarket ideology"[6]

2001 Listener 14.4.01 says Wilson one of the inner circle of power in LP/AP government.

Left wing candidates

1986/87 According to Roger Douglas Labour Party President, Margaret Wilson had gone "out of her way to pick a string of inadequate Left- wing candidates, her argument being the need for more balance in the Labour caucus". [7]

Soviet visit


1987, Jan., Wilson visited the Soviet Union - Moscow, Latvia and Leningrad, accompanied by Fran Wilde, Labour Party Secretary Tony Timms and party functionary Alison Timms. [8].

It was reported in the 28th Jan. NZ Herald she had noted to a Soviet Interpreter she had "stressed the importance of direct public contacts, especially since the middle classes in New Zealand lack objective information and are heavily indoctrinated." She had a 10 day visit to the USSR. Peace issues featured on her agenda, Wilson telling one group "We are hoping we will be re-elected as a Government and we can develop programmes for peace."

She said the The Labour government would retain its Western ties but added: "We are trying to establish a more independent position. We know that this doesn't always meet the approval of the United States."

Left unity

1988, Feb. 9, featured in debate of activists inside & outside the Labor Party, held at Auckland Hotel Workers Union hall. Debate was on value of working to change the party from within. On one side was Bruce Fowler & Workers Communist League member David Steele, on other side Margaret Wilson & Jim Anderton.


1989 - a commentator for the '89 Annual Wellington Peace and Security Seminar, organized by PIRM.[9]


1989 March 30, Press reported that Law Commission reported to Govt that special fishing privileges are consistent with equality before the law and the rejection of racial discrimination."The case for reform of the Maori fisheries Law rests upon respect for long standing rights guaranteed by the Treaty of Waitangi rather than on giving any special privileges to Maori."

Equal Employment and Equal Pay

1989 Nov, chairperson of the Working Group on Equal Employment and Equal Pay, set up by Labour.

Reserve Bank

1989 Aug., a director of the Reserve Bank.

Waikato Law school

1990, Feb. 25, leaving PM's office to return to lecturing. Palmer said "she remains one of my closest friends and confidents"

1991 - Dean University Waikato Law School.

November 1993, Dean of Law School, Waikato uni. Speaker at Westpac Unifem Suffrage Conference at Waipuna Lodge Auckland, with Sarah Calvert, Mira Szaszy, Sharyn Cederman.

Politicising appointments

Letter from Wellington Richard Prebble, Monday 16 Dec. 2002.

Politicising the environment

In cabinet Margaret Wilson has a paper to replace the present Deputy Commissioners on the Environment Court with her own political appointees. The Deputy Commissioners are appointed for five years and work with the Court to assist the judges. The Letter understands that the officials had recommended that most, if not all, the Deputy Commissioners be reappointed. But that does not fit with Margaret Wilson’s plan to reshape the courts to her radical agenda.

What sort of people will Wilson appoint? She has already appointed as a Deputy Commissioner a former alliance candidate. Another appointment is a former Christchurch Labour city councillor who is costing the Court a fortune, as he cannot hear cases in Canterbury for conflict of interest reasons. Let’s remember Joris de Bres was Margaret Wilson’s personal choice, as was Ella Henry (the Human Rights Commissioner who thinks traffic tickets are issued because she is Maori), and triple-dipper Susan Bathgate.

The new Supreme Court

Margaret Wilson in her academic writing has opined that the reason NZ has not become a true socialist state is because the left has not replaced the capitalist legal structures. To achieve her vision of an Aotearoa Socialist Republic with the treaty of Waitangi as the constitution, courts must be restructured and what better way than to replace the colonial Privy Council with a NZ Supreme Court one where she and Helen Clark pick the judges. Margaret Wilson has already announced that Labour’s choice of Chief Justice will be on the court. Labour’s Sir Geoffrey Palmer will help choose the judges. One must be versed in Tikanga Maori. Her axing of the members of the industrial relations tribunal shows Margaret Wilson’s contempt for a non-political court. Tribunal members were fired so that Margaret Wilson could put in her choices.

Closing the pay gap

Closing the pay gap Thursday, 22 May 2003, Press Release: New Zealand Government.

Closing the pay gap

Labour Minister Margaret Wilson today announced the establishment of a taskforce to progress pay and employment equity between women and men in the public service, in the public health sector and in the education sector.
The Taskforce will analyse how factors influencing pay and employment equity apply in those sectors and develop a five-year plan of action to address them.
The gender pay gap is not simply a matter of unfair bargaining practices or undervaluing traditional female occupations, Margaret Wilson said.

There is a long history of women being paid less than men for a range of reasons, such as working in different industries, having fewer years in the workforce or having different educational qualifications.
By taking the initiative in the public service, the Government will show leadership in the pay and employment equity area, and will also provide a model to demonstrate how pay and employment equity policies can be developed and implemented in other sectors. The work of the Taskforce is the next stage in the Government’s overall policy on pay and employment equity. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs previously issued a discussion document Next Steps Towards Pay Equity and a report on the submissions is now available from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
The Taskforce will comprise the Chief Executives (or their nominees) of the Department of Labour, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the State Services Commission, as well as three nominees of the NZ Council of Trade Unions. It will be chaired by Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan, who has a strong background in management in both the public and private sectors. She worked in the State Services Commission from 1986 to 1990, was the Manager of the Equal Employment Opportunity Unit, was involved in the development of the State Sector Act 1988 and in the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.

The Taskforce will act as a steering group, appointing sub-groups representing the different sectors to carry out the work in those sectors. The sub-groups will be separately chaired by Joanna Beresford, who is an Associate with Martin, Jenkins & Associates Ltd bringing experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She is a former National Secretary of NZEI where she had a particular focus on pay and employment equity issues.
The Taskforce will report to a Ministerial Reference Group comprising the Ministers of Labour, Women’s Affairs, State Services and Finance by the end of the year.



  1. [Tribune, April 20]
  2. GJ doc
  3. [SUP's Tribune 30 April]
  4. SA 27.2.87
  5. Ref: Hansard, p 2089, Supplement 8, Nov 14 to 19 Dec 1989
  6. [ Ref: ChCh Star 7.12.90]
  7. Press 11.7.92
  8. [SUP's Tribune, 16 March]
  9. [Peacelink, Dec '88]