Kennedy Graham

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Kennedy Graham
Kennedy Graham.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green Party List
Assumed office
Personal details
Born 1946 (age 68–69)
Political party Green Party
Relations Doug Graham, Robert Graham
Children Two
Alma mater University of Auckland
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Victoria University of Wellington
Website Green Party profile

Kennedy Gollan Montrose Graham[1] (born 1946) is a New Zealand politician and MP for the Green Party.[2] He has served in the New Zealand Foreign Service for sixteen years, and lectured at the University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington.

He is the brother of Doug Graham, a former National Party MP. He is also a relative of the MP Robert Graham (born 1820).[3]


Graham has a BCom from the University of Auckland, a MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington. He received Fulbright and Fletcher scholarships, and a McCarthy Fellowship in 1986.


As a New Zealand diplomat, Graham was involved in the negotiation of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone. He worked as Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action. He has worked at the United Nations, first as a director at the United Nations University from 1999 to 2004, and later as Senior Consultant in the Department of Political Affairs, from 2005 to 2006. In 2007 he became Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Canterbury School of Law, and was a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. Graham was also a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Belgium.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th List 9 Green
2011 – 2014 50th List 5 Green
2014 – present 51st List 7 Green

First term: 2008–2011[edit]

He became an MP in the 2008 election after counting of the special votes, which gave the Green Party an additional list seat.[2] In his maiden speech, Graham noted that: "We are drawing down on Earth's natural resources, borrowing forward on the human heritage, irretrievably encroaching on our children's right to inherit the Earth in a natural and sustainable state."[3]

In July 2009 Graham's International Non-Aggression and Lawful Use of Force Bill was drawn from the member's ballot.[4] The bill would have outlawed the crime of aggression in New Zealand domestic law and required the government to table a legal opinion in Parliament before committing any forces to overseas military operations.[5] The bill was voted down at its first reading, 64 to 58.[6]

Second term: 2011–2014[edit]

Graham at a climate change political panel in 2014

As of May 2013, Graham is responsible for the Disarmament, Global Affairs, Climate Change, Trade & Foreign Investment, Constitutional Issues, and Defence portfolios in the Green Party. He is also the Deputy-Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee and a Member of the Privileges Committee.[7]

In June 2013, Graham organised a public, one-day climate change conference which was held at the old Legislative Council chamber at Parliament. The conference explored the state of climate science, the link between international action and domestic responsibility, the roles of civil society and businesses, available policy mechanisms, and ended with a political panel of MPs discussing climate change.[8][9]

Going into the 2014 general election, Graham is at number 7 on the Green Party List.[10] The ranking is two places lower than his 2011 ranking of number 5.[11]


  1. ^ "New Zealand Hansard - Members Sworn Volume:651;Page:2". Parliament of New Zealand. 
  2. ^ a b "Special votes see Greens gain seat, Nats lose". New Zealand Herald. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  3. ^ a b Trevett, Claire (16 January 2009). "New voices: Simon Bridges, Kennedy Graham and Carol Beaumont". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "International Non-Aggression and Lawful Use of Force Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  5. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates 656 5740.
  6. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates 657 6818.
  7. ^ "Dr Kennedy Graham". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Graham, Kennedy. "Climate Change conference". Green Party. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Climate change talks at Parliament today". The New Zealand Herald. Newstalk ZB. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Green Party. "2014 election candidates". Green Party. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Green Party (29 May 2011). "Green Party Confirms List Rankings". Green Party. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 

External links[edit]