Clare Curran

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Clare Curran
Clare Curran.jpg
Labour Party Photo
Constituency Dunedin South
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Dunedin South
Assumed office
Preceded by David Benson-Pope
Personal details
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Political party Labour
Profession Public relations

Clare Elizabeth Curran[1] is the current member of the New Zealand Parliament for Dunedin South.

Early life and education[edit]

Curran grew up and was educated in Dunedin, she attended Moreau College where she achieved School Certificate. She has a BA double major in Anthropology and History from the University of Otago, and BA Honours in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington.


Curran worked in communications for Australian unions over a number of years before returning to New Zealand in 2002 with her young family. She continued to work in public relations in Dunedin.[citation needed]

Curran joined the New Zealand Labour Party in 2006. She quickly rose to prominence within the Otago-Southland hierarchy, becoming a member of the Council of the New Zealand Labour Party.[2]

In 2006 Curran presented a paper to the Otago-Southland region of the Labour Party on "capturing the language" on climate change policy.[3]

In May 2006 Curran was appointed to a contractual role within the Ministry for the Environment following a recommendation from Environment Minister David Parker's office to provide communications advice on the Government's climate change strategy. This appointment was the subject of an investigation by the State Services Commission into the appropriateness of Curran's engagement.[4] The report found that the Ministry had failed to adequately identify Curran's conflict of interest with respect to her relationship with Minister Parker.[5] The report found that a staff member in Parker's office had described Curran as Parker's "right-hand woman" and in an email to Environment Ministry Chief Executive Hugh Logan, and recommended that Curran meet with Logan to discuss communications. Logan resigned as Chief Executive of the Ministry hours before the State Services Commission's report into the Curran affair was released.

She is currently a member of many unions and political groups. She is a member of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and the Service & Food Workers Union. She is also a member of Greenpeace. She was also on the Council of the New Zealand Labour Party as Otago-Southland regional representative.[6]

Parliamentary career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th Dunedin South 45 Labour
2011–2014 50th Dunedin South 28 Labour
2014–2017 51st Dunedin South none Labour

In 2007, Curran launched a bid to unseat sitting MP David Benson-Pope as the Labour Party candidate for Dunedin South.[7][8] Curran won the selection contest ahead of Benson-Pope and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union's Don Pryde.[9] Curran won the 2008 election against National's Conway Powell.[10] However, in 2011, National Party candidate, Jo Hayes, reduced Curran's majority from 6449 in 2008[11] to 4175 in 2011,[12] and National gained a majority of the party vote in Dunedin South by 1837 votes.[12] In the 2014 election, Curran was successful against National's Hamish Walker.[13]

In the 49th New Zealand Parliament, she was a member of the Commerce Committee, and was the Labour spokesperson for Communications and Information Technology.

While in Opposition, Curran has spoken out against the closure of public broadcaster TVNZ 7,[14] the Government's controversial move to include software in the Patents Bill,[15] KiwiRail job losses,[16] TV coverage of the Paralympics,[17] and the lack of a telecommunications watchdog in New Zealand.[18]


  1. ^ "New Zealand Hansard - Members Sworn [Volume:651;Page:2]". New Zealand Parliament. 
  2. ^ "Clare Curran Biography". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Hosking, Rob (1 December 2007). "Labour Massages the Message". National Business Review. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Rennie, Iain. "Investigation into the Engagement of Clare Curran" (PDF). State Services Commission. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ministry botched Curran hiring". Dominion Post. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "New Zealand Council Members". Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Benson-Pope faces challenge for Dunedin seat". The Dominion Post. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ousted Benson-Pope to stay loyal". The Dominion Post. 3 February 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Benson-Pope loses hold on Dunedin South". The New Zealand Herald. 2 February 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  10. ^ McLean, Elspeth (28 November 2011). "Curran dismisses commentator's strong criticism". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Official Count Results -- Dunedin South". Chief Electoral Office. 22 November 2008. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Official Count Results -- Dunedin South". Electoral Commission. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Agony and ecstasy for Dunedin party faithful". Otago Daily Times. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Curran questions Govt's TV funding priorities". 3 News NZ. 7 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Innovation 'crushed' by change to Patents Bill". 3 News NZ. 4 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Kiwirail costs disputed by MP". 3 News NZ. 15 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "TV ignoring NZ's Paralympians: Labour". 3 News NZ. 5 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "Labour calls for telco watchdog following fines". 3 News NZ. 11 September 2012. 

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
David Benson-Pope
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South