Elizabeth Tennet

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Elizabeth Tennet
Elizabeth Tennet.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Island Bay
In office
Preceded by Frank O'Flynn
Succeeded by constituency abolished
Personal details
Born 1953
Feilding, New Zealand
Political party Labour
Children 1
Alma mater Massey University
Victoria University

Elizabeth Patricia Tennet (born 1953)[1] is a former New Zealand politician.


Early life[edit]

Tennet was born in 1953 in Feilding.[2] She was educated locally before studying at Massey and Victoria University. Before entering politics, she worked as an official at the Department of Labour and as a trade union organiser as general secretary of the Central Clerical Workers Union.[2]

Prior to entering Parliament, Tennet was involved in the Labour Party at an organisational level. She was a member of Labour's Women's Council, the Regional Council for the Wellington region and a member of Labour's National Executive.[2]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1987–1990 42nd Island Bay Labour
1990–1993 43rd Island Bay Labour
1993–1996 44th Island Bay Labour

She was an MP from 1987 to 1996, representing the Labour Party.[3] She was first elected to Parliament in the 1987 elections as MP for the Wellington electorate of Island Bay, replacing the retiring Frank O'Flynn.[4] In 1990 she became Labour's junior whip as well as becoming party spokesperson on employment and associate spokesperson on women's affairs.[2] Tennet was the third woman to have a child whilst an MP and she decided that her priorities had changed since entering politics in order to spend more time with her six-year-old son she decided to retire from parliament at the 1996 election.[5]

In the 1995 local elections she was chosen as the Labour Party's candidate for the Wellington Mayoralty to replace the retiring Fran Wilde. Tennet came second in the election behind Mark Blumsky.[6]

Later activities[edit]

In 2009, Tennet was appointed chief executive of industry development organisation Textiles New Zealand.[7] In 2011 she became the chief executive of Community Law Centres O Aotearoa[5]


  1. ^ New Zealand Official Year-Book, 1992
  2. ^ a b c d Who's Who 1993, p. 78.
  3. ^ "Women in Parliament". Elections NZ. Archived from the original on 14 May 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Norton 1988, pp. 256.
  5. ^ a b "Elizabeth Tennet: Championing change". NZ Lawyer. 23 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "How You Voted". The Evening Post. 9 October 1995. p. 14. 
  7. ^ "New Chief Executive for Textiles New Zealand". 1 May 2009. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. 


  • Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946–1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. ISBN 0-475-11200-8. 
  • Who's Who in the New Zealand Parliament 1993. Wellington: Parliamentary Service. 1993. 

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Frank O'Flynn
Member of Parliament for Island Bay
Constituency abolished