Gareth Hughes (politician)

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Gareth Hughes

Gareth Hughes2.jpg
Hughes outside the Beehive
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green party list
Assumed office
11 February 2010
Preceded byJeanette Fitzsimons
Personal details
Born (1981-10-31) 31 October 1981 (age 37)
Gisborne, New Zealand
Political partyGreen
Spouse(s)Meghan Hughes
ChildrenArlo (b. 2008) and Zoe (b. 2010)
ResidenceWellington, New Zealand

Gareth Thomas Llewelyn Hughes[1] (born 31 October 1981) is a New Zealand politician and member of the Green Party. He took a seat in Parliament as the next person on the Green party list following the retirement of Jeanette Fitzsimons in February 2010.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hughes grew up in Gisborne,[3] and, after attending Gisborne Boys' High School,[4] studied religious studies, history and politics at Victoria University of Wellington.[5] He became a vegetarian while a student.[6] He worked for Greenpeace in Australia and New Zealand from 2000–2005, and then worked for the Green Party on climate change issues. He is married with two children, Arlo and Zoe.[7]

In May 2004, Hughes was arrested after dressing as Ronald McDonald and chaining himself to the gates of McDonald's New Zealand distribution centre in Wiri, Auckland, protesting against the use of genetically modified chicken feed.[8]

In the 2008 elections, Hughes stood in the Ōhariu electorate, placing fourth with 7.06% of the vote.[9] However, Hughes was campaigning mostly for the party vote,[10][11] of which the Green Party gained 9.13%.[9]

In 2009 Hughes co-ordinated Greenpeace New Zealand's 'Sign On' campaign, which called for stronger action on climate change.[5][10]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2010–2011 49th List 11 Green
2011–2014 50th List 7 Green
2014–2017 51st List 5 Green
2017–present 52nd List 5 Green

Following the retirement of list MP Jeanette Fitzsimons Hughes was declared elected as the next candidate on the Green party list,[12] ranked at place 11.[13] He was sworn in as an MP on 16 February 2010.[14] He was the youngest MP in Parliament at the time of his election.[3]

In his maiden speech on 24 February 2010, Hughes declared his support for a New Zealand republic.[15][16]

Hughes is the Green Party's spokesperson on housing, ICT, libraries and archives, tertiary education, GE, food, oceans,[17] transport,[18] and youth.[5]

In the 2011 general election he stood in the Ōhariu electorate again and was ranked seventh on the Green party list, and was re-elected as a list MP. In the 2014 general election he stood only on the party list.

Hughes, along with the rest of the Green Party, voted in support of Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013, allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in New Zealand.[19]

In November 2016, it was announced that Hughes would be running for the East Coast electorate against National Party MP Anne Tolley. This electorate is the one he was raised in.[20]


  1. ^ Speaker of the House, Dr Lockwood Smith (16 February 2010). "List Member Vacancy". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Fitzsimons steps down as MP - effective immediately". The New Zealand Herald. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b Menkes, Emily (5 March 2010). "Introducing NZ's youngest MP". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Gareth Hughes - List member, Green Party". Current MPs. New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b c "Gareth Hughes". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Meet the Green Party's new MP",, 28 January 2010
  7. ^ "Election08 Green Party Candidates". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Young blood for Green". New Zealand Press Association. 28 January 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Official Count Results – Ōhariu". Elections New Zealand. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Young blood for Greens". New Zealand Press Association. Television New Zealand. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Meet the Green Party's new MP". New Zealand Press Association. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  12. ^ "New list MP for Green Party". Chief Electoral Office. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  13. ^ Wood, Jackson (11 August 2008). "Politics: Gareth Hughes Interview". Salient. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  14. ^ "Journals of the House for the week beginning Tuesday, 16 February 2010". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  15. ^ "Gareth Hughes: Maiden Speech". 24 February 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  16. ^ Gareth Hughes (25 February 2010). "Gareth Hughes Maiden Speech" (Press release). Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Bethune needs report for his defence, Greens say". New Zealand Press Association. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  18. ^ "KiwiRail focus off the track, says expert". ONE News and New Zealand Press Association. Television New Zealand. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  19. ^ Harkanwal Singh; Andy Ball (17 April 2013). "Marriage equality bill - How MPs voted". Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  20. ^ Ashton, Andrew (22 November 2016). "Hughes gets Greens light to take on Tolley". The Gisborne Herald.

External links[edit]