Holly Walker

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This article is about the New Zealand politician. For the group that features the English singer, see Maribou State.
Holly Walker
Holly Walker.jpg
Walker in 2011
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green party list
In office
2011 (2011) – 2014
Succeeded by James Shaw
Personal details
Born (1982-11-15) 15 November 1982 (age 34)
Nationality New Zealander
Political party Green
Spouse(s) David Haines
Children 1
Alma mater
Website Official website

Holly Ruth Walker (born 15 November 1982) was a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives from 2011–2014, as a Green Party list MP. She is currently a writer and book reviewer.

Early life[edit]

Walker was born in Lower Hutt in 1982.[1] She was raised by a mother on the Domestic Purposes Benefit and attended Waterloo School, Hutt Intermediate School and Hutt Valley High School, where she was deputy head girl.[2][3][4]

University and early political work[edit]

From 2001 she studied at the University of Otago, graduating with a BA (Hons) in English and Politics, as well as winning a Blue for her achievements with the Otago University Debating Society.[2] In 2005 she was the editor of student magazine Critic Te Arohi, the year's winner of the Aotearoa Student Press Association's award for Best Student Publication.[5] In September 2005 Critic's annual "Offensive Issue" included a fictional diary of a man who used drugs to stupefy and rape women. The Office of Film and Literature Classification banned the issue in early 2006, after Walker's tenure as editor had ended. At the time of the ban she said the article was "defendable in that it highlights a very important issue",[6] but when Critic interviewed her in 2012 she called it "a mistake to publish that particular article the way that we did".[7]

She moved from Dunedin to Wellington and in 2006 began working as a media adviser to the Green Party.[8] The next year she moved to the Office of Treaty Settlements, working as an analyst.[1] 2007 also saw her named a Rhodes scholar,[9] leading to a master's degree in Developmental Studies from the University of Oxford, awarded in 2009.[1][8][10]

After two years in Oxford, Walker returned to New Zealand and the Green Party. She spent 2009-11 as a Political and Media Adviser to the party's MPs, leading a poverty research project for the party, and she co-convened the Young Greens of Aotearoa in 2010.[8][10]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011–2014 50th List 12 Green
Walker talking to Bryce Edwards at University of Otago Vote Chat in 2011

Placed twelfth on the Green Party list for the 2011 election,[11] Walker was elected to Parliament when the Greens gained 14 seats.[12]

On 5 April 2012, Walker's Lobbying Disclosure Bill was drawn from the ballot of private members' bills and introduced to Parliament.[13][14][15] It had originally been written by Sue Kedgley, but was narrowed in scope under Walker.[16] The bill was modelled on a Canadian law, with similar legislation in Australia and America also being an influence. Its intention was to make interactions between MPs and lobbyists more transparent.[17] It passed its first reading but was rejected by a parliamentary select committee in August 2013.[16]

In January 2013 Walker unveiled the Green Party's Home for Life scheme, aimed at getting low income earners into their own homes.[18] By the end of the Parliamentary term she was Green Party spokesperson for Housing, Electoral Reform, Children, Open Government, Arts Culture & Heritage, and Students.[19]

Three months before the 2014 general election, Walker withdrew from the Green Party list, citing "a recent unexpected change in my family life".[20] She had been placed twelfth - high enough to be returned to Parliament.[21] She remained the party's (unsuccessful) candidate for Hutt South, campaigning only for the party vote, and has not ruled out a return to politics.[22]

Career after politics[edit]

Since stepping down as a Green MP, Walker is working at the Office of the Children's Commissioner, and writes a blog reviewing books written by women.[23] She has written that she wishes to return to public life when family commitments allow her to:

In 2015 she began contributing to website 'The Spinoff', reviewing books, interviewing authors, and writing other articles.[24] The next year she launched a parenting podcast, 'Dear Mamas', co-hosted with Emily Writes, and contributed book reviews to Radio New Zealand's 'Nine to Noon' programme.[25][26][27]

Family life[edit]

Walker is in a civil union with David Haines.[28] They have a daughter, Esther, born on 7 October 2013.[29][30]


  1. ^ a b c "Holly Ruth Walker". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, via archive.org. Archived from the original on 12 February 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Rhodes Scholars Elect for 2007". Scoop. 18 October 2006. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Easton, Paul (8 September 2012). "Green and keen to make a difference". The Dominion Post. p. C5. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Brown, Erin (25 March 2012). "Green MP warns inequality at 'crisis point' in NZ". NewsWire.co.nz. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "ASPA Awards: Critic named Best Student Publication" (3 October 2005). Aotearoa Student Press Association. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Student drug-rape magazine banned". New Zealand Herald. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Fredric, Callum (11 March 2012). "Holly Walker: Green star on the horizon". Critic Te Arohi (3). Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c "Holly Walker (official MP profile)". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  9. ^ The Rhodes Trust. "Rhodes scholar class of 2007". The Rhodes Scholarships. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Edwards, Simon. "Holly Walker ready for first day as MP". Hutt News. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "2011 election candidates". Green Party. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Official Count Results – Successful Candidates". electionresults.govt.nz. 
  13. ^ "The Nation: politicians take on Lobbying Disclosure Bill". 3 News. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Lobbying Disclosure Bill". www.parliament.nz. New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Lobbying Disclosure Bill". http://www.legislation.govt.nz/. Retrieved 30 June 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  16. ^ a b Davison, Isaac (24 August 2013). "MPs decide law to restrict lobbyists unnecessary in 'village' NZ". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Chapman, Kate (10 April 2012). "Greens' bill rips veil off lobbying". stuff.co.nz. Fairfax. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Greens unveil 'rent-to-buy' scheme". 3 News NZ. 24 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "Holly Walker". Green Party. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "Green MP Holly Walker stepping down". Stuff. Fairfax. 8 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Official Count Results - Overall Status (2014)". electionresults.govt.nz. Electoral Commission. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Bennett, Adam (30 June 2014). "Green MP Holly Walker to step down at election". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  23. ^ a b Walker, Holly (24 February 2015). "'How Do You Do It?' Hard Lessons in Work-Life Balance". The Rhodes Project. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Holly Walker (author profile)". The Spinoff. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  25. ^ Writes, Emily. "Podcast archive". Mama Said. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  26. ^ "Book review - Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young". Radio NZ. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  27. ^ "Book review - Billy Bird by Emma Neale". Radio NZ. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  28. ^ Rutherford, Hamish (5 May 2013). "Greens' Holly Walker announces pregnancy". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Greens Holly Walker announces pregnancy". Stuff/Fairfax. 5 May 2013. 
  30. ^ Vance, Andrea (19 October 2013). "Baby Esther does her bit for rule change". Fairfax New Zealand. 

External links[edit]