John Boscawen

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The Honourable
John Boscawen
John Boscawen1.jpg
Minister of Consumer Affairs
In office
18 August 2010 – 3 May 2011
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Heather Roy
Succeeded by Simon Power
Deputy Leader of ACT Party
In office
Leader Rodney Hide
Preceded by Heather Roy
Succeeded by Don Nicolson
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for ACT Party List
In office
Personal details
Nationality New Zealand
Political party ACT New Zealand
Occupation Businessman

John Spencer Boscawen (born c.1957) is a former ACT New Zealand member of the New Zealand House of Representatives and as of May 2011, ACT's Parliamentary Leader and former Minister of Consumer Affairs of New Zealand. He came to parliament in the 2008 general election as a list MP, having been ranked fourth. Before entering parliament he was best known for his campaign against the Electoral Finance Act. He sat on the Finance and Expenditure, Commerce, and Parliamentary Service select committees, and is ACT's spokesperson for a range of issues including Housing, Transport, Energy and Economic Development.[1]

In January 2013 he became the president of the ACT Party. On 2 February 2014, after unsuccessfully running for ACT Leader, he relinquished the role of president to allow classical liberal philosopher Jamie Whyte to become ACT Leader and David Seymour to become the party's new Epsom candidate.

Business career[edit]

Boscawen was an accountant in the 1980s, but became insolvent after borrowing heavily to invest in the sharemarket before the stockmarket crash of 1987. With help from his parents, he was able to return to investing, developing the K-Mart Plaza in Hastings.[2]

He became an associate member of the New Zealand Business Roundtable.[1]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th List 4 ACT

ACT New Zealand was formed in 1994 and Boscawen became a member the following year. He has served on the party's board and been its treasurer, was Epsom campaign manager for the 2005 election and overall campaign manager in 2008.[1] He also donated NZ$100,000 to the party.[3] In 2008 he was ranked fourth on the ACT party's list. With ACT winning 3.65% of the vote at the 2008 general election, Boscawen entered parliament as ACT's fourth MP.

In 2009 Boscawen stood as ACT's candidate for the Mount Albert electorate, in the Mount Albert by-election. Boscawen placed fourth (968 votes), winning 4.72% of the votes cast. Boscawen provided the media with one of the memorable images of the by-election, when an environmentalist squashed a lamington on Boscawen's head during a live televised candidates debate.[4]

On 17 August 2010 it was announced Boscawen would become ACT's deputy leader and take the ministerial roles of consumer affairs, and associate commerce. The position of deputy leader, and consumer affairs, and associate education and defence were formerly held by Heather Roy before her removal. The associate education role was taken over ACT leader Rodney Hide likewise associate commerce by Boscawen. As the ministerial roles are government roles, they require formal consultation with and approval of the Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand. After the May 2011 resignation of Rodney Hide as leader of the Act party Boscawen tendered resignation of his ministerial portfolios and became the parliamentary leader of the Act party for Don Brash who became leader outside parliament. His portfolios were transferred to Simon Power, a minister resigning at the end of the 49th New Zealand Parliament, so that the prime minister would not have to recommend to the Governor General another member of parliament.

On 9 May 2011 Boscawen was granted the right[5] to retain the title of the Honourable for his lifetime.

Following the sharp decline in ACT's support in the 2011 general election to 1.07% of the popular vote, Boscawen ceased to be a member of parliament.

Boscawen became the ACT party's new party president in 2013.[6] He held that position for just over a year, but after he ran unsuccessfully for the Act Party leadership, he resigned.


Boscawen is a trustee of the Auckland Philharmonia Foundation and the Otahuhu College Foundation.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d ACT New Zealand MP profiles: John Boscawen. Archived 18 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Gower, Patrick (13 January 2009). "New voices: John Boscawen, Clare Curran, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Big donations for Act and Greens". The New Zealand Herald. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mt Albert's 'Lamington Massacre' revisited". 3 News. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Retention of the title 'The Honourable' (9 May 2011) 67 The New Zealand Gazette 1617.
  6. ^ Boscawen named as new ACT president, 24 January 2013

External links[edit]