Jonathan Coleman (politician)

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The Honourable Dr
Jonathan Coleman
Jonathan Coleman crop.jpg
Coleman outside the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in 2012
Minister of Health
Assumed office
8 October 2014
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Tony Ryall
Minister for Sport and Recreation
Assumed office
8 October 2014
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Murray McCully
Minister of Defence
In office
December 2011 – 8 October 2014
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Wayne Mapp
Succeeded by Gerry Brownlee
Minister of State Services
In office
December 2011 – 8 October 2014
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Tony Ryall
Succeeded by Paula Bennett
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Northcote
Assumed office
Preceded by Ann Hartley
Personal details
Born (1966-09-23) 23 September 1966 (age 49)
Nationality New Zealand
Political party National Party
Spouse(s) Sandra
Children Madison and Jack[1]

Jonathan David Coleman (born 23 September 1966) is a New Zealand politician.

Early years[edit]

After attending Auckland Grammar School where he was Head Prefect in 1984, Coleman trained as a doctor, graduating from University of Auckland's medical school. He worked as a doctor in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia (in the latter case, for the Royal Flying Doctor Service). He later obtained an MBA from London Business School in 2000, and returned to New Zealand the following year.

He worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as consultant on health sector issues and as a part-time general practitioner in Otara. He entered the selection for the National Party candidacy for Tamaki but was defeated by Allan Peachey before successfully contesting the candidacy for Northcote.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th Northcote 35 National
2008–2011 49th Northcote 29 National
2011–2014 50th Northcote 16 National
2014 – present 51st Northcote 10 National

In the 2005 election, Coleman stood as the National Party's candidate for the Northcote seat. He was also ranked 35th on the party's list. Coleman was successful, defeating Ann Hartley of the Labour Party. This was the only Auckland seat to change hands between Labour and National in the 2005 election.

In 2006, Coleman (then the National Party's associate health spokesman) caused controversy when he accepted British American Tobacco's - an active lobbyer on health sector issues - offer of sitting in their corporate box during a U2 concert.[2] It was also alleged he blew cigar smoke at a woman during the concert.[3] Coleman admitted he made a mistake by sitting in British American Tobacco's corporate box and smoking at a U2 concert.[4]

In the 2008 election Coleman was re-elected in Northcote with a majority of 9,360 votes.[5] He was again successful in the 2011 election, winning by a majority of 9,379 votes.[6] He had a slightly increased majority in the 2014 election.[7]

Promotion to cabinet: 2008–2011[edit]

In his first term he was the Spokesperson for Broadcasting and the Associate Spokesperson for Health. Re-elected in 2008, Prime Minister Key promoted Dr Coleman into Cabinet as the Minister of Immigration and Broadcasting and the Associate Health and Associate Tourism Minister.[citation needed]


After being re-elected for a third term for the Northcote seat in November 2011, Coleman was promoted in Cabinet to Minister of Defence, Minister of State Services and Associate Minister of Finance.[citation needed] Coleman voted against Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013.[8]


The honourable Dr Jonathan Coleman, as Minister of Health, described provision of reconstructive genital surgery for transgender people in New Zealand as "absolutely nuts".[9] Green MP Jan Logie responded to Coleman's comment by stating: "This is a group with massive unmet needs, who are stigmatised and are really susceptible to a lot of discrimination and harm. And to talk about their health needs as 'nutty' is frankly offensive."[10]Also in reply to this Jolisa Gracewood commented on Radio New Zealand that 'these are real people that we are talking about here, they're brave, gorgeous, radiant people and they just want the chance to be who they are'. She further went on to say that 'this becomes an inequality issue, not just a human rights issue' in specific regard to lack of availability of the surgery in New Zealand and the prohibitive cost of privately funded off-shore surgery completed without insurance. She also commented on the callous treatment of these people "some of which are children" by the Minister of Health and the presenter of the show, Seven Sharp's Mike Hosking who just wanted "a juicy bone to chew on".[11]

On the 20 May, a meeting in Alexandra organised by Central Otago Health Services Ltd supported a vote of no confidence in Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.[12]


  1. ^ School library rocked North Shore Times, 26 May 2011. p.3.
  2. ^ "A year some politicians would rather see as a bad dreamwork=NZ Herald". 22 December 2006. 
  3. ^ "Nat MP 'punched in cigar row'". NZ Herald. 3 December 2006. 
  4. ^ Houlahan, Mike (4 December 2006). "Sackcloth and ashes for National health spokesman after U2 cigar". The New Zealand Herald. 
  5. ^ "Official Count Results -- Northcote". Chief Electoral Office. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Official Count Results – Northcote". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Official Count Results -- Northcote". Electoral Commission. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Gender Realignment Surgery is Nuts". Television New Zealand. 19 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Surgeon backs sex-change funding". 3 News. 20 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Jolisa Gracewood replies to this on Radio New Zealand". Radio New Zealand National. 21 May 2015. 
  12. ^ van Kempen, Lynda (21 May 2015). "1000 gather over threat to cut hospital services". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 

External links[edit]