Louise Upston

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Louise Upston

11th Minister of Corrections
In office
20 December 2016 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded byJudith Collins
Succeeded byKelvin Davis
Senior Government Whip
In office
29 January 2013 – 7 October 2014
Preceded byChris Tremain
Succeeded byTim Macindoe
13th Minister for Women
In office
8 October 2014 – 20 December 2016
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded byJo Goodhew
Succeeded byPaula Bennett
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Taupō
Assumed office
8 November 2008
Preceded byMark Burton
Majority14,115 (63.65%)
Personal details
Louise Claire McGill

(1971-03-14) 14 March 1971 (age 48)[1]
North Shore, New Zealand
Political partyNational

Louise Claire Upston MP (née McGill, born 14 March 1971) is a New Zealand politician of the National Party. She has represented the Taupō electorate in the House of Representatives since the 2008 election. In the Fifth National Government, led by Prime Minister Bill English, she was the Minister of Corrections.

Early life[edit]

Louise McGill was born in North Shore and grew up in East Coast Bays.[2] Her parents are Ian and the late Norma McGill. The youngest of four children, she has two sisters and one brother.[2] She attended Rangitoto College, from which she graduated in 1988, and where she was friends with Amy Adams.[3] Since before the age of ten, she had wanted to become a member of parliament.[4]

McGill dropped out of law school and instead founded a management consultancy firm, McGill Manning, when she was 19. Her clients included Air New Zealand, Russell McVeagh, and Datacom Group. She then studied at the Waikato Management School and graduated with a Master of Business Administration.[5]

McGill married Craig Upston, and they have three children.[2] The Upston family lives in Karapiro.[6]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Upston was elected to Parliament at the 2008 general election for the Taupō electorate,[7] where she unseated Mark Burton, a Labour cabinet minister who had represented the area for 15 years.[8] She received attention in the media for comments made in her maiden statement to the House of Representatives, such as her slogan approach to crime: "The police are good. The criminals are bad. It's that simple."[9]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th Taupō 53 National
2011–2014 50th Taupō 44 National
2014–2017 51st Taupō 27 National
2017–present 52nd Taupō 19 National

In the 2011 election, she more than doubled her majority to 14,115 votes.[10][11] This made Taupō one of the safest seats in the country.[12] Her majority increased to 15,046 votes in the 2014 election.[13]

Upston was appointed to Junior Whip for the National Government after the 2011 election.[14] Following the February 2013 reshuffle by John Key, Upston was elected Chief Whip and joined by Tim Macindoe and Jami-Lee Ross who act as Junior and Third Whip in Parliament.[7]

Upston is conservative on conscience issues: she voted against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill in 2013, and voted to raise the purchase age of alcohol to 20.[15]

In October 2014, she became the Minister of Land Information and the Minister for Women.

In November 2014, Upston stated she is not a feminist when she sang praises of beauty pagents.[16][17]

In April 2015, Upston refused to comment on women's rights in the work place after it was revealed John Key was forced to apologise to a Parnell cafe worker for repeatedly pulling her hair. Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei accused Upston of abdicating her responsibilities as Minister for Women.[18]

After Bill English was elected as Prime Minister in December 2016, Upston served as the Minister of Corrections.


  1. ^ Upston, Louise. "Video Update - 15 March 2011". louiseupston.co.nz. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Louise Upston's maiden speech". Waikato Times. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  3. ^ Vance, Andrea (22 July 2012). "Amy not afraid to speak her mind". Stuff.co.nz. The Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  4. ^ McKenzie-Minifie, Martha (14 October 2008). "National's big push paints Rotorua blue". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Louise Upston (MBA)". University of Waikato. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Hon Louise Upston". New Zealand National Party. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Hon Louise Upston". New Zealand Parliament. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  8. ^ "MP keen to get cracking". Waikato Times. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Support the police, says Taupo's new MP". Stuff.co.nz. New Zealand Press Association. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Official Count Results – Taupō". Chief Electoral Office. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Official Count Results -- Taupō". Electoral Commission. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Official Count Results -- Electorate Status". Electoral Commission. 17 December 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Official Count Results -- Taupō". Electoral Commission. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  14. ^ Malcolm, Rebecca (21 December 2011). "Louise Upston appointed junior whip". The Daily Post. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  15. ^ Singh, Harkanwal; Ball, Andy (17 April 2013). "Marriage equality bill - How MPs voted". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  16. ^ O'Neil, Andrea (30 November 2014). "Beauty pageants great for women - minister". The Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  17. ^ A'Court, Michele (3 December 2014). "Is the Pope a Catholic?". The Press. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  18. ^ Kirk, Stacey (24 April 2015). "Female ministers close ranks around ponytail-pulling Prime Minister". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 9 May 2016.

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Mark Burton
Member of Parliament for Taupō