Phil Twyford

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Phil Twyford

Phil Twyford.jpg
27th Minister of Transport
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded bySimon Bridges
8th Minister for Economic Development
Assumed office
27 June 2019
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byDavid Parker
Minister for Urban Development
Assumed office
27 June 2019
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byOffice Created
27th Minister of Housing and Urban Development
In office
26 October 2017 – 27 June 2019
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byAmy Adams
Succeeded byMegan Woods
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Te Atatū
Assumed office
Preceded byChris Carter
Personal details
Born (1963-05-04) 4 May 1963 (age 57)
NationalityNew Zealander
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Auckland

Philip Stoner Twyford (born 4 May 1963), known as Phil Twyford, is a politician from New Zealand and a member of the Labour Party. He has been a member of parliament since 2008. He is the Labour Party MP for Te Atatū.

Early years[edit]

Twyford was born in 1963.[1] His middle name, Stoner, is the maiden name of his mother.[1][2] Before politics he worked as the founding director of Oxfam New Zealand, as a journalist and a trade union organiser.[3]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th List 26 Labour
2011–2014 50th Te Atatū 33 Labour
2014–2017 51st Te Atatū 7 Labour
2017–present 51st Te Atatū 5 Labour

Twyford stood for election in the North Shore electorate at the 2005 and 2008 elections. He placed second both times but in 2008 he was elected as a list MP. Prior to entering Parliament, Twyford was a representative on Labour's policy council.[4]

Fifth National Government, 2008–2017[edit]

Twyford was appointed Labour's spokesperson for Disarmament and Arms Control, Auckland Issues, and associate spokesperson for Foreign Affairs – Development Assistance by Labour leader Phil Goff.

In 2009, Twyford's Local Government (Protection of Auckland Assets) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot, but failed to pass its first reading.[5] Twyford promoted the bill because of concerns that the reorganisation of Auckland's local governance by National and Act into a "Supercity" unity was partially to allow the sell-off of public assets, a claim his opponents claimed was "scaremongering".[6] Twyford continues to be involved in the matter of Auckland's local government reorganisation, and is a Labour representative on the select committee on the associated Auckland Law Reform bill.[7]

In September 2010, his Depleted Uranium (Prohibition) Bill,[8] which would ban depleted uranium weapons and armour from New Zealand,[9][10] was drawn from the member's ballot.[11] It was debated in June 2012, and failed to advance on a tied vote.[12]

Twyford was Labour Spokesperson for Housing and Auckland Issues, and Associate Spokesperson for the Environment until 2017. He is also a member of the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee.[13] In July 2015, Twyford was criticised for alleged racism when he produced statistics claiming that Chinese foreign buyers were disproportionately buying up real estate in Auckland.[14][15]

Sixth Labour Government, 2017–present[edit]

Twyford was elected as a Cabinet Minister by the Labour Party caucus following Labour's formation of a coalition government with New Zealand First and the Greens,[16] and appointed as the Minister of Housing and Urban Development and the Minister of Transport.[17] In November 2017, Twyford defended his government's proposed Overseas Investment Amendment Act to ban foreign buyers from buying residential property in order to ease the country's housing shortage.[18][19]

On 24 May 2018, Twyford was dismissed from his Civil Aviation portfolio after making an unauthorized phone call on a domestic flight as the plane was taking off, a violation of national civil aviation laws. The matter had been raised by Opposition Transport spokesperson Judith Collins. Twyford also offered to resign as Transport Minister but his resignation was turned down by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.[20][21]

On 23 January 2019, Twyford admitted that the Government would not meet its first target of building 1,000 KiwiBuild homes by 1 July 2019, stating that only 300 homes would be built by then.[22][23]

On 27 June 2019, in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first major reshuffle of the coalition government, Twyford was shuffled out as Housing Minister, replaced by Megan Woods, and became Minister of Economic Development instead.[24]

Political views[edit]

Twyford identifies as a social democrat.[25] In his maiden speech to Parliament, Twyford expressed support for a New Zealand republic.[26]


  1. ^ a b Gower, Patrick (14 January 2009). "New voices: Sam Lotu-Iiga, Phil Twyford and David Garrett". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  2. ^ "New Zealand Hansard – Members Sworn [Volume:651;Page:2]". New Zealand Parliament.
  3. ^ "Hon Phil Twyford". New Zealand Labour Party. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  4. ^ "New Zealand Council Members". Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Local Government (Protection of Auckland Assets) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  6. ^ "Labour's Auckland Assets Bill Defeated In Parliament"., with NZPA material. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  7. ^ "Select Committee – Auckland Governance Legislation". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  8. ^ Local Government (Protection of Auckland Assets) Amendment Bill 2009, Bills Digest No 1972 Parliamentary Library, Wellington (Retrieved 23 December 2012)
  9. ^ "Kiwi MP submits Members Bill calling for depleted uranium ban". International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  10. ^ Phil Twyford (18 November 2009). "I can smell the (depleted) uranium on your breath". Red Alert. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Depleted Uranium (Prohibition) Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  12. ^ Kate Shuttleworth (28 June 2012). "Uranium weapons deal rejected after one MP down". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  13. ^ New Zealand Parliament – Phil Twyford MP
  14. ^ "Twyford's 'racist', 'cynical' Chinese property buyer statistics de-bunked". 1 News. 11 July 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  15. ^ Walters, Laura (11 July 2015). "Labour's 'half-baked' property data turns Chinese buyers into 'scapegoats'". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Jacinda Ardern reveals ministers of new government". The New Zealand Herald. 25 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Foreign buyer ban will work, Phil Twyford insists". Newshub. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Twyford not worried about Chinese real estate promo". Radio New Zealand. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  20. ^ Watkins, Tracy; Moir, Jo (24 May 2018). "Minister Phil Twyford apologises for Civil Aviation breach". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  21. ^ Bennett, Lucy (24 May 2018). "Grounded: Phil Twyford offers to resign, stripped of role after phone call on plane". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  22. ^ Cooke, Henry (23 January 2019). "Phil Twyford says only 300 KiwiBuild homes are due to be finished by July". Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  23. ^ Walls, Jason (23 January 2019). "Housing Minister Phil Twyford is 'pretty gutted' KiwiBuild will fall short of its first year's target". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  24. ^ "PM takes housing off Phil Twyford in first major reshuffle". 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  25. ^ Coughlan, Thomas (25 December 2018). "Twyford on his hopes for 2019". Newsroom. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Head of State Referenda Bill — First Reading". Hansard. 21 April 2010.

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Chris Carter
Member of Parliament
for Te Atatū

Political offices
Preceded by
Simon Bridges
Minister of Transport
Preceded by
Amy Adams
Minister of Housing and Urban Development
Succeeded by
Megan Woods
Preceded by
David Parker
Minister for Economic Development