Phillida Bunkle

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Phillida Bunkle at her home in Reikorangi

Phillida Bunkle (born 1944) is a former New Zealand politician. She represented the Alliance in Parliament from 1996 to 2002, when she retired. Bunkle was for many years a lecturer at Victoria University.

Early life[edit]

Bunkle was born in Sussex, England, and was educated at Keele University, England, receiving a BA with First Class Honours; Smith College, Massachusetts, USA, receiving a MA; and St Anne's College, Oxford. She attended Harvard University, USA as a Kennedy Scholar and was the recipient of a Fulbright Award.

Life in New Zealand[edit]

Bunkle was a lecturer for many years at Victoria University of Wellington and founded the Women's Studies department.[1]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
1996–1999 45th List 9 Alliance
1999–2002 46th List 5 Alliance

Bunkle was an MP from 1996 to 2002, representing the Alliance.

Bunkle joined the Green Party (a member of the Alliance) in 1992, and unsuccessfully stood as an Alliance candidate in the 1993 elections. In the 1996 elections, she was elected to Parliament as a list MP. When the Green Party left the Alliance, Bunkle opted not to follow them. After the 1999 elections, in which Bunkle was re-elected, she became a Minister outside of Cabinet in the new Labour-Alliance coalition government, serving as Minister of Customs and Minister of Consumer Affairs.

Bunkle took a strong anti-gambling stance, being patron of Compulsive Gambling Society Incorporated and introducing a Bill to restrict gambling.[2][3]

She resigned these roles after a controversy surrounding her claims for a residential allowance, although she was later cleared of any deliberate wrongdoing.[4] When the Alliance began to collapse in 2002, Bunkle sided with Jim Anderton's faction, but decided not to seek re-election.

Life elsewhere[edit]

In 2003 Bunkle taught Women’s Studies at a Chinese University.[citation needed]

In Britain Bunkle went on to act as a research consultant publishing on public health and problem gambling. In 2009 she completed an MSc in Integrated Health from Westminster University and gained Diplomas in massage, reflexology, neuromuscular therapy, holistic cancer care and a professional qualification as a Health Creation coach.[citation needed]

Bunkle is currently a research student in history at King's College London.[5]



  1. ^ "Scholarships & Prizes | Victoria University of Wellington". 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011. These Prizes have been established, through the Victoria University Foundation, to mark the 25th anniversary of the teaching of Women's Studies at Victoria University. The Prizes have been named in honour of Phillida Bunkle, a founder and head of Women's Studies for many years prior to entering parliament. 
  2. ^ Commentary: Joining of Māori and Feminist Perspectives on Gambling by Lorna Dyall Women’s Studies Journal, Volume 23 Number 1, September 2009: 46-48. ISSN 1173-6615
  3. ^ Bunkle, Phillida (2002). "Compulsive Gambling Conference, March 2002 "The Role of Women in Gambling"". Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "A line-up of ministerial casualties under Helen...". 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2011. Resigned from ministerial positions following investigations into claiming out-of-town allowances while enrolled on the Wellington Central electoral roll. Ms Hobbs came back into Cabinet at the end of the investigation. Ms Bunkle, an Alliance minister outside Cabinet, never regained her job. 
  5. ^ "King's College London - Phillida Bunkle". 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 

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