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I grew up in Dunedin, went to school, started my first jobs and went to university there. I have strong family ties to the Dunedin South electorate.

I came back to Dunedin at the end of 2002 after 14 years away. I have twin boys. It was family that drew me back to Dunedin and a deep sense of belonging.

I am currently the Labour Party spokesperson for Broadcasting, Communications and Information Technology, Disability Issues and Open Government.

Current parliamentary roles

  • Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media - Minister
  • Government Digital Services - Minister
  • ACC - Associate Minister
  • State Services - Associate Minister

Personal details

  • Mother of two

Education/qualifications

  • BA (Anthropology and History), University of Otago
  • Honours, Anthropology, Victoria University of Wellington

Career

  • Journalist 1985-1988
  • Social Change Media 1989-1994 (Sydney)
  • Communications and media officer for the Australian Council of Trade Unions 1994-1999
  • Essential Media Communications 2001-2002 (Sydney)
  • Founder, Inzight Communications 2003-2008 (based in Dunedin)

Awards

  • Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Award (Not for Profit/Limited Budget) Fair Share - Five in 05 Campaign 2006

Community activities

  • Founder, Dunedin Communications Network, a meeting place for Dunedin communication professionals.
  • Member, Portobello Community Association
  • Board member Greenpeace NZ 2006-2007

Party activities

  • Member, New Zealand Labour Party 2006-
  • Former Member, Australian Labor Party
  • Otago-Southland representative (regional respresentative), NZ Council of the New Zealand Labour Party