Reshuffle sees local MP rise in ranking

by Mike Isle

In New Zealand history, only two women have been the finance spokesperson for a major political party, and both represented Selwyn. The first was Ruth Richardson, who was appointed to the role by National, and that was back in 1989. This month, Selwyn MP, Amy Adams, became the second. 

Ms Adams was also elevated to third in the party rankings after a reshuffle by National’s new leader, Simon Bridges. She was ranked fifth in the previous National government, where she held a number of ministerial portfolios and was the Associate Minister of Finance.

She has served under two prime ministers, John Key and Bill English.

Ms Adams said she was proud to be only the second woman to have the finance spokesperson role, but has a warning for the Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

“My experience as Associate Finance Minister has given me an excellent understanding of the budget process and I am looking forward to holding the Finance Minister to account,” she said.

“I am strongly focussed on ensuring the continued success of the New Zealand economy, and I plan to fight hard against Government policies that will slow New Zealand down.

“New Zealand succeeds best when we are open and connected with the world. I am looking forward to getting out and meeting with and listening to successful exporters and employers.

“Many of the of the Labour-led Government’s planned policy changes will sacrifice our economic success and make it harder for New Zealand businesses to compete and succeed.

“Already businesses are less confident now than they were six months ago.”

There must be a sense of deja vu in this for the new shadow minister.

Amy Adams said she entered politics, representing Selwyn, in 2008, unhappy at the direction she believed the country was then taking.

“Young professional New Zealanders were leaving the country in droves and I thought that wasn’t the sort of country I wanted my kids to grow up in, where they saw better futures for themselves overseas, rather than here at home. 

‘Home’ for Ms Adams these days, when she is not in Wellington, is Aylesbury, where she lives with her husband, Don, and their two children.

Born in Auckland, and educated at Rangitoto College, she moved to Christchurch in 1988 to study law at Canterbury University.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Law with first-class honours in 1992. 

Her first employment as a lawyer was in Invercargill, but she soon moved back to Canterbury.

“I loved the region so much, that I never wanted to leave,” she said.

It was also while at Canterbury University she met and fell in love with Don, whose family had been farming in Aylesbury for generations. 

Aylesbury is where her connection with, and love for, Selwyn began.

“Selwyn is a fantastic place to live. We have such beauty in our natural environment with the mountains and the high-country lakes and rivers, and we also have easy access to Christchurch and the airport. 

“I love attending community events and celebrations around our district. Our communities are full of great people doing amazing things all through the year. What I love most about being the MP for Selwyn is the people,” she said. 

“I get to meet so many people through my office and I get a huge sense of achievement from being able to advocate for them and help resolve an issue they have been struggling with.”
This is her fourth term as Selwyn MP.