Marilyn Waring is probably most famous as the young MP who stood up to autocratic Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon in 1984.
The then Waipa National MP vowed to cross the floor to support anti-nuclear legislation and Sir Robert responded by calling a snap election. National lost that election to the Labour Party, led by David Lange.
Marilyn details the pressure Muldoon put her under before he called the snap election in her latest book The Political Years which is a sober yet heartfelt account of the challenges she faced as a young National MP from the Waikato.
Dr Marilyn Waring on the @TEDxChCh stage. Thrilled to hear from one of the most innovative thinkers to grace our Parliament. Why has it taken 30yrs to begin to listen to her radical ideas on unpaid work. She's very funny with it. pic.twitter.com/JFsTIoFuOz
— Jessica Halliday (@jh_arch) August 24, 2019
Nuclear-free legislation is unlikely to be the only topic discussed. Marilyn wrestled with many issues during her nine years as a MP including two which have recently been in the news: a woman's right to request an abortion, and shifting the age of retirement to reduce the cost of superannuation. She also portrayed some of the difficulties a young woman MP, Marilyn was 23 years old when first elected, faced in a male-dominated parliament.
Since retiring from parliamentary politics in 1984, Marilyn has held fellowships at prestigious overseas universities, including Harvard, worked as a development consultant throughout Asia and the Pacific, and served on the Board of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Council of Creative New Zealand. She is a Professor of Public Policy at the Auckland University of Technology.
In 2008 Marilyn was awarded a CNZM for services to women and economics. She has been awarded Suffrage Centenary, Commemorative and Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee medals, the 2014 NZIER Economist of the Year award and the 2018 Sheffield award for Visionary Leader at the Deloitte Top 200 awards.
Marilyn Waring: The Political Years Saturday 31 August 3pm at The Piano
Marilyn Waring’s new book The Political Years looks at her extraordinary years in parliament. She tells the story of her journey from being elected as a new National Party MP in a conservative rural seat to being publicly decried by the Robert Muldoon for her ‘feminist anti-nuclear stance’ that threatened to bring down his government. Her tale of life in a male-dominated and relentlessly demanding political world is both uniquely of its time and still of pressing relevance today.
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WORD Christchurch Shifting Points of View
WORD Christchurch presents Shifting Points of View — a spectacular line-up of New Zealand and international speakers to warm you up and get you thinking. Shifting Points of View runs from Sunday 18 August to Saturday 14 September 2019. Visit our page on WORD Christchurch Shifting Points of View for more information, previews, reviews, and WORD reading.