Record level of women in New Zealand Parliament

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the Commission Opening of the 52nd Parliament.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the Commission Opening of the 52nd Parliament. Photo credit: Getty

There are 46 women in the 52nd Parliament of New Zealand, the highest level of representation for women in its history.

Women make up 38.4 percent of the total 120 MPs in the new Parliament, a boost of 7 percent on the previous Parliament which was 31.4 percent women.

The percentage of women in the New Zealand Parliament has hovered around the 30 percent mark since the first MMP election in 1996, and it took until 1984 for women to reach double figures.

The first female member of Parliament was Elizabeth McCombs, who was elected in a by-election in 1933.

At that point, the 'No Women Allowed' sign was removed from the Bellamy's dining room and the Governor General began to refer to politicians as 'members' rather than 'gentlemen' in the Speech to the Throne.

As of June 2017, only two countries had 50 percent or more women in Parliament, Rwanda with 61.3 percent and Bolivia with 53.1 percent.

Percentage of female members of New Zealand Parliament:

  • 1996: 29.17 percent
  • 1999: 30.83 percent
  • 2002: 28.33 percent
  • 2005: 32.23 percent
  • 2008: 33.61 percent
  • 2011: 32.23 percent
  • 2014: 31.40 percent

Source: Parliamentary Library, Parliamentary Service 2014.

Newshub. 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz