Tracey Martin

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Tracey Martin
Tracey Martin.jpg
35th Minister of Internal Affairs
In office
26 October 2017 – 6 November 2020
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byPeter Dunne
Succeeded byJan Tinetti
2nd Minister for Children
In office
26 October 2017 – 6 November 2020
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byAnne Tolley
Succeeded byKelvin Davis
13th Minister for Seniors
In office
26 October 2017 – 6 November 2020
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byMaggie Barry
Succeeded byAyesha Verrall
3rd Deputy Leader of New Zealand First
In office
23 October 2013 – 3 July 2015
LeaderWinston Peters
Preceded byPeter Brown
Succeeded byRon Mark
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for New Zealand First party list
In office
26 November 2011 – 17 October 2020
Personal details
Tracey Anne Martin

(1964-07-01) 1 July 1964 (age 56)
Levin, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealander
Political partyNew Zealand First (1993-2021)
WebsiteNZ First profile

Tracey Anne Martin (born 1 July 1964) is a New Zealand politician and a former member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. Until 2021 she was a member of the New Zealand First Party, and served as its Deputy Leader from 2013 to 2015. She served as Minister of Children, Seniors, Internal Affairs and Associate Minister of Education from 2017 to 2020. Martin lost her seat in Parliament during the 2020 New Zealand general election.

Prior to entering Parliament[edit]

Her pre-children profession was as a Credit Controller. For the next 15 years, prior to entering Parliament, Martin was a stay at home parent and was very active in the Warkworth community. She spent a significant amount of time on parent-based fundraising and volunteer committees for Mahurangi Kindergarten, Warkworth Primary School and Mahurangi College.

In her own time, outside of Parliament, Martin served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Mahurangi College for over a decade before resigning when she became the Associate Minister for Education in 2018.[1]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011–2014 50th List 2 NZ First
2014–2017 51st List 2 NZ First
2017–2020 52nd List 3 NZ First

Martin has been involved with New Zealand First since the party started in 1993, and has been a member of its board of directors since 2008. She was selected as a candidate for the 2008 general election.[2] She successfully stood for the Rodney Local Board during the 2010 Auckland Council elections.[3]

Fifth National Government, 2011–2017[edit]

Martin was first elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives during the 2011 general election and was subsequently appointed as deputy leader of New Zealand First.[4] She was first elected to Parliament as a New Zealand First list MP based in Warkworth, in 2011.[5]

Along with all other New Zealand First MPs, Martin voted against the Marriage Amendment Act, which permits same-sex marriage in New Zealand, in 2013.[6] New Zealand First requested that the bill become a referendum issue however the request was denied.

During the 2014 general election, Martin was re-elected to Parliament on the New Zealand First party list.[7] The party won nine percent of the popular vote and eleven seats.[8]

On 3 July 2015 it was announced that Martin had been replaced as deputy leader following a caucus vote and replaced by Ron Mark.[9]

In 2015 Martin sponsored the Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill.[10] The bill gave unsupported child or orphan clothing allowance parity with foster children.[10] She has also been a strong advocate for the expansion of this allowance so that it can be accessed by kin carers.[11]

During the 2017 election, Martin was re-elected on the New Zealand First party list.[12] The party won 7.2 percent of the vote and nine seats.[13]

Sixth Labour Government, 2017–2020[edit]

Following the formation of a Labour-NZ First coalition government, Martin was as appointed Minister for Children, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Seniors, and Associate Minister of Education.[14] Martin has also been NZ First spokesperson for broadcasting, communications and IT, education and women's affairs.[15]

Within the coalition, Martin was seen by Labour MPs as a favourite to work with, and was often asked to act as a go-between for other MPs who were having trouble reaching resolutions. Martin also ensured appropriate people were involved in coalition management, including policy adviser and Martin's sister Kirsty Christison. In an interview after the coalition, Martin said, "We realised early in that we needed to get the conversations between NZ First, Labour and the Greens really tight. It had to be people who knew the party’s stand and policies and could speak with confidence about what the party was likely to accept and not accept, but were very apolitical. For NZ First, that person ended up being Kirsty.”[16]

Following an attempted "uplifting" by Oranga Tamariki social workers of a child in Hastings in June 2019, the Minister for Children Martin met with local iwi Ngāti Kahungunu and the Māori Council.[17] She also announced that the Government would be conducting a review into the Hawkes Bay attempted uplifting incident.[18][19] In early August 2019, Martin announced that the Government would be scrapping its Children's Teams task forces in response to the uplifting controversy but rejected comparisons with the Australian "Stolen Generations".[20]

According to media reports, Martin participated in several months of negotiations with the Labour Party over the Government's proposed Abortion Legislation Bill, which seeks to remove abortion from the Crimes Act 1961. Despite initially ruling out a referendum, NZ First leader Winston Peters surprised both Martin and Labour by demanding a binding referendum on abortion reform in return for supporting the legislation through Parliament. Peter's actions were criticised by both the Minister of Justice Andrew Little, who initiated the legislation, opposition National MP Amy Adams, and left-wing blogger Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury.[21][22][23][24][25] Martin voted in favour of the Government's abortion legislation bill, which passed its first reading on 8 August 2019.[26]

On 14 March 2020, it was reported that Martin was self-isolating and being tested for the COVID-19 virus after meeting with Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, during a Five Eyes ministerial meeting in Washington, D.C. the previous week.[27][28]

During the 2020 New Zealand general election held on 17 October, Martin contested Ōhāriu, coming fifth place.[29] She and her fellow NZ First MPs lost their seats after the party's vote dropped to 2.6%, below the five percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.[30][31]

On 9 November 2020, Martin was granted retention of the title "The Honourable" for life, in recognition of her term as a member of the Executive Council.[32]

Post-political life[edit]

In late January 2021, Martin along with fellow former MP Jenny Marcroft left New Zealand First, stating that the party needed to return back to its roots and rebuild.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Martin and her husband have three children.[34]

Martin has described her mother as the New Zealander that she most admires as a brave woman who has not been afraid to stand up for her belief and opinions.[35]

Martin's grandfather was a guard at the Featherston prisoner of war camp during the Featherston Incident in 1943.[36] His gun was taken by another member of staff who shot an interpreter at the camp by the name of Adachi. This incident started a riot in which 48 Japanese prisoners of war and one New Zealand guard died.[36]

Martin has taken a pro-choice stance on abortion, supporting efforts to remove it from the Crimes Act 1961. Martin's views on abortion was affected by the death of her grandmother Beverley Williams during a backstreet abortion.[37][38] In October 2020, The Spinoff online magazine described her as a liberal feminist and potential successor to Winston Peters who could broaden the party's appeal to women.[31]


  1. ^ "Movers, shakers & policy makers – Tracey Martin, Associate Minister of Education — EducationHQ New Zealand". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Peters' new kid plunges into fray". New Zealand Herald. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Rodney Local Board". Local Boards. Auckland Council. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  4. ^ "'Big boys' trying to keep me out – Peters". New Zealand Herald. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Official Count Results – Successful Candidates – 2011 general election". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Marriage equality bill: How MPs voted". The New Zealand Herald. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Official Count Results – Successful Candidates". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  8. ^ "2014 GENERAL ELECTION – OFFICIAL RESULT". Electoral Commission. 17 October 2020. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  9. ^ Jones, Nicholas (3 July 2015). "Ron Mark new NZ First deputy leader". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill – New Zealand Parliament". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  11. ^ Owen, Lisa (12 November 2017). "The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Tracey Martin". The Nation. Scoop. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  12. ^ "2017 General Election – Successful candidates". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 10 June 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  13. ^ "2017 General Election – Overall Result". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Hon Tracey Martin". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Four NZ First MPs (and Winston) grab plumb jobs in government line-up". Newshub. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  16. ^ Trevett, Claire (13 December 2020). "Agent of chaos: The inside story of the Labour/NZ First coalition government". The Spinoff. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  17. ^ Collins, Simon (15 June 2019). "Children's Minister steps into Oranga Tamariki baby uplift case". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Inquiry announced into handling of attempted uplift of a baby in Hawke's Bay last month by Oranga Tamariki". 1 News. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  19. ^ Martin, Tracey (18 June 2019). "Oranga Tamariki Review". New Zealand Government. Scoop. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  20. ^ Vance, Andrea (4 August 2019). "Tracey Martin on uplift controversy: Oranga Tamariki 'believed the child was in danger'". Stuff. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  21. ^ Patterson, Jane (8 August 2019). "Abortion legislation: 'It wasn't part of our coalition agreement so why is it there' – Winston Peters". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  22. ^ Jancic, Boris (6 August 2019). "NZ First blindsides Andrew Little with talk of abortion referendum". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  23. ^ Cooke, Henry (6 August 2019). "Winston Peters suggests NZ First want binding referendum on abortion". Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  24. ^ Moir, Jo (7 August 2019). "Abortion reform: "no deal" on NZ First referendum call". Radio New Zealand. Scoop. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Wow – what NZ First just did to Tracey Martin was the coldest most spiteful political kneecapping in NZ history". The Daily Blog. 8 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  26. ^ Whyte, Anna (8 August 2019). "Abortion law reform easily passes first reading in Parliament". 1 News. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  27. ^ "NZ First MP Tracey Martin self-isolating, being tested for coronavirus". 1 News. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  28. ^ Cooke, Henry (14 March 2020). "Coronavirus: Tracey Martin met with infected Australian Minister Peter Dutton six days ago". Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Ōhāriu – Official Result". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  30. ^ "2020 General Election and Referendums – Official Result". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  31. ^ a b Van Veen, Josh (18 October 2020). "Where to now for Winston Peters and New Zealand First?". The Spinoff. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  32. ^ "Retention of the title "The Honourable"". New Zealand Gazette. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  33. ^ Lynch, Jenny (29 January 2021). "Former New Zealand First MPs Tracey Martin, Jenny Marcroft quit party, citing different values". Newshub. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  34. ^ Mahurangi College. "Tracey Martin". Mahurangi College News and Events. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  35. ^ "Rodney candidates unplugged: Tracey Martin of New Zealand First". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  36. ^ a b "In grandad's honour". Wairarapa Times Age. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  37. ^ Jancic, Boris (9 August 2019). "NZ First MP Tracey Martin tells of backstreet abortion that killed her grandmother". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  38. ^ Bracewell-Worrall, Anna (9 August 2019). "NZ First MP Tracey Martin shares tragic personal connection to backstreet abortion". Newshub. Retrieved 19 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Dunne
Minister of Internal Affairs
Succeeded by
Jan Tinetti
Preceded by
Maggie Barry
Minister for Seniors
Succeeded by
Ayesha Verrall
Party political offices
Preceded by
Peter Brown
Deputy leader of New Zealand First
Succeeded by
Ron Mark