Maggie Barry is the National Party’s MP for the North Shore electorate, the first female candidate selected by National north of the harbour bridge. She was elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2014, after which she began her tenure as Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Minister of Conservation, and Minister for Seniors. She is also the Lead Minister for New Zealand’s World War I commemorations.
In her first term Maggie served on three select committees including sitting as Chair of the Environment and Local Government, Deputy Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, as well as serving on the Education and Science Select Committee.
As a leader on the BlueGreens caucus, the National Party’s Environmental advisory group, Maggie has a central role advising the National Party’s direction on Conservation issues. Maggie co-chaired the BlueGreens between 2012 - 2014.
Before entering politics Maggie had a 30 year long broadcasting career on Radio New Zealand on the TV News. She became a household name and television personality with the popular Maggie’s Garden Show which aired for 12 years, hitting our screens for the first time in 1992. Maggie wrote weekly gardening columns and was an award winning senior feature writer for The Listener in the late 2000’s. Maggie hosted Radio Live’s Drive program until she entered politics.
In 1996, Maggie was appointed to the Order of New Zealand Merit for services to broadcasting. Sam McCready, an internationally renowned rose cultivator, named a hybrid tea rose after her.
Maggie owned and operated a specialist tourist company, Maggie Unlimited, which hosted tours of gardens overseas, touring Africa, Asia, Europe, and America for 20 years. Maggie has worked with previous Governments in the late 1990’s when she chaired a working party into palliative care, and headed a review into maternity services.
Maggie’s work does not stop here, and her involvement in the community is vast. She was the patron of Hospice NZ, Alzheimer’s Wellington, and is currently the patron of Tennis Northern. She served as Director of Outward Bound NZ, and Chair of the NZ Book Council. While in Parliament, former Prime Minister John Key appointed her to the Lottery Grants Board.
Maggie lives in the historic suburb of Devonport with her partner Grant, a lawyer and an avid collector of contemporary photography. Her son Joe is a university student.