Heather Roy


Heather Roy (born 5 March 1964), is a former New Zealand politician who served as an ACT Member of Parliament from 2002 until 2011.

Heather Roy
Heather Roy.jpg
Minister of Consumer Affairs
In office
19 November 2008 – 17 August 2010
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byJudith Tizard
Succeeded byJohn Boscawen
Deputy Leader of ACT Party
In office
LeaderRodney Hide
Preceded byMuriel Newman
Succeeded byJohn Boscawen
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for ACT Party List
In office
Personal details
Born (1964-03-05) 5 March 1964 (age 58)
Palmerston, Otago
Political partyACT Party
Spouse(s)Duncan Roy
OccupationPhysiotherapist, Member of Parliament, New Zealand Army Reserve

From 2006 until 17 August 2010, Roy was ACT's Deputy Leader. Following the signing of the National–ACT Supply and Confidence Agreement after the 2008 general election she was appointed as Minister (outside Cabinet) of Consumer Affairs, as well as Associate Minister of Defence and Associate Minister of Education. On 17 August 2010, Roy was replaced as Deputy Leader by first term ACT MP John Boscawen who took over her primary Ministerial role. In June 2011, Roy announced that she would retire at the 2011 general election.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Before entering politics, Roy worked as a physiotherapist, medical research co-ordinator, manager of a private kindergarten and as publicity officer for the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. Following her retirement from Parliament, Roy is now non-executive Chair of Medicines New Zealand and has also resumed her role as a Reserve Forces field engineer in the New Zealand Army.

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2002–2005 47th List 9 ACT
2005–2008 48th List 2 ACT
2008–2011 49th List 2 ACT

In the 1999 election ACT ranked her tenth on its party list, and she narrowly missed out on a seat in Parliament. In the 2002 election, however, ranked ninth, she won election as a list MP. She also contested the United Future safe seat of Ohariu-Belmont, polling fifth.[2]

In June 2005, she won promotion from ninth list position to second – even before she became the party's deputy leader. In the 2005 election, she again campaigned for ACT party vote and accompanied Rodney Hide through much of his Epsom campaign. However, she also stood in Ohariu-Belmont, coming fifth.[3]

Second term: 2005–2008Edit

In 2006, she completed basic and corps training as a Reserve Forces field engineer (Royal New Zealand Engineers) within the New Zealand Army.[4][5]

In the 2008 election, she contested the electorate of Wellington Central, a seat formerly held by former ACT leader and co-founder Richard Prebble from 1996 to 1999. Campaigning solely for party vote, she polled fourth in the electorate count[6] but was re-elected to Parliament on the ACT party list.

Third term: 2008–2011Edit

In November 2008, as part of the Supply and Confidence Agreement between the ACT and National Party which allowed the formation of a Government, Heather Roy was appointed to ministerial posts outside the cabinet as Minister of Consumer Affairs, Associate Defence Minister and Associate Education Minister.[7] Her appointment required her to step down from an active role in the territorials to avoid any conflict of interest.[8]

Following internal party concerns she was removed as deputy leader of the Act Party in August 2010. Her ministerial portfolios were transferred to the new deputy leader, John Boscawen, by the Governor-General following advice from the Prime Minister. Since 17 August 2010, she has assumed the roles of spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Health, Social Development and Employment, Police, Corrections, Courts, Labour, Science and Innovation, Pacific Affairs, Ethnic Affairs, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Tourism, Sports and Recreation, Youth Affairs and Tertiary Education. She also sat on the Select Committees for Education and Science; Local Government and Environment as well as the Parliamentary Service Commission.

Roy also took charge of a bill submitted by Sir Roger Douglas, The Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill (Voluntary Student Membership), which proposed to make membership of student associations and unions voluntary. The bill eventually passed its third reading in September 2011, and voluntary student membership is now required.[9]

In June 2011, Roy announced her retirement at the 2011 general election.[1]

Career after politicsEdit

Following the 2011 election, Roy was appointed non-executive Chair of the Board of the pharmaceutical lobby group, Medicines NZ.[10][11]

Personal lifeEdit

Roy and her husband Duncan Roy, a doctor, have five children.


  1. ^ a b Vance, Andrea (25 June 2011). "Roy to quit - on her own terms". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. ^ Official Count Results – Ohariu-Belmont
  3. ^ Official Count Results – Ohariu-Belmont
  4. ^ "Army life looks good to Act MP". New Zealand Herald. 21 April 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Soldier MP to share new skills with House". New Zealand Herald. 9 June 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Official Count Results -- Wellington Central". New Zealand Ministry of Justice. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  7. ^ Martin Kay (17 November 2008). "New groups part of deals". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Ousted Roy Once Told She Was "Too Nice" For Politics". Voxy. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Voluntary Student Membership Bill now law". Radio New Zealand News. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  10. ^ Keown, Jenny (26 January 2012). "Heather Roy from politics to big pharma". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  11. ^ "About Us". Medicines New Zealand. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

Further readingEdit

  • Prebble, Richard; et al. (2003). Liberal thinking. Wellington, [N.Z.]: ACT New Zealand Parliamentary Office. (Roy contributed a paper entitled "Health for all".)
  • Roy, Heather (2003). Report by the New Zealand Delegate to the 15th Commonwealth Parliamentary Seminar Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 16–23 August 2003 [Commonwealth Parliamentary Seminar (15th: 2003: Rarotonga)] (Report). Wellington, [N.Z.]: House of Representatives.

External linksEdit

  • Official website archive