Sue Kedgley


Susan Jane Kedgley ONZM (born 1948) is a New Zealand politician, food campaigner and author. Before entering politics Kedgley worked for the United Nations in New York for 8 years and for a decade as a television reporter, director and producer in New Zealand.

Sue Kedgley
Sue Kedgley ONZM (cropped).jpg
Kedgley in 2020
Member of the Wellington Regional Councillor
In office
12 October 2013 – 12 October 2019
ConstituencyWellington City
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green Party List
In office
27 November 1999 – 26 November 2011
Member of the Wellington City Council
In office
10 October 1992 – 10 December 1999
Preceded byNic Dalton
Succeeded byRay Ahipene-Mercer
ConstituencyEastern Ward
Personal details
Born1948 (age 73–74)
Political partyGreen Party
Other political
Labour Party (former)
Spouse(s)Denis Foot
Alma materVictoria University, University of Auckland, University of Otago
OccupationCentral and local government politician, author, activist


Early life and careerEdit

Kedgley stated she had a sheltered upbringing being given a 'proper' girls upbringing and was a debutante. Along with her twin sister Helen Kedgley, she went to Samuel Marsden Collegiate School and later Victoria University. While studying at Victoria she became interested in politics, a subject she had previously little to do with.[1] Kedgley became involved in student politics and was a member of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association from 1967 to 1969. She then studied at the University of Auckland and in 1971, while still a student, she founded the Women's Liberation Group (part of the Women's liberation movement) after realising there was no such existing group at the university.[1] That same year she stood for the Auckland City Council as a Labour Party candidate.[2] Kedgley's Master of Arts thesis in political science was submitted to the University of Otago in 1972.[3]

Kedgley was employed as a researcher on the show Checkpoint. She was unable to become a presenter, being told at the time that women couldn't because their voices "aren't deep enough and they lack authority".[1] Kedgley has written a number of books on feminist issues, and was one of the founding leaders of the women's liberation movement in New Zealand.[4] Her book, titled Eating Safely in a Toxic World, set the scene in New Zealand for a new movement of 'safe-food campaigners'.[5]

Her autobiography Fifty Years a Feminist was published in 2021.[6]

Political careerEdit

Local body politicsEdit

In 1992 Kedgley, having left Labour to join the incipient Green Party, was elected the Wellington City Council (WCC).[7] She remained a member for 7 years and was the founder and co-convenor of the New Zealand Safe Food Campaign. While on the WCC, Kedgley held the roles of chairperson, Consultation Committee, 1996–1998 and chairperson, Transport and Infrastructure Committee, 1998–1999. She resigned from the council in December 1999 after winning a parliamentary seat, saying it would be impossible to carry out both roles successfully at once.[8] Before leaving she pushed for a by-election to be held to replace her rather than an appointment.[9] The Green Party did not stand a candidate and both the party and Kedgley endorsed independent candidate Ray Ahipene-Mercer, an environmentalist, who won the seat.[10]

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1999–2002 46th List 6 Green
2002–2005 47th List 5 Green
2005–2008 48th List 4 Green
2008–2011 49th List 5 Green

Kedgley represented the Green Party in the New Zealand Parliament since first becoming a Member of Parliament as a list MP in the 1999 election until 2011. She won re-election in the 2002, 2005 and 2008 general elections. Particular political interests include health, food safety, animal welfare, consumer affairs, transport and women's issues.

Kedgley in 2005

In 2005 her Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Bill, granting employees with dependants the right to request part-time or flexible hours, was drawn from the member's ballot.[11] The bill was eventually passed as the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007.[12][13]

In 2006 her Consumer's Right to Know (Food Information) Bill was drawn from the member's ballot,[14] but was defeated at its first reading.[15]

Kedgley was the Chairperson of the New Zealand Parliament Health Committee from 2005 to 2008[16] and was the Deputy Chair for 6 years prior.

In September 2010 she announced that she would not be standing for re-election in the 2011 general election.[17][18] She gave her valedictory speech on 27 September.[19]

Return to local governmentEdit

In July 2013, Kedgley announced that she would be running for the Greater Wellington Regional Council on a Green Party ticket in the Wellington ward.[20] She won a position on the Regional Council as well as the Capital and Coast District Health Board in the October elections.[21] She announced that she would not stand for re-election to the Regional Council in 2019, but will contest the District Health Board.[22][23] She was re-elected to the District Health Board at the 2019 elections.[24]

As of 2021 Kedgley is on the board of Consumer NZ having been elected in 2013.[25]

Honours and awardsEdit

In 2016, Kedgley received the New Zealand Women of Influence Award for Diversity in recognition of her work towards greater gender diversity in the workplace.[26] In the 2020 New Year Honours, she was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to women and governance.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1990 she married Wellington lawyer and former Wellington City and Regional Councillor, Denis Foot, and they have one son.[28]

Foot was a Wellington City Councillor from 1971 to 1977 representing the Citizens' Association when he stood down. In 1980 he was elected for another spell on the city council as well as to the Wellington Regional Council, stepping down in 1983. At the 1990 election he stood in the Miramar electorate as the Green Party candidate, placing third. At the 1992 local elections he stood successfully again for the regional council, this time for the Green Party, and was re-elected in 1995 before retiring in 1998.[29]


  1. ^ a b c "Sue Kedgley: 50 years at the feminist coalface". Radio New Zealand. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Declaration of Result of Election". The New Zealand Herald. 22 October 1971. p. 11.
  3. ^ Kedgley, Susan Jane (1972), Ladies in the backroom : a study of women party activists in the National and Labour parties, OUR Archive, hdl:10523/9750, Wikidata Q112115034
  4. ^ "Sue Kedgley | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  5. ^ Kedgley, Susan Jane (1998). Eating safely in a toxic world: what really is in the food we eat. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin Books (NZ). ISBN 978-0-14-027995-5. OCLC 57675755.
  6. ^ Kedgley, Sue (2021). Fifty Years a Feminist. Auckland: Massey University Press. ISBN 0-9951354-4-4. OCLC 1247207134.
  7. ^ Bly, Ross (1992). City of Wellington: Local Body Elections, 1992 (Report). Wellington City Council.
  8. ^ "Kedgley to resign". The Evening Post. 10 December 1999. p. 3.
  9. ^ Johnson, Ann-Marie (8 December 1999). "$40,000 for Kedgley by-election". The Evening Post. p. 2.
  10. ^ "Kedgley delighted at Ahipene-Mercer's election". 3 May 2000. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  12. ^ "Flexible working hours bill becomes law". Stuff. 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  13. ^ "Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007". Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  14. ^ "Consumer's Right to Know (Food Information) Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  15. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates 632 4021.
  16. ^ "Green MP to chair health committee" (Press release). Green Party. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Kedgley sprints to the 2011 finish line". Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. 17 September 2010. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  18. ^ "Kedgley confirms resignation". 17 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  19. ^ "Kedgley takes final swing at Parliament". 26 September 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  20. ^ "Kedgley to stand for regional council". The Dominion Post. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Election results from around the region". The Dominion Post. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  22. ^ Lovell, Oliver (6 June 2019). "Sue Kedgley will stand down from regional council re-election". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Fourth Wellington regional councillor drops out of local elections". Stuff (Fairfax). 29 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Capital & Coast District Health Board - 2019 Triennial Elections" (PDF). Capital & Coast District Health Board. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  25. ^ "Consumer Board". Consumer NZ. Retrieved 16 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "Women of Influence winners". Stuff. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  27. ^ "New Year honours list 2020". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Sue Kedgley". Green Party. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  29. ^ Zatorski, Lidia (7 October 1998). "Be more aggressive, says councillor". The Evening Post. p. 2.

External linksEdit

  • Sue Kedgley biography at the Green Party (archived)
  • Sue Kedgley biography at New Zealand Parliament
  • Sue Kedgley's personal website
Political offices
Preceded by
Nic Dalton
Wellington City Councillor for Eastern Ward
Succeeded by