Sue Bradford
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Sue Bradford

Dr Sue Bradford
Sue Bradford.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green Party List

1999 - 30 October 2009
David Clendon
Personal details
Born (1952-07-01) 1 July 1952 (age 68)
NationalityNew Zealand
Political partyGreen Party (1990-2011)
Mana Party (2011-2014)

Sue Bradford (born 1 July 1952 in Auckland) is a New Zealand activist, academic, and former New Zealand politician who served as a list Member of Parliament representing the Green Party from 1999 to 2009.[1]

Early life

Sue Bradford graduated from the University of Auckland in History and Political Studies, and later obtained an MA in Chinese. Furthering her academic education she undertook postgraduate study at the University of Canterbury where she received a diploma in journalism, and a PhD in Public Policy at Auckland University of Technology.[2] She has also spent time on the unemployment benefit and the domestic purposes benefit.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Bradford had a high profile as an activist against various social and economic reforms pursued by the governments of the day. Accordingly, she became something of a bête noire amongst supporters of the right in New Zealand.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1999–2002 46th List 4 Green
2002–2005 47th List 3 Green
2005–2008 48th List 3 Green
2008–2009 49th List 3 Green
Bradford in the early 2000s

As a member of the Green Party, Bradford first won election to the Parliament as a list MP in the 1999 election. She had joined the Green Party in 1990, and had contested the 1998 Auckland mayoral election as the Green candidate. Before joining the Greens, she worked actively in the NewLabour Party, and served as its vice-president from 1989 to 1990.

As of 2005 Bradford was the Green Party spokesperson on ACC, Agriculture, Buy Kiwi-Made, Community and Voluntary Sector, Community Economic Development, Gambling, Housing, Industrial Relations, Internal Affairs, Mental Health, National Library and Archives, Racing, Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Small Business and Social Development.

The New Zealand Herald selected Bradford as Backbencher of the Year for 2000.[3]

Bradford has successfully pushed through three member's bills: removing the defence of "reasonable force" when corporally punishing or smacking children; letting mothers in jail keep their babies for longer; and making the adult minimum wage apply to 16- and 17-year-olds. It is considered an achievement for a backbench MP to pass a single member's bill, let alone three.

In 2009 Sue Bradford ran unsuccessfully against Metiria Turei to replace Jeanette Fitzsimons for the co-leadership of the Green Party. On 25 September 2009, Bradford announced her intention to resign as a Member of Parliament in late October, citing her disappointment at the loss and wish to take new directions.[4] Bradford regretted not becoming a Cabinet Minister, especially a Minister of Housing and Social Development.[5]

Child discipline bill

In 2005, a parliamentary ballot allowed the discussion of Bradford's member's bill, the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill 2005. The Bill proposed amending Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 to remove the legal defence of "reasonable force" for parents prosecuted for assault on their children. The Bill passed the select committee stage and its second parliamentary reading with a huge majority, and became law after it passed its third reading 113 to 8 on 16 May 2007.[6][7] The Bill occasioned widespread debate largely due its depiction as an "anti-smacking" bill, and a movement led by Family First New Zealand[8] called a citizens initiated referendum on the issue.[9]

In one reaction to the Bill, threats were made against Bradford on the "CYFS Watch" website. After the Ministry of Social Development complained about the threats, Google shut down the website.[10] Further death threats were made against her in August 2009.[11]

After Parliament

Soon after Bradford's announcement of her resignation, Manukau mayor, Len Brown, suggested that she run to be a councillor on the Auckland Council.[12] Bradford said that she would consider the idea but did not run.[13]

She joined the Mana Party in 2011, and was a losing candidate for the Waitakere seat at the 2011 New Zealand general election.[14]

In May 2014, Bradford resigned from the Mana Party in response to the formation of an alliance with the Internet Party.[15]

Since October 2014 she has been coordinator at Auckland Action Against Poverty.[16][17] In 2015, on completion of her PhD thesis, she spearheaded the formation of the left wing think tank Economic and Social Research Aotearoa (ESRA).[2][18][19]

In 2017, journalist Jenny Chamberlain published a biography of Bradford: Constant Radical - The Life and Times of Sue Bradford.[20]


  1. ^ Former Members of Parliament, New Zealand
  2. ^ a b Bradford, Sue (2014). A Major Left Wing Think Tank in Aotearoa: An Impossible Dream or a Call to Action? (PhD thesis). Auckland University of Technology.
  3. ^ Gower, Patrick (26 September 2009). "Bradford pledges to keep on fighting". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ "Sue Bradford Announces Resignation". 25 September 2009. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "Bradford bows out after missing out". ONE News. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  6. ^ Vote: Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill -- Third Reading Archived 9 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Stop violence against children - Repeal Section 59 now". 28 February 2006. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Family First NZ | Strong Families, Strong Nation Family First NZ". Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 May 2007. Retrieved 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Collins, Simon (22 February 2007). "Google shuts down Cyfswatch website". The New Zealand Herald.
  11. ^ "Death threats made against Sue Bradford". The New Zealand Herald. 30 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Brown backs Bradford for Super city". The New Zealand Herald. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  13. ^ Orsman, Bernard (28 September 2009). "Bradford may opt for Super City contest". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009.
  14. ^ Chapman, Kate (28 June 2011). "Mana sets its sights on Labour seats". Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ Martin, Matthew (28 May 2014). "Mana merger 'slap in the face'". Rotorua Daily Post. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ "Sue Bradford". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "John's Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty". 23 October 2014. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ "What's the story behind ESRA?". Economic and Social Research Aotearoa. 25 August 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "Sue Bradford: Introducing the ESRA 'think tank' vision". Asia Pacific Report. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ Davison, Isaac (20 June 2017). "Sue Bradford, the constant radical, on drugs, rape and suicide". The New Zealand Herald.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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