Dr Sue Bradford
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament|
for Green Party List
1999 - 30 October 2009
|Born||1 July 1952|
|Political party||Green 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.
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. 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.
|New Zealand Parliament|
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 2005ACC, 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.Bradford was the Green Party spokesperson on
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. Bradford regretted not becoming a Cabinet Minister, especially a Minister of Housing and Social Development.
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. The Bill occasioned widespread debate largely due its depiction as an "anti-smacking" bill, and a movement led by Family First New Zealand called a citizens initiated referendum on the issue.
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. Further death threats were made against her in August 2009.
Soon after Bradford's announcement of her resignation, Manukau mayor, Len Brown, suggested that she run to be a councillor on the Auckland Council. Bradford said that she would consider the idea but did not run.
Since October 2014 she has been coordinator at Auckland Action Against Poverty. In 2015, on completion of her PhD thesis, she spearheaded the formation of the left wing think tank Economic and Social Research Aotearoa (ESRA).
In 2017, journalist Jenny Chamberlain published a biography of Bradford: Constant Radical - The Life and Times of Sue Bradford.