Anne first entered politics at the local level, serving as a Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor, Napier City Councillor, and the Deputy Mayor of Napier.
Driven by a desire to ensure New Zealand’s regional communities were being listened to by the decision-makers in Wellington, she was successfully elected to Parliament on the National Party list in 1999.
In 2005, she won the East Coast seat, where she has had the privilege of serving as the local MP for twelve years. She’s fiercely proud to represent such a diverse and large electorate, which goes all the way from Gisborne, through Whakatane, over to Te Puke, and all the way down to Murupara.
After National took office in 2008, she became New Zealand’s first female Minister of Education, Minister for Tertiary Education, and Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office. She was then appointed Minister of Police and Minister of Corrections following the 2011 General Election, and Minister for Social Development after the 2014 General Election.
In December 2016, she was also appointed Minister for Children and Minister of Local Government. In her Social Development and Children portfolios, she focused on reducing long-term welfare dependence and addressing family and sexual violence. She was also responsible for the radical overhaul of New Zealand’s child care and protection system and the formation of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki.
Anne is committed to giving her local communities a strong voice in Parliament and ensuring the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne get their fair share of government investment in infrastructure, industry, healthcare, schooling, policing, and social support.
She lives with her husband, Allan and their dog, Phoebe in Ohope. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.