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Biography Gerry Brownlee

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Gerry Brownlee Gerry Brownlee
Gerry Brownlee
A New Zealand politician. The current leader of the House, Minister for Transport, and Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.


Gerry Brownlee Biography



Gerard Anthony "Gerry" Brownlee (born 1956) is a New Zealand politician. He served from 17 November 2003 to 27 November 2006 as deputy-leader of the National Party – during that period the second-largest party in the New Zealand Parliament, and thus forming the core of the Opposition. In November 2008 he became the third-ranked Minister in John Key's coalition cabinet. Brownlee currently serves as Leader of the House, Minister for Transport, and Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.


Political career

In the 1993 elections, Brownlee stood as the National Party candidate in the Sydenham electorate, where he campaigned—unsuccessfully—against Jim Anderton of the newly formed Alliance. In the 1996 election he contested the nearby seat of Ilam, and won by a comfortable margin. He has remained the MP for Ilam since that point, although his majority declined until making a strong recovery in the 2005 election. In Parliament, Brownlee has served as the National Party's Junior Whip and as its spokesperson on superannuation, energy, transport, local government, and the ACC.


In 2003, Phil Goff and Scoop columnist Paulo Politico both considered that Brownlee was a potential challenger to the party leadership of Bill English (2001–2003), as he had run for the deputy leadership position against English in early 2001. Eventually, on 28 October 2003, however, English gave way to Don Brash, a former governor of the Reserve Bank. Brownlee then featured high on the list of potential deputy-leaders, but he declined to pursue the position, and on 28 October 2003 Nick Smith became Brash's deputy.


After becoming a deputy leader, Brownlee continued his confrontational and colourful style of political debate. Brownlee became the National Party's spokesman for Maori Affairs in place of Georgina te Heuheu, who resigned from the position after refusing to endorse party-leader Brash's comments. On 26 November 2006 Brownlee announced that he would step aside as Deputy Leader. A special National Party caucus meeting confirmed the proposed new hierarchy the following day. On 1 December 2006 John Key confirmed Brownlee as the third-ranked National Party MP with responsibility for Energy, SOEs, and State Services; the Shadow Leader of the House, and the chair the National Party's Strategy Committee.


On 19 November 2008, Brownlee was appointed as the Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Energy and Resources and as Associate Minister for the Rugby World Cup. Brownlee was appointed as a member of the Executive Council of New Zealand and became The Hon. Gerard Anthony Brownlee M.P. Brownlee also became the Leader of the House, making him responsible for the schedule of Government business, allocating time for non-governmental and opposition business to be presented to the house and announcing the Business Statement for the Parliamentary sitting dates to the house and its members. On 29 March 2011 Brownlee was appointed to the Office of Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.




updated: 2013-09-09

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