Annette King

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The authorised biography


During Annette King’s record number of years as a woman MP, she witnessed 17 leaders of Labour and National in action. While they sometimes waxed and usually eventually waned, Annette King grew in stature and importance as a political figure throughout.

King caught the tail end of the Rob Muldoon era; became swept up in the heady excitement and controversy of the David Lange years and  Rogernomics; was cast briefly forlorn into the wilderness for three years; returned to Parliament at a time of deep division in Labour; triumphed in 1999 as an integral figure and multi-talented minister in the Helen Clark Government; became the glue that helped hold Labour together during the long years John Key could apparently do no wrong; and in the last months of her career became a pivotal part of the amazing emergence of Jacinda Ardern as Labour leader and Prime Minister.

King is arguably the most important political figure of the past 35 years who has never led a political party. More than that, however, she has become a political legend. Annette King is tough, compassionate, often very funny, can rise to anger but is usually forgiving, incredibly hard-working, loyal and steadfast. She brings out the best in her colleagues and her staff, family and friends.

This is Annette King’s story, sometimes told in her own words, but often through the words of others who have shared her life and career.

About the authors:
After three years as a student journalist and editor at Auckland University, John harvey joined the Auckland Star as a reporter in 1966. He subsequently worked in Brisbane and as a features writer and London sports editor for Westminster Press in Fleet Street. In 1973 he joined the Manawatu Standard, and was an award-winning editor of that newspaper between 1985 and 1999. He worked in Parliament as a press secretary from late 1999 to 2012. He has written books on All Black Bull Allen and on Manawatu, and contributed to a number of journalism texts.

Brent edwards has been a journalist for 36 years and has covered politics since 1989 when he started work in the parliamentary press gallery for the Evening Post. He became political editor before joining Radio New Zealand as economics correspondent in 2001. He went back to the press gallery in 2006 as RNZ’s political editor, before becoming director of news in 2015, a job he left two years later.

Additional information


John Harvey & Brent Edwards


Upstart Press





Publication Date

March 2019


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