Simon Power

Simon James Power QSO (born 5 December 1969) is a former New Zealand politician. He was a member of the National Party and became Minister of Justice in the 2008–2011 National-led Government. He had previously served as the National Party's chief whip, and as its justice and corrections spokesman.

Simon Power

Power in 2013
46th Minister of Justice
In office
19 November 2008  12 December 2011
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byAnnette King
Succeeded byJudith Collins
Minister of State Owned Enterprises
In office
19 November 2008  13 April 2011
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byTrevor Mallard
Succeeded byTony Ryall
9th Minister of Commerce
In office
19 November 2008  12 December 2011
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byLianne Dalziel
Succeeded byCraig Foss
Deputy Leader of the House
In office
19 November 2008  December 2011
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Preceded byDarren Hughes
Succeeded byAnne Tolley
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Rangitikei
In office
1999  December 2011
Preceded byDenis Marshall
Succeeded byIan McKelvie
Personal details
Born (1969-12-05) 5 December 1969
New Zealand
Political partyNational

Early years

Power was educated in Palmerston North, attending St Peter's College. He was prominent in the life of St Peter's, captaining two senior sports teams and chairing the School Council. He later studied at Victoria University of Wellington, gaining first a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and then a Bachelor of Laws degree. For two years, he was president of the Victoria University Law Students' Society. He completed his university study in 1993.

After leaving university, Power worked as a lawyer in Palmerston North. For a brief period, he also worked in Auckland. In 1998, he decided to enter national politics. Having been a member of the National Party since the year he left university, he secured the party's nomination for Rangitikei, a predominantly rural area just outside Palmerston North. The incumbent, National MP Denis Marshall, retired from Parliament in 1999.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
19992002 46th Rangitikei 37 National
20022005 47th Rangitikei 13 National
20052008 48th Rangitikei 3 National
20082011 49th Rangitīkei 4 National

In the 1999 election, Power won Rangitikei. He defeated his opponent, the Labour Party's Craig Walsham, by slightly under three hundred votes. Once in parliament, Power became his party's spokesman on Labour, Industrial Relations, and Youth Affairs. After he retained his seat in the 2002 election, these roles were swapped for Justice, Tertiary Education, and Workplace Skills. In 2003, when Don Brash became leader of the National Party, Power's responsibilities were once again reshuffled, giving him the portfolios of Defence, Veterans' Affairs, and Youth Affairs.

In May 2004, Power caused controversy for his statement that (as regards defence and foreign affairs) "where Britain, the United States and Australia go, we go". Power later expressed regret for how the statement was interpreted, and party leader Don Brash said that it did not reflect National Party policy. In August of the same year, Power was moved from the defence position to that of chief whip.[1]

Between 2005 and 2008, Power was Opposition Spokesperson on Law and Order[1] and repeatedly called for an inquiry into the management of the Corrections Department.[2][3] A few months before the election in 2008, Parliament’s Law & Order Select Committee agreed to hold a wide ranging inquiry.[4] When National won the election in 2008, Power was appointed Minister of Justice.

Life after Parliament

On 2 March 2011 Power announced he would step down at the end of the term in late 2011.[5] In April 2011, Power's ministerial portfolio for State-Owned Enterprises was transferred to Tony Ryall in preparation for Power's transition into business; he wanted to avoid potential conflicts of interest.[6]

In December 2011 Power was granted the right to retain the title of The Honourable[7] in recognition of his term as a Member of the Executive Council of New Zealand and became The Hon. Simon Power. In January 2012 he became the head of the bank Westpac's Private Bank.[8] In the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours Power was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO) for services as a Member of Parliament.[9]


  1. "New Zealand Parliament – Simon Power". Archived from the original on 30 January 2008.
  2. Power calls for inquiry into Corrections, Press Release, 23 January 2006,
  3. Need for Corrections inquiry now undeniable, Press release 6 March 2006
  4. Corrections inquiry long overdue, Press release 16 April 2008
  5. Martin Kay (2 March 2011). "Justice Minister Simon Power to retire". Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  6. "Simon Power ditches SOE portfolio". TVNZ. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  7. "Retention of the Title ‘The Honourable’" (15 December 2011) 200 New Zealand Gazette 5729.
  8. "Simon Power going to Westpac Bank". The New Zealand Herald. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  9. The Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours 2012 (29 June 2012) 74 New Zealand Gazette 2091.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Denis Marshall
Member of Parliament for Rangitikei
Succeeded by
Ian McKelvie
Political offices
Preceded by
Annette King
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Judith Collins
Preceded by
Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Commerce
Succeeded by
Craig Foss
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