Marilyn Waring: The Political Years

Marilyn Waring: The Political Years

When I entered Parliament in 1975, I joined a very small club: although women in New Zealand won the right to vote in 1893, only a tiny handful had been Members of Parliament in the hundred or so years that followed. I was number 15!

In 1975, Marilyn Waring was elected to the New Zealand Parliament as the MP for Raglan. Aged just 23, she was one of only a few female MPs who served through the turbulent years of Muldoon’s government. For nine years, Waring was at the centre of major political decisions, until her parliamentary career culminated during the debate over nuclear arms. When Waring informed Muldoon that she intended to cross the floor and vote for the opposition bill which would make New Zealand nuclear free, he called a snap election. And the government fell. . .

This is an autobiographical account of Waring’s extraordinary years in parliament. She tells the story of her journey from being elected as a new National Party MP in a conservative rural seat to being publicly decried by the Prime Minister for her ‘feminist anti-nuclear stance’ that threatened to bring down his government. Her tale of life in a male-dominated and relentlessly demanding political world is both uniquely of its time and still of pressing relevance today.

Print publication:
Ebook publication: May 2019
Pages: 376
RRP: $39.99
ISBN: 9781988545936
DOI: 10.7810/9781988545936


Marilyn Waring at the Auckland Writers Festival, 4.00 pm 19 May 2019.

The Political Years launch at the National Library, Wellington, 5.30 pm 22 May 2019.


'How Marilyn Waring fought for a woman's right to choose', book extract, New Zealand Herald, 18 May 2019 (paywall).

'Marilyn Waring: A woman's view of parliament from 1975 to 1984', Nikki Macdonald, Stuff, 18 May 2019.

'Trailblazing Kiwi politician Marilyn Waring chats with Seven Sharp about her new book', Seven Sharp, TVNZ, 8 May 2019.

'How Marilyn Waring became an MP aged 23', book extract, The Spinoff, 11 May 2019.


'An utterly absorbing story! Marilyn shows that in a fight for justice we build more powerful collective responses when we share our experiences and tell our stories. Critical reading for anyone challenging the status quo!'
Jess Berentson-Shaw, researcher and writer

'This frank narrative of courage and tenacity in the face of an intensely patriarchal and homophobic polity will surprise and reward readers across generations.'
Sue Bradford, activist, former Green Party MP