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Tim Barnett (politician)

Tim Barnett
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Christchurch Central
In office
1996 – 2008
Preceded by Lianne Dalziel
Succeeded by Brendon Burns
Personal details
Born (1958-08-04) 4 August 1958
Nationality United Kingdom
New Zealand
Political party New Zealand Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
Relations Cape Town

Timothy Andrew "Tim" Barnett (born 4 August 1958) was the member of the New Zealand House of Representatives for Christchurch Central from 1996 to 2008, representing the Labour Party. He was a British immigrant to New Zealand and New Zealand's second openly gay politician. Barnett moved to South Africa in 2009 to work in the field of HIV/AIDS. He returned to New Zealand in 2012 when he was appointed by the Labour Party as their General Secretary.


  • Early life 1
  • Member of Parliament 2
  • After Parliament 3
  • Further reading 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Born in Rugby, UK on 4 August 1958, he moved to New Zealand in 1991 with his then partner, Educated at the London School of Economics, graduating with a B.Sc. (Honours) in Economics (Government) in 1981. In the UK he had been the inaugural Executive Director of the Stonewall Lobby Group, which was the first professional lobby group set up in that country to work for equal rights for lesbian and gay people.

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
1996–1999 45th Christchurch Central none Labour
1999–2002 46th Christchurch Central none Labour
2002–2005 47th Christchurch Central none Labour
2005–2008 48th Christchurch Central none Labour

He was elected to LGBT) section of the Labour Party, (Rainbow Labour) which he helped to found in 1997, and is a supporter of UniQ, the Queer Students Association at New Zealand universities. He was the Parliamentary promoter of the Prostitution Law Reform Bill, a Bill in his name, which became law in 2003 and thus made New Zealand the first country in the world to decriminalise prostitution, and an outspoken supporter of the Civil Union Bill, which became law in 2004 and made New Zealand the first country outside Europe to legislate for equal relationship status for lesbian and gay couples. He was appointed Senior Government Whip after the 2005 election. He was known to be very active in his local electorate chairing a Youth Advisory Committee as well as being a regular contributor to the St Albans Neighbourhood News.

At the 2005 general election, Barnett was re-elected with 52.35% of the vote and a majority of 6,694. He retired at the 2008 general election.

After Parliament

Barnett was appointed as the Global Programmes Manager for the World AIDS Campaign in February 2009 and was based in Cape Town, South Africa.

In July 2012, Barnett returned to New Zealand and was appointed as General Secretary of the Labour Party.[1]

Further reading

  • Access to justice: rhetoric or reality [Australasian Law Reform Agencies Conference (2004: Wellington, NZ)], Wellington, [N.Z.]: Law Commission, 2004 
  • Barnett's contribution is a paper entitled: "Law reform and politicians."
  • Human rights and New Zealand law: proceedings of the Centre for Peace Studies seminar, 18 September 1999 [Occasional paper (University of Auckland. Centre for Peace Studies); no. 8.], Auckland, [N.Z.]: Centre for Peace Studies, University of Auckland, 1999 
  • Barnett's contribution is a paper entitled: "Human rights and New Zealand law."
  • Barnett, Tim (1996), Aroha poha tikanga: volunteering in Aotearoa/New Zealand: produced for the Community Employment Group of the Department of Labour, Christchurch, [N.Z.]: The Group 
  • Barnett, Tim (1996), Volunteer centres in Aotearoa/New Zealand / produced for the Community Employment Group of the Department of Labour, Christchurch, [N.Z.]: The Group 
  • Barnett, Tim (2001), Report by the New Zealand delegate to the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum held in  
  • Barnett, Tim (chair) (2000), Inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the president of  
  • Barnett, Tim (chair) (2001), Inquiry into the  
  • Barnett, Tim (chair) (2001), Transcripts of evidence heard in the course of an inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the president of  
  • Barnett, Tim (chair) (2004), Inquiry into the  
  • Barnett, Tim (chair) (2005), Inquiry into the 2004 Local Authority elections: report of the Justice and Electoral Committee, Wellington, [N.Z.]: House of Representatives 
  • Barnett, Tim (chair) (2005), Visit to  
  • Barnett, Tim (writer); Hughes, Tony; Hague, Kevin (eds.) (1992), The case against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the  
  • Derby, Mark; Howie, Glen (photographer) (2002), Good work and no pay: ten years of volunteering in  
  • Barnett is one of eighteen people profiled in this volume.
  • Kerr, Jacqueline; Weitkunat, Rolf; Moretti, Manuel (eds.) (2005), ABC of behaviour change: a guide to successful disease prevention and health promotion, Edinburgh, [Scotland]: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone,  
  • Barnett's contribution is a paper entitled: "Political and legal environments."


  1. ^  

External links

  • Tim Barnett's website (archived)
  • Former Members of New Zealand Parliament page
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Lianne Dalziel
Member of Parliament for Christchurch Central
Succeeded by
Brendon Burns
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