Amy Adams (politician)

The Honourable
Amy Adams
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Selwyn
Assumed office
8 November 2008
Minister of Justice
Assumed office
8 October 2014
Preceded by Judith Collins
Minister for Communications
Assumed office
14 December 2011
Preceded by Steven Joyce
Minister of the Environment
In office
3 April 2012  8 October 2014
Preceded by Nick Smith
Succeeded by Nick Smith
Personal details
Born Amy Juliet Milnes
(1971-05-19) 19 May 1971
Auckland, New Zealand
Political party National
Spouse(s) Don Adams
Children Two
Residence Aylesbury
Alma mater University of Canterbury
Profession Lawyer

Amy Juliet Adams (née Milnes, born 19 May 1971) is a member of the New Zealand Parliament and Minister of Justice.[1] She currently represents the Selwyn electorate and is a member of the National Party. Her other ministerial portfolios in the 51st New Zealand Parliament are Courts, Broadcasting, and Communications.

Early life

Adams was born in 1971 and when she was two, her mother divorced, and brought up her and her sister Belinda by herself.[2] Adams attended Rangitoto College where she became friends with Louise Upston,[3] then graduated from the University of Canterbury with an LLB with First-Class Honours. Her first employment as a lawyer was in Invercargill, but she soon moved back to Canterbury.[2] She became a partner in the Christchurch law firm Mortlock McCormack.[2]

Political career

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
20082011 49th Selwyn 52 National
20112014 50th Selwyn 28 National
2014present 51st Selwyn 15 National

Adams was selected as the National party candidate for the Selwyn seat for the 2008 general election after a contested selection.[4] She won the Selwyn seat with a comfortable majority, achieving 60% of the electorate votes cast. This compares with the National Party achieving 55% of party votes.[5] In the 2014 election, she got over 70% of the electorate votes based on preliminary results.[6][7]

In 2009 her Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot.[8] The bill required fundraising companies to disclose the proportion of funds they passed on to the charities they collect for.[9] The bill passed its third reading in June 2012.

Adams was made Chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee and the Electoral Legislation Committee for the final months of the 49th Parliament and was appointed a Cabinet Minister for Internal Affairs, Communications and Associate Earthquake Recovery after the National Party won a second term in Government.[10] After a reshuffle of cabinet responsibilities caused by the resignation of Nick Smith, Adams was made Minister for the Environment, while the responsibility for Internal Affairs was passed to Chris Tremain.

Personal life

Adams' house in Aylesbury stands close to the fault line and epicentre of the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, which caused significant damage to her property, but inspection deemed it safe enough to live in.[11]

Together with her husband Robert Donald "Don" Adams, she owns three farms: in Darfield, Kirwee, and Te Kauwhata. The first two of these are in Canterbury, are sheep and crop farms, and within the area of the Central Plains Water scheme. The Te Kauwhata farm is located in the Waikato.[12] Through their company Amdon Farms Ltd, they are shareholders of Central Plains Water.[12]

Her sister, Belinda Milnes, was an advisor to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, and when Bennett appointed her as Families Commissioner in 2013, the opposition complained of cronyism.[13] David Ware, the husband of Milnes and thus brother-in-law of Adams, has publicly criticised Adams in her role as Communications and Information Technology Minister, where government policies favour big telecommunications companies. Ware is the chief executive of NZX-listed company Team Talk, and feels "dreadfully let down" by the Communications and Information Technology Minister.[14]


  1. "Amy Adams". Amy Adams. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 Wright, Michael (11 October 2014). "Amy Adams on movies, mothering and money". The Press. p. A18.
  3. Vance, Andrea (22 July 2012). "Amy not afraid to speak her mind". The Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  4. Wilson, Peter (12 May 2008). "National selects Amy Adams for Selwyn Seat". National Business Review. NZPA. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  5. "Selwyn: Electoral Profile". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  6. "Election Results – Selwyn". Electoral Commission. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  7. Mathewson, Nicole; Stylianou, Georgina; Fulton, Tim (21 September 2014). "Election 2014: Canterbury decides". The Press. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  8. "Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  9. "Bill forces donation disclosure". Stuff. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  10. "Amy Adams". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  11. YouTube video
  12. 1 2 Strongman, Susan (18 March 2014). "Columnist stands by Amy Adams claims". Taranaki Daily News. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  13. Davison, Isaac (20 July 2013). "It's jobs for the mates – Labour slams Nats". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  14. Vance, Andrea (11 December 2012). "Brother-in-law slams minister's frequency plans". Retrieved 12 October 2014.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amy Adams (politician).
New Zealand Parliament
In abeyance
Title last held by
David Carter
Member of Parliament for Selwyn
Political offices
Preceded by
Nathan Guy
Minister for Internal Affairs
Succeeded by
Chris Tremain
Preceded by
Steven Joyce
Minister for Communications and Information Technology
Preceded by
Nick Smith
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Nick Smith
Preceded by
Chester Borrows
Minister for Courts
Preceded by
Judith Collins
Minister of Justice
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