Jonathan Hunt

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This article is about the former Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives. For the man who served in United States Congress from 1827 to 1832, see Jonathan Hunt (United States).

Parl. Electorate List Pos. Party
35th New Lynn Labour
36th New Lynn Labour
37th New Lynn Labour
38th New Lynn Labour
39th New Lynn Labour
40th New Lynn Labour
41st New Lynn Labour
42nd New Lynn Labour
43rd New Lynn Labour
44th New Lynn Labour
45th List 7 Labour
46th List 6 Labour
47th List 3 Labour

The Right Honourable Jonathan Hunt, ONZ, (born December 2, 1938) is a New Zealand politician. He formerly served as Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a member of the governing Labour Party, and is the longest serving MP currently in Parliament.

Hunt was born in Lower Hutt, but grew up in Palmerston North and Auckland. After studying at Auckland Grammar School, he enrolled at Auckland University, where he gained a BA (Hons) degree. After graduating, Hunt became a high school teacher and then a university tutor.

In 1966, Hunt was elected to Parliament in Auckland's New Lynn electorate. He remained MP for New Lynn until 1996, when became a list MP. At various times, he served as Minister of Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Minister of Tourism, Minister of Housing, and Postmaster General. He was the longest serving member of Parliament, earning him the unofficial title of 'Father of the House'. In 1989, Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer made Hunt a member of the Privy Council in recognition of his long service.

After first serving as Deputy Speaker during the fourth Labour government, he was elected Speaker when the fifth Labour government came to power in 1999. He retained his position following the election in 2002. In December 2004, it was announced that he would retire from politics and replace Russell Marshall as New Zealand High Commissioner in London, a move that had long been anticipated. He was replaced as Speaker by Margaret Wilson on 3 March 2005, and left Parliament on 30 March. As a list MP, his vacant parliamentary seat was filled by the next available candidate on the Labour Party list, Lesley Soper.

Hunt is a member of the Order of New Zealand, the highest state honour awarded to New Zealanders.

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