John Hayes (New Zealand politician)

John Bernard Hayes,[1] ONZM (born 15 March 1948) is a New Zealand politician and diplomat. He represented the electorate of Wairarapa for the National Party from 2005 to 2014.

John Hayes

Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Wairarapa
In office
17 September 2005 – 14 August 2014
Preceded byGeorgina Beyer
Succeeded byAlastair Scott
Personal details
Born (1948-03-15) 15 March 1948 (age 72)
Political partyNational

Early lifeEdit

Hayes received his secondary education at Rongotai College and holds a BAgrSci degree from Lincoln College.[2] He took part in student politics as President of the Lincoln College Students Association and in the New Zealand University Students' Association.[2] He became the inaugural chair of the Chartwell School Board under the "Tomorrow's Schools" reforms of the 1980s.[2]


After a period working as an economist, Hayes joined the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has represented New Zealand in Singapore, India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (as chargé d'affaires), in Papua New Guinea (as High Commissioner) and in Iran (as Ambassador, 1993–1995). He served as Principal Private Secretary to Mike Moore during Moore's tenure of the cabinet portfolio of Overseas Trade and Marketing (1984–1990).

As New Zealand's High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (1989–1993), Hayes took a very active role alongside the former New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Don McKinnon during the Bougainville conflict in the 1990s. He became involved in negotiations for setting up peace-talks by visiting leaders of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), and of its affiliate the Bougainville Interim Government (BIG). One such meeting saw BRA shooting down Hayes' helicopter.[3] Hayes became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services.

As of 2008 he functions as a shareholder and director of business interests in the Wairarapa region. He served as a Director of the New Zealand Export Import Corporation for three years.[when?]

In August 2016 he launched his campaign to stand as Mayor of South Wairarapa.

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th Wairarapa 50 National
2008–2011 49th Wairarapa 50 National
2011–2014 50th Wairarapa 51 National

In the 2005 election, Hayes contested as a member of the New Zealand National Party, which ranked him 50th on its party list. Simultaneously he stood as a candidate in the Wairarapa electorate, formerly (1999–2005) held by the world's first transsexual mayor (1995–2000), Georgina Beyer, who became a New Zealand Labour Party MP (1999–2007). He won the Wairarapa seat (with a majority of 2752 votes over Denise MacKenzie of the Labour Party[4]) and entered Parliament. He won the Wairarapa seat again in the 2008 general election, becoming a member of John Key's Fifth National Government of New Zealand. Hayes was ranked 52nd on the National Party list for the 2011 election but won the seat and on 20 December was appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs, reporting to Murray McCully. He retired at the 2014 election.[5]

Family and community engagementEdit

Hayes serves as a trustee of the "We The Peoples Foundation" and of the "Bridget Nicholls Trust". His interests include yachting and fishing.[2]

Hayes and his wife Helen live in Greytown; their two children work as lawyers.[2]


  1. ^ "New Zealand Hansard - Members Sworn Volume:651;Page:2". New Zealand Parliament. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "John Hayes". New Zealand Parliament. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  3. ^ New Zealand International Review, May–June 1998 v23
  4. ^ "Official Count Results -- Wairarapa". Chief Electoral Office. 1 October 2005. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  5. ^ Small, Vernon (18 January 2014). "Wairarapa MP Hayes calls time". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 20 September 2014.

External linksEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Georgina Beyer
Member of Parliament for Wairarapa
Succeeded by
Alastair Scott