Paula knows a thing or two about resilience, setting and achieving goals and has a keen sense of fun.
From a teenage solo mum to Deputy Prime Minister, hers is a story of determination and Westie grit.
Paula’s parliamentary career has spanned 15 years, she has been a list MP and electorate MP for 12 years. After only one term in Parliament, she earnt herself a seat in Sir John Key’s Cabinet as the Minister of Social Development and Employment, Disabilities, and Youth Affairs.
She steered some major reforms through these challenging portfolios in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, including the biggest welfare reforms that the country had seen.
Paula held a number of high profile portfolios during National’s time in Government including associate Finance, State Services, Social Housing, Police, Local Government and Tourism. In 2015, Paula became the Minister for Climate Change issues and signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and worked alongside our agriculture, forestry, and business sectors to plan true change in how we live our lives to better look after our planet.
In 2016, Paula was appointed Deputy Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister. In Opposition, Paula remained National’s Deputy Leader until 2020. Leading into the General Election, Paula announced her retirement from politics and would be taking her wealth of experience into the corporate world.
In her maiden speech in Parliament, Paula outlined many of the values she continues to fight for today, in particular, her desire to see New Zealanders succeed and thrive. She continues this work today in real-estate as Bayley’s Director Strategic Advisory.