Margaret Wilson has always lived a political life. From her days as a child growing up in the Waikato in a Catholic family attuned to fairness, an unlikely law student in the 1960s in a class with a few other women, and an emerging socialist feminist who read radical texts and attended women's conventions, her key concerns became cemented early: the rights of women and equality for all under the law.
This is the story of one of New Zealand's most eminent political actors.
A policy-focused campaigner, reluctant to join a political tribe and uncomfortable with the combative attitudes and personal jockeying that politics seemed to entail, Wilson nevertheless rose to become the president of the Labour Party during the turbulent mid-1980s. Going on to become a central, far-sighted, occasionally controversial minister in the Clark government, Wilson held significant roles as Attorney-General and Speaker of the House.
Activism, Feminism, Politics and Parliament is a powerful analysis of political life in New Zealand over four decades. From pay equity to a home-grown Supreme Court, employment relations legislation to paid parental leave, the policies Wilson championed were based always in the long-held principles of a true conviction politician.