Jonathan Hunt, born 1938, served as a Member of Parliament for New Lynn from 1966 to 1996 and as a List Member of Parliament from 1996 to 2005.
He is affectionately known as ‘Father of the House’, having had an illustrious career in politics spanning nearly 40 years and being the longest-serving Member of Parliament.
In the beginning, he held many positions in Parliament, such as Junior Government Whip, Negotiator for the Labour Party Coalition Negotiating Team, and was also a Member and the Chairman of many parliamentary committees. He held a number of ministerial portfolios, including Minister of Broadcasting, Minister of Communications, Minister of Housing, Minister of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Minister of State, Minister of Tourism, and Postmaster General and was the instigator of the Adult Adoption Information Act (1985).
He served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1984 to 1990, and in 1999, was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives and re-elected in 2002. He is the Chairperson of the Officers of Parliament Committee and the Standing Orders Committee and has been a Member of the Parliamentary Service Commission since its inception in 1985.
Jonathan Hunt is a permanent Member of the New Zealand Inter-Parliamentary Group and Chairman of the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust. Previously, he was President of the Princess Street Branch of the New Zealand Labour Party, an Executive Member of the Auckland Labour Representation Committee of the New Zealand Labour Party, and Vice President of the Auckland Regional Advisory Council of the New Zealand Labour Party.
In 1989, he was appointed a Member of the Privy Council.