Eugenie loves Canterbury’s big skies, its braided rivers, and the mountains of the Southern Alps which form the spine of Te Wāhi Pounamu. She grew up looking at Rangitoto and spent her first 25 years in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. Eugenie studied law and history at Auckland University and then journalism at Canterbury University. She is a JAFA who rolled south and stayed on the mainland.
At university, Eugenie was a student journalist on Craccum, and a member of Ecology Action and Friends of the Earth. After graduating she worked in environmental forestry, as a political and media adviser at Parliament, a freelance journalist and then spent thirteen years campaigning with Forest and Bird, including to protect West Coast beech and rimu forests and the South Island high country.
She soon lost count of the council and Environment Court hearings she attended, speaking out for nature and seeking to convince councils to use the RMA to better protect our remaining wetlands, forests and indigenous biodiversity. She is proud to have been made a Distinguished Life Member by Forest and Bird and values the huge amount of practical conservation work volunteers do around the country.
Eugenie’s passion for nature and a healthy environment continue to drive her work. She wants our 100 % Pure NZ brand to have integrity and a greater recognition that nature is at the heart of our economy.
Like many Ōtautahi/Christchurch residents Eugenie has survived thousands of earthquakes and wants a more resilient and sustainable city and an affordable rebuild.
Eugenie entered politics through campaigns for the protection of Canterbury's rivers and groundwater and was elected to the Canterbury Regional Council in 2007.
She says National is partly responsible for her becoming an MP, after Ministers removed elected regional councillors in 2010, and Green Party members encouraged her to stand successfully for Parliament in 2011.
Eugenie became Minister of Conservation, Minister for Land Information and Associate Minister for the Environment in October 2017.