Grant is driven to be an MP by his belief in social justice, and desire to give opportunity for all to achieve their potential. He lives in the Wellington suburb of Northland/Wilton, with his partner, Alf. Grant is a keen sports fan, and loves New Zealand music and literature.
Labour's MP for Wellington Central and Labour’s Finance Spokesperson, Grant was born in 1971 in Palmerston North and lived in Hastings before his family settled in Dunedin. The Presbyterian values his parents taught their three sons fostered Grant’s belief in social justice. He spent his teenage years cultivating his love of rugby and cricket.
Grant’s first job was at the local supermarket and when the Employment Contracts Act came in, he rallied against the rights he and his fellow workers lost. Grant studied politics at Otago, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with honours in 1995. His involvement in the campaign against user-pays education led him to become President of the Otago University Students Association, and later Vice President and then Co-President of the New Zealand University Students Association.
After leaving university, Grant joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He managed the New Zealand Overseas Aid Programme to Samoa – a $7.7 million fund with projects in areas such as education, healthcare, public sector capacity building, small business development and the empowerment of women. He was also posted to the United Nations in New York, working on environment and development issues.
On his return to New Zealand he became an advisor for then Minister of the Environment Marian Hobbs. From there he went on to work in the office of former Prime Minister Helen Clark. In 2006 Grant began work as the research business manager for the University of Otago at the Wellington School of Medicine.
He stood for Wellington Central in 2008 when Marian Hobbs retired, winning the electorate with a majority of 1900 votes. In the 2011 election he grew that majority to 6400, and in 2014 to 8267. Grant was elected Deputy Leader by the Labour caucus after the 2011 election, serving in that role until September 2013.
Grant became the Finance Spokesperson in November 2014, and has previously held spokesperson roles for Labour in Employment, Skills & Training, Economic Development, Tertiary Education, State Services, Health, and Arts, Culture & Heritage. He is also a member of Parliament’s Privileges Committee.
Grant met his partner Alf in 1998 playing rugby, and their family now includes two grandchildren. In 2009 they were joined in a civil union. Grant and Alf live on the boundary of the Wellington suburbs of Northland and Wilton. Along with his passion for sports, Grant is a fan of New Zealand music and literature, and loves cooking and movies.
- MP for Wellington Central 2008 to present
- Former Diplomat, working in Samoa and at the UN in New York
- Former Research Business Manager for University of Otago
- Former President of NZ and Otago University Students Association
- Former Trustee of New Zealand Aids Foundation