Professor Margaret Wilson

Margaret Wilson

Professor (Law)

Qualifications: LLB(Hons) MJur Auckland HonD Waikato

About Margaret

Professor Wilson has worked in private practice and has had an extensive career in public service including roles as founding member and Vice President of Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association and Member of the Advisory Committee to establish a Ministry of Women's Affairs. From 1985 to 1989 she was Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, from 1988 to 1989 as New Zealand Law Commissioner.

Professor Wilson taught at Auckland Law School until 1990 and was the founding Dean of Waikato Law School from 1990 to 1994. She remained on the teaching staff until 1999. Professor Wilson has had a high profile in New Zealand politics; from 1984 to 1987 as President of New Zealand Labour Party, 1989 to 1990 Chief Adviser and Head of Prime Minister’s Office.

From 1999 to 2005 she was Minister of the Crown with positions including Attorney-General, Minister of Labour, Minister Responsible for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister of Commerce, Minister for Courts and Associate Minister of Justice. In 1999, she was elected a List Member of Parliament and 2005 to 2008 she was Speaker of Parliament. She returned to Te Piringa - Faculty of Law as a Professor in 2009.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


  • Marium Jabyn (in progress) Local Implications of International Human Rights Treaties: The Impact of a CEDAW Right to Public Life in the Republic of Maldives
  • Brenda Midson (in progress) Establishing Culpability in Culpable Homicide: Is Blame Fairly Apportioned?
  • Rogina Stirling (in progress)The Goal and Purpose of International Human Rights is one’s identity: Why Sex Status Must Give Way To Enable (Inter)sex Identity.
  • Lorraine Skiffington (in progress) The Rising New Zealand Precariat: A Critical Analysis of the Role, Relevance and Effectiveness of the Law in the Growth of the New Zealand Precariat.

Research Interests

  1. Employment Law – The Rising Precariat
  2. Constitutional Law – The Fragility of New Zealand’s Institutional Constitutional Arrangements
  3. Law and Public Policy – The Influence of Neo-Liberalism on Public Policy
  4. Human Rights Law and Practice – The Impact of International Human Rights Treaties of New Zealand law, policy and practice, in particular economic, social and cultural rights.

Recent Publications

  • Wilson, M. A. (2017). The politics of workplace reform: 40 years of change. In M. wilson, G. Anderson, A. Geare, & E. Rasmussen (Eds.), Transforming Workplace Relations in New Zealand 1976-2016 (pp. 44-59). Wellington: Victoria University Press. Open Access version:

  • Wilson, M. A., & Whaipooti, J. A. (2017). Commentary on Taylor v Attorney-General. Disengaging the disengaged: The case of prisoner voting. In Feminist Judgments of Aotearoa New Zealand Te Tino: A Two-Stranded Rope (pp. 53-71). Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing.

  • Wilson, M. (2017). The impact of neo-liberalism on the idea of public office: Legal office in New Zealand. In A. Yeatman (Ed.), Neoliberal Government and its Implications for Public Office and the Welfare State – two essays (Vol. 4, pp. 9-23). Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University. Open Access version:

  • McGregor, J., Bell, S., & Wilson, M. A. (2016). Human rights in New Zealand: Emerging faultlines. Bridget Williams Books. doi:10.7810/9780947492748

Find more research publications by Margaret Wilson



Employment Law: Constitutional, Public, Policy; Human Rights Law