Alison Boswijk


Nelson City Councillor 2007 - 2013 and Deputy Mayor

2010 - 2013

I stood for Council as part of a group called "Hands Up" led by Kerry Marshall who was elected Mayor. All six of us were elected which was quite controversial. Individually we were all very different and spanned the spectrum of political allegiance.  Collectively, we wanted to redress an imbalance, as we saw it and invest in cultural infrastructure and projects that supported economic development.

Alison Boswijk
Nelson City Councillor 2007 - 2013

Eleven years on, it is wonderful to see the three significant cultural institutions of Nelson, the Theatre Royal, Bishop Suter Art Gallery and Nelson School of Music all renovated, made earthquake safe and open to the public once again.

Between 2007-2010 I was joint Chairman of the Community Services Committee and Deputy Mayor from 2010 to 2013. During this time I was also Chair of the Rugby World Cup Leverage Committee in Nelson.

It is fair to say that I enjoyed my time as a Nelson City Councillor far more than I expected would be the case. It is not easy being in a position when you know some people will always disagree (often loudly and publicly) with every decision you make and staying true to yourself is vital. I learnt a lot and continue to encourage people to take an interest in local body politics. A council does not just set the rates. It also sets the tone of a community and can have a very direct and immediate impact on how people develop, behave and interact.

I did not stand in the 2013 elections.

 This was published in: Women Decision-Makers Nelson and Tasman 1944 -2018, p.44. Compiled by Dr Shelley Richardson, Elaine Henry, Gail Collingwood, Hilary Mitchell.

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Further sources - Alison Boswijk


  • Richardson, S., Henry, E., Collingwood, G. Mitchell, H. (2018). Women decision-makers Nelson and Tasman 1944-2018. Nelson, New Zealand