Marilyn Waring
Companion of the NZ Order of Merit

Key Points:

Professor Marilyn Waring has been rendered speechless - but not because she has been made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Rather she has been struck down with a bug and had almost lost her voice when the Herald spoke to her yesterday.

Professor Waring - credited or blamed (depending on your viewpoint) for bringing down the Muldoon Government - received her honour for services to women and economics.

She was elected New Zealand's youngest MP in 1975 at the age of 22 and remained in office until 1984.

The former Raglan and Waipa National MP was outspoken and influential in many areas, including human rights, equal rights for women, abortion law reform, and rape law reform.

Former Prime Minster Sir Robert Muldoon blamed her for causing the 1984 snap election and subsequent downfall of his National Party Administration.

She is the author of several books such as Women, Politics and Power, If Women Counted, and Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth, which was made into a film in 1995 by the Canadian National Film Unit.

Professor Waring has held fellowships at Harvard and Rutgers Universities and has lectured in politics, public policy, and human rights at universities around New Zealand.

She has a PhD in political economy from Waikato University and was the professor of public policy at Massey University.

She is a professor at the Auckland University of Technology's Institute for Public Policy.

But despite an impressive list of accomplishments in her career so far, there's no single achievement that stands out above the rest.

The 55-year-old said it was nice to be recognised for her services.

"I am pleased about it and kind of proud about it because of the nature of the recognition in women and economics and mostly because all the really early lessons that I learned about that, I learned from the stories New Zealand women told me."