Nikki Kaye entered Parliament in 2008 as the National Party's first-ever Auckland Central MP, claiming an electorate which had been held by left-leaning parties for 90 years.

She held onto the electorate by very narrow margins against another rising star, Labour's Jacinda Ardern, in 2011 and 2014.

Kaye became a government minister in 2013, taking on the Food Safety, Civil Defence and Youth Affairs portfolios, and associate education and immigration roles.

After re-election in 2014, she was given greater responsibility, taking on the ACC portfolio.


She is part of National's socially liberal wing. She worked on a cross-party group to legalise same-sex marriage in 2013, and led a campaign within her party to keep the alcohol purchase age at 18 years old in 2012.

Kaye was born and raised in Auckland, growing up in Epsom and Kohimarama.

Her parents separated when she was seven, and she was one of nine siblings or half-siblings.

She was head girl at Corran School (now part of St Kentigerns) and studied genetics and law in Dunedin and Auckland.

She joined the National Party in 1998 and began working for then-Leader of the Opposition Bill English in 2002. After a stint in policy work in the United Kingdom, she returned to New Zealand in 2007.

Kaye is also a keen runner, and won the Auckland Women's 3000m in 1997.