MP Profiles

Every three years the company publishes the Saunders Unsworth guide to MPs. The guide is sold to clients only. It is edited by Mark Unsworth. The profile for National Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce is below: (Written in 2008).

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Steven Joyce

Full Name Steven Leonard Joyce

MP Since 2008
Positions Minister of Transport
Minister for Communications and Information Technology
Associate Minister of Finance
Associate Minister for Infrastructure

Electorate List MP
Born 7 April 1963, New Plymouth
Family Married to Suzanne with one young daughter, Amelia
Early Life Joyce was raised in New Plymouth the son of a grocer who eventually
bought his own New World Supermarket. When aged 14 the family moved to Paraparaumu where he attended Kapiti College. Always wanting to be a vet he headed off to Massey University but missed the cut after his intermediate year so completed a BSc in zoology instead.

Career At Massey he helped out at Radio Massey serving as announcer, programme
director and then station manager. With a few mates he set up their own radio station, Energy FM in New Plymouth. They ran three years of summer stations while waiting for the Broadcasting Tribunal to give them a licence.

While waiting for the licence decision he spent two months working in PR for an agency that was prominent in the 1980’s Consultus. Energy FM thrived and the company grew buying and setting up stations around the North Island including The Rock and The Edge. In late 1994 he moved to Hamilton to manage the expanded company. They expanded again buying auctioned frequencies in Rotorua and Palmerston North.

In 1997 they merged their company with Derek Lowe’s Radio Pacific setting up
Radioworks as a listed company.  Joyce became CEO and held around 8% of the shares. After networking the station and buying Radio Otago, and X-S Radio from Murray McCully, they had 22 branches, 18 local stations and 4 networks; The Edge, Rock, Solid Gold and Radio Pacific. In 2000/01 CanWest bought Joyce and his partners out and, on his 38th birthday with a healthy bank balance, Joyce retired as CEO.

After a year of travel and time working for the National Party (see below), Joyce bought into Jason’s Travel Media, becoming CEO in 2006. By this time he had married Suzanne Booth, a former lawyer, lobbyist and Ministerial Senior Private Secretary and was living on a lifestyle block outside Auckland with their daughter Amelia.

Political Life Joyce had met Murray McCully through his radio connections and put his name forward for the 2002 National list but later pulled out. After the dreadful 2002 election result Joyce, Jeff Grant and Denese Henare conducted a review of the campaign. New president Judy Kirk then asked him to do a strategic review of the whole party structure.  After completing this it became obvious he was the man to run the organisation so he became CEO and ran the 2005 election campaign. His involvement with the Exclusive Brethren led to him being named as one of the ‘Hollow Men’ in Nicky
Hager’s pathetic beat-up publication.

Having retired from politics after the 2005 election he was asked by John Key to not only run the campaign again but actually stand for Parliament. He became an MP after earning a list position of 16. After the election he was appointed Minister of Transport.

Traits Bright, thoughtful, commercial, self-taught ‘bush’ accountant, analytical, can
pick up a brief quickly, straight talker, well off, calm and unflappable, likes to get to the point, excellent manager, quiet and friendly. Keen and dry sense of humour. Strong work ethic.

Hobbies/ Family, travel, their hobby farm, running/walking.

Outlook Moving directly into Cabinet without any previous political experience is risky and the National Party recognise that, but believe that with Joyce it’s an acceptable and calculated risk. The Cabinet was short of recent business experience and managerial grunt and so Joyce, who rebuilt the party’s internal structures, was an obvious choice. Despite being a political neophyte, he will be a safe pair of hands. He has been given a large workload, which he should handle with ease. He will continue to be one of the most influential political and strategic advisors to the PM. Will use his commercial nous when making tough decisions. Is unproven in the debating chamber.

Residence Auckland