Chester Borrows

The Honourable
Chester Borrows
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Whanganui
Assumed office
Preceded by Jill Pettis
Majority 6,333
Minister of Courts
In office
12 December 2011  6 October 2014
Preceded by Georgina Te Heuheu
Succeeded by Amy Adams
Personal details
Born Kerry James Borrows
(1957-06-20) 20 June 1957
Nelson, New Zealand
Political party National

Kerry James "Chester" Borrows (born 20 June 1957) is a New Zealand politician.

Early years

Born in 1957, Borrows was raised in Nelson and was educated at Nayland College.[1] Borrows joined the New Zealand Police and worked in Nelson, Wellington and Auckland before becoming the sole charge officer in Patea.[2] In 2002 he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington,[3] was admitted to the bar. He subsequently worked as a lawyer in Hawera.[4]

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
20052008 48th Whanganui 34 National
20082011 49th Whanganui 42 National
20112014 50th Whanganui 32 National
2014  present 51st Whanganui 22 National

In the 2005 election, Borrows stood as the National Party's candidate for seat of Whanganui, and was successful, defeating the incumbent Jill Pettis of the Labour Party. He had been unsuccessful in the 1999 and 2002 elections, and had decided to stand again after initial reluctance.

Borrows had proposed an amendment to the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill (now passed into law as the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007) that allowed for the use of force on children providing that is does not "cause or contribute materially to harm that is more than transitory and trifling".[5]

After the 2011 election Borrows was appointed a Minister outside Cabinet for Courts; his appointment being alongside new Ministers outside Cabinet Jo Goodhew and Chris Tremain. He replaced outgoing MP Georgina Teheuheu and also received the associate portfolios of Justice and Social Development.[6]

Following the 2014 General Election Borrows retained his seat and, upon request from the Prime Minister John Key, moved into the role of Deputy Speaker replacing Eric Roy who had retired from the role and Parliament. Borrows was granted the style The Honourable for life by the usual convention for outgoing Ministers.[7][8] Borrows caused controversy when he stated in the local paper, the Whanganui Chronicle, that civil servants were "dickhead bureaucrats" for enforcing health & safety measures in a local farm.[9]

In July 2016, Borrows allegedly drove his car into a line of protesters demonstrating against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement,[10] and is awaiting trial on two charges.[11]

In 2016, Borrows announced that he will not be seeking re-election during the 2017 general election.

Personal life

His parents were lifelong socialists.[12] He now lives in Hawera with his wife, Ella and they have three children. He is a lay preacher in the Presbyterian Church.[12] In 2007 he had a "stomach-stapling" operation to reduce weight.[13]


  1. "MP a former Nelsonian". Nelson Mail. 19 September 2005. p. 2.
  2. "Whanganui". Taranaki Daily News. 20 July 2002. p. 18.
  3. "Roll of graduates". Victoria University of Wellington. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  4. "Election September 17 '05". Taranaki Daily News. 12 September 2005. p. 2.
  5. "Assessing the Chester Borrow's proposal" (PDF). March 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  6. "Ministerial List for Announcement on 12 December 2011" (PDF). 12 December 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  9. "MP's `dickhead' comment upsets Labour". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  10. url=
  12. 1 2 Braunias, Steve (17 June 2007). "Chester's patch". Sunday Star Times. p. 18.
  13. Palmer, Rebecca (29 December 2007). "How MP took a massive weight off his shoulders". Dominion Post. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Jill Pettis
Member of Parliament for Whanganui
Political offices
Preceded by
Georgina te Heuheu
Minister of Courts
Succeeded by
Amy Adams (politician)
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