Barbara initially entered Parliament as a New Zealand First list member in 2002, staying until 2008 when the 5% threshold was not reached by New Zealand First. She re-entered Parliament in 2011.
In the three years New Zealand First was out of Parliament, she returned to her long time passion of education.
Barbara is the Party spokesperson for Health, Tourism and Associate Spokesperson for Senior Citizens. Being a member of the Health Select Committee has given her an understanding of the challenges involved in running a complex public health system that is subject to ever-increasing demands.
Barbara has always been inextricably bound to the Waikato area. She has had a very successful career in teaching, business, personnel management and Training and Development. Graduating from Waikato University with a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma in Teaching, she set off on a career in teaching. She has taught at both the primary (Waikato) and secondary level (Otara). After approximately five years of teaching, a change of direction into small business in Cambridge was her focus.
Five years later, Barbara moved to Palmerston North and became involved in the corporate world of Personnel Management and Training and Development before returning to the Waikato area as a Group Manager of Training and Development. While in the latter role, she returned to Waikato University on a part-time basis to complete a post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies.
Experience on a local primary school Board of Trustees and a PTA committee sparked her interest in politics at a national level. After reviewing the policies of the two major parties and listening to various political leaders speak on a variety of issues, Barbara believed that Rt Hon Winston Peters and New Zealand First was the only political party who was committed, had the policies and who would and could deliver on their election promises to ensure that New Zealanders and New Zealand interests were first on any agenda. She became actively involved at both a local and regional level.
Barbara and her husband Gordon live near Cambridge with their son. Barbara enjoys gardening and reading when leisure time is available.