Steve grew up the fourth of six children in a loving extended family in Hastings. She has lived with her husband John and family, in Rotorua since 1975.
Steve is a qualified Midwife, whose career in midwifery began at Hutt Hospital and extends beyond New Zealand to include senior nursing roles in London and Papua New Guinea. Most of her nursing was at Rotorua Hospital, where she held a variety of positions including Manager of Women, Child and Family Services, and Client Services Director at Lakeland Health Crown Health Enterprise.
Her community achievements include establishing the first family planning clinic in Rotorua, helping to establish the first Women’s Refuge in Rotorua, and the Rotorua School for Young Parents.
From 1996 to 1999 Steve was a councillor on Rotorua District Council, chairing the Social Services Committee.
She was subsequently approached by members of the community and asked to stand for Parliament. In 1999 she ran a successful campaign for Labour and became the Member of Parliament for Rotorua. Steve’s career in Central Government spanned twelve years, including three years as a List MP. During this time, she held the portfolios of Associate Minister of Health, Minister of Conservation and Minister of Women’s Affairs. Her proudest achievements include sponsoring the Smoke free Environments Act and securing funding ($72 million) for the clean-up of Rotorua lakes.
From 2012 to 2013, Steve worked as a business consultant for health, conservation and democratic governance. Many of her projects were under the auspices of the United Nations, in New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific.
In 2013, Steve was again asked to represent her community and successfully stood for mayor of Rotorua. She now spearheads a committed council and community working collaboratively to see the Rotorua District grow and flourish. ‘Tatou tatou – we together’, is their vision.