- TitleMember of Parliament
- CompanyNew Zealand
Some people talk, and others take action. New Zealander Chlöe Swarbrick has always belonged to the latter camp. Beginning her career in fashion and journalism at age 18, she eventually went on to own and run What’s Good magazine, where she interviewed a number of politicians whom, she says, she found “uninspiring.” The statistics agreed: She discovered that only 34% of the electorate had cast a vote in the previous mayoral election. So she did what came naturally to her and decided to do something about it. She ran for mayor of Auckland at age 22. The 2016 race was unsuccessful, but it launched a career in politics that ultimately led to her joining the Green Party and winning a spot in the New Zealand Parliament the following year. She also currently serves as the Green Party spokesperson for mental health, drug law reform, education, small business, and more.
But Swarbrick’s most poignant moment came in 2019 when she found herself in a heated exchange with the opposition spokesperson for climate change, Todd Muller (he believes in climate change, but doesn’t want to go as far policywise to prevent it). Muller interrupted Swarbrick in the middle of a speech about a zero-carbon bill that she was advocating. Swarbrick’s reply? “OK, boomer.”
The remark went viral, prompting her to write in a piece for the Guardian that her “‘OK, boomer’ comment in Parliament was off-the-cuff, albeit symbolic of the collective exhaustion of multiple generations.”