Michael Appleby (politician)

Michael George Appleby is a politician, cannabis activist, LGBT rights activist, and lawyer based in Wellington, New Zealand.[1]

Michael Appleby
Personal details
Political partyAotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
Residence(s)Wellington, New Zealand
OccupationLawyer, cannabis activist


Appleby is a human rights lawyer with a B.A. in politics and English, and an M.A. in Administrative Law, Taxation and Trusts, and Constitutional Law. He has taught law at various universities around New Zealand and Australia.[2]

Political career

In addition to his legal career, Appleby was the leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP) from its foundation in 1996 until 2013.[2][3] This small political party is dedicated to the relaxation or repeal of laws against the use of cannabis and has never been represented in Parliament. In 1998 he was elected a member of the Terawhiti Licensing Trust as an ALCP candidate.[4]

Appleby has stood as his party's candidate in the Wellington Central electorate since its inception in 1996. His best result was in the 1999 election where he gained third place, aided by the fact that most major candidates had pulled out to support either incumbent Richard Prebble or challenger Marian Hobbs. He came fifth in the 2011 election.[5] He later represented the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in the 2013 Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election.[6]

Appleby stood unsuccessfully for the Wellington City Council in October 2004.[7] He ran again for the Wellington City Council in the October 2013 local government elections, where he placed ninth in the Lambton Ward and was not elected.[8][9]

During the 2020 New Zealand general election, Appleby contested Wellington Central for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, gaining 240 votes.[10]


  1. Broun, Britton; Newton, Kate (28 April 2010). "Drug swoop targets national shop chain". The Dominion Post. Fairfax New Zealand. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  2. "Candidate – Michael Appleby". wellington.govt.nz. Wellington City Council. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  3. Elder, Vaughan (14 October 2013). "Dunedin man elected to lead cannabis party". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  4. "How You Voted". The Evening Post. 12 October 1998. p. 6.
  5. "Official Count Results – Wellington Central". Elections New Zealand. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  6. "Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party launch By-Election campaign". Scoop.co.nz. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  7. Farrar, David (23 October 2004). "Full Wellington City Council results". Kiwiblog. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  8. "Michael Appleby". Vote.co.nz. Local Government New Zealand. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  9. "Lambton Ward". Wellington City Council. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  10. "Wellington Central – Preliminary Count". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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