David was born in 1963 in Te Aroha, the son of an Anglican minister and learned early on the challenges that families face.
A Fulbright Scholar with a Master of Public Administration from Harvard, David is passionate about education unlocking the future for all. A management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group and a former diplomat, David understands the importance of building a high-value, innovative and inclusive economy in a global context.
In 1999 David was elected as the Member of Parliament for Titirangi, which became the New Lynn electorate in 2002. As a local MP, David has worked tirelessly for over 15 years to help local constituents in need and is a passionate advocate for the diverse West Auckland community.
As Minister of Communications and Information Technology in the Fifth Labour Government David enhanced competition in the telecommunications industry for faster, cheaper broadband, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of IT Professionals and the NZ Computer Society.
As Minister of Immigration he helped modernise the Immigration Act, balancing human rights, skills supply and border security. As a front bench Minister of Health he introduced nationwide health service planning and advocated for a holistic approach to public health.
David also held a range of Associate Minister portfolios in Finance, State Owned Enterprise, Economic Development and Revenue, providing governance and strategic leadership across a wide range of Crown entities.
In Opposition, David served as Finance Spokesperson from 2008-2011, Economic and Regional Development, and Fisheries Spokesperson from 2012-2013, where he led policy making on strategic economic development, revenue reform and fiscal policy.
David was elected Leader of the Labour Party 2013-2014 and worked to rebuild party membership, systems and direction. Since the 2014 election he has held the Innovation and Science, Regional Development, Tertiary Education, Disarmament and Superannuation portfolios.
David is a father of two teenage sons, part time basketball coach, fisherman and tramper, enjoys music and reads widely. He has been a director and trustee of a number of non-profit organisations.