Born in Roxburgh in 1960, David Parker grew up and studied in Dunedin, graduating with a BCom (Acctg)/LLB from the University of Otago.
He had a long career in business and law before being elected to Parliament as Labour MP in the normally safe National seat of Otago in 2002.
In earlier years, he joined a group of law students to co-found the Dunedin Community Law Centre, and later became a managing and litigation partner in South Island law firm Anderson Lloyd.
He has been involved in many businesses, including innovative bio-tech export start-ups A2 Corporation, BLIS Technologies, Botryzen and Pharmazen, as well as in more traditional industries. He is an experienced CEO and company director.
David was appointed to Cabinet in 2005, and served as Minister of Energy, Climate Change, Transport, State Services, Attorney-General, and Land Information under the Helen Clark Government.
In opposition David Parker has served as Deputy Leader, Shadow Attorney General, and in Finance, Economic Development and various other roles.
David wants Labour to rally New Zealand behind a central goal of delivering prosperity and fairer economic outcomes for New Zealanders. A fair go and a fair share. This requires lifting exports, more productive investment and discouraging speculation. He wants the benefits of economic growth to be fairly shared so as to prevent extremes of rich and poor becoming entrenched in New Zealand, and to fund essential services for the community.
In 2013 he travelled to the United States and Europe, meeting with experts to discuss innovations to monetary and tax policy to boost growth and exports.
David is an avid tramper and is also dedicated to lifting New Zealand’s environmental performance. In 2008 he was named by the Listener magazine as environmentalist of the year for his work as Minister of Energy and Climate Change.
He also features in the most-viewed Parliamentary question ever – a humorous exchange with Gerry Brownlee on going tramping in conservation areas then threatened with mining.
David has three children, spends time in his home town of Dunedin, and in Auckland with his partner Barbara.