David Parker grew up and studied in Dunedin, graduating with a BCom/LLB from the University of Otago, while at the same time helping to found the Dunedin Community Law Centre. He had a long career in business and law before being elected to Parliament as Labour Member of Parliament in the former electorate of Otago in 2002.
In his earlier years, David was a managing and litigation partner in South Island law firm Anderson Lloyd. He was also involved in many businesses, including innovative bio-tech export start-ups A2 Milk, 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 Helen Clark’s Government. In Opposition, he served as Deputy Leader, Shadow Attorney General, and in Finance, Economic Development and various other roles. His focus has always been, and remains, on delivering prosperity and fairer economic outcomes within environmental limits for all New Zealanders.
David now serves as Attorney General, Minister for the Environment, Trade and Export Growth, and Associate Minister of Finance. In his work as Minister for the Environment, David believes we need to take a holistic view of the environment and economy. He regards the economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse. This vision has fed into his work reviewing the Resource Management Act, and launching the Essential Freshwater programme to stop and reverse the degradation of our rivers and lakes.
As Minister for Trade and Export Growth, he has advanced New Zealand’s trade agenda through the CPTPP, talks on a future Free Trade Agreement with Europe, and the Trade for All agenda.
In his role as Associate Minister of Finance, he led changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ban overseas buyers of New Zealand homes, showing this Government’s commitment to making the dream of home ownership a reality for more New Zealanders. He also led the establishment of a $300m Venture Capital Fund to help high growth technology companies grow exports and good jobs.
David has three adult children. He spends time in his hometown of Dunedin, and in Auckland with his partner Barbara.