David has been a minister in the last two Labour-led Governments. As Climate Change Minister in 2008, he pioneered New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, then described by many as the most significant environmental reform in this country for decades. He is currently leading the Government’s major reform of resource management law.
David maintains strong interests in the protection of civil liberties, as well as in policies that enhance economic growth and address the growing extremes between rich and poor, while protecting the environment.
Born in Roxburgh, David grew up in Dunedin and has a BCom (Acctg) and LLB from the University of Otago.
He was a litigation and managing partner in law firm Anderson Lloyd and was a co-founder of the Dunedin Community Law Centre.
David is an experienced CEO and company director in a range of industries. He was involved in several start-up businesses in the agri-biotechnology field, including A2 Milk, and BLIS Technologies, which he managed from start-up to the main board of the NZX.
His Ministerial portfolios in the previous Labour-led Government included Attorney-General, Energy, Climate Change, Transport, Land Information and State Services.
After the 2017 election he was appointed Attorney-General, Minister for Economic Development, Environment, Trade and Export Growth, and as an Associate Minister of Finance.
David was reappointed after the 2020 election as Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, and as an Associate Minister of Finance. He was also appointed Minister of Revenue. He also held the Oceans and Fisheries portfolio until the February 2023 reshuffle.
David is a keen tramper and skier.