David Cunliffe

David Cunliffe is the 14th leader of the Labour Party, and the next Prime Minister of New Zealand. As leader, he will use his business experience and his strong sense of social justice to build an economy that works for all New Zealanders.

The son of an Anglican minister, David was born in 1963 in Te Aroha. His earliest memories are of growing up in the vicarage of the small Waikato town. The Cunliffes later moved to Te Kuiti, then south to Pleasant Point in Canterbury when he was 10. 

In Pleasant Point his father became active in the Labour Party and sparked David’s interest in politics. As a teenager, David worked evenings and weekends in a fish and chip shop, mucking out pig pens, ploughing fields and rousing for a shearing gang. 

David won a scholarship to study the International Baccalaureate at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales. He studied politics at the University of Otago, where he was a member of the Otago University Debating Society, and gained a Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours.

In 1987 David became a diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was posted to Washington DC from 1990 to 1994. He continued studying during this time, gaining a Diploma in Social Sciences in economics with distinction from Massey University. He held a Fulbright Scholarship at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government in 1994-1995, earning a Master of Public Administration. David then worked as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in Auckland from 1995 to 1999, when he decided to run for Labour in the seat of Titirangi, which became the New Lynn electorate the following election.

During his first term, David chaired the Commerce Select Committee and also sat on the Finance and Expenditure, and Regulations Review select committees. In 2003 David was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of State and Associate Minister of Finance; Revenue; and Communications and Information Technology. In 2004, he became Minister for Communications and Information Technology. He went on to become Minister of Immigration and later Minister of Health. As Minister for Communications and Information Technology he forced Telecom to unbundle its local loop monopoly. 

David is married to Karen, a lawyer. They have two sons and live in Auckland. He spends his free time with family and friends, gardening, keeping fit and fishing.


Contact details:

Parliamentary office
Phone: 04 817 8212 
Email: david.cunliffe@parliament.govt.nz

Electorate office
Address: 3071 Great North Road,
New Lynn, Auckland 0600
Phone: 09 827 3062
Email: newlynnmp@parliament.govt.nz

Social media

Leader of the Opposition
MP for New Lynn
Spokesperson for the SIS
Spokesperson for Regional Development
Spokesperson for Communications & IT

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@DavidCunliffeMP on Twitter

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