Mark Burton

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For other people named Mark Burton, see Mark Burton (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Mark Burton
MP
34th Minister of Defence
In office
5 December 1999 – 12 October 2005
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Preceded by Max Bradford
Succeeded by Phil Goff
44th Minister of Justice
In office
19 October 2005 – 31 October 2007
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Preceded by Phil Goff
Succeeded by Annette King
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Taupō
In office
6 November 1993 – 8 November 2008
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Louise Upston
Majority 1,285[1]
Personal details
Born (1956-01-16) 16 January 1956 (age 58)
UK
Political party Labour

Richard Mark Burton (known as Mark Burton) (born 16 January 1956) is a New Zealand politician. He is a member of the Labour Party. He served as Minister of Defence; Minister of Justice; Minister of Local Government; Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations; Deputy Leader of the House; and the Minister Responsible for the Law Commission in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand.

Early life[edit]

Burton was born in Northampton, England, but was brought to New Zealand by his family when ten years old. He attended high school in Wanganui. He has been involved in a wide range of social and community organisations, including the Red Cross, the Department of Social Welfare, the Central Plateau Rural Education Activities Programme, the Council of Social Services, the Taupo Employment Support Trust, and the Taupo Sexual Abuse Counselling Service. He received the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal for his work.[2]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
1993–1996 44th Tongariro Labour
1996–1999 45th Taupo 10 Labour
1999–2002 46th Taupo 18 Labour
2002–2005 47th Taupo 16 Labour
2005–2008 48th Taupo 16 Labour


In the 1993 elections, Burton stood as the Labour Party's candidate for Tongariro, an electorate in the central North Island, defeating Ian Peters. This later became the seat of Taupo, which Burton retained.

From 1996 to 1999, he served as his party's Senior Whip.

Cabinet minister[edit]

When the Labour Party won power in the 1999 election, Burton became part of the new Cabinet, assuming the roles of Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Defence, Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Veterans' Affairs. In 2002, Internal Affairs and Veterans' Affairs were transferred to George Hawkins. In February 2005 he became the Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and dropped the State-Owned Enterprises portfolio.

In late 2004, with Jonathan Hunt set to retire from politics, Burton was regarded by many as the Labour Party's preferred choice to replace him as Speaker of the House of Representatives. In the end, however, Labour decided to nominate Margaret Wilson for the position.

Burton sponsored the introduction of the Electoral Finance Act, which made election funding more transparent and open by making anonymous donations illegal if they exceed the sum of $12,000. The Act capped the highest donation to the sum of $120,000 and increased public funding in elections to allow for more funding to go to a wider range of parties. The Act extended the regulated period classifying an election year to 1 January of the election year.

In November 2007 Burton resigned from his Cabinet positions during Prime Minister Helen Clark's portfolio renewal. When Labour's party list was written prior to the 2008 general election, he was given a low placing of 39.[3] He then lost his seat in a nation-wide swing to the National Party, and due to his place on the list, was not returned to parliament.[4]

Burton stood unsuccessfully for Taupo District Mayor in the 2010 local body elections.[5] After Darren Hughes resigned his list seat in 2011, and the next person on the Labour Party list, Judith Tizard, declined to take it up, Burton was entitled to reenter Parliament for the remainder of the term. However, he also declined the offer.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2005 election results – Official Count Results – Taupo". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2007. 
  2. ^ Hon. Mark Burton. New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  3. ^ Scoop.co.nz: Labour list 2008.
  4. ^ Taupo results 2008.
  5. ^ "Mark Burton". www.vote.co.nz. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Tizard rejects return to Parliament". The New Zealand Herald. 3 April 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 

Political offices[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Ian Peters
Member of Parliament for Tongariro
1993–1996
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Taupo
1996–2008
Succeeded by
Louise Upston
Political offices
Preceded by
Max Bradford
Minister of Defence
1999–2005
Succeeded by
Phil Goff
Preceded by
Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Annette King

Further reading[edit]

  • Briefing paper, Wellington, [N.Z.]: Local Government New Zealand, 1999–2000 
  • Greener, Peter (ed.) (2005), Push for peace: commemorating the past, reflecting on the present, resolving conflict in the future, Auckland, [N.Z.]: Auckland University of Technology ; Auckland War Memorial Museum, ISBN 1-877314-45-5 
  • Burton's contribution is a paper entitled: " New Zealand defence: playing our part as a responsible world citizen."
  • Ruru, Jacinta (ed.) (2008), In good faith: symposium proceedings marking the 20th anniversary of the Lands case, Wellington, [N.Z.] ; Dunedin, [N.Z.]: New Zealand Law Foundation ; Faculty of Law, University of Otago, ISBN 0-473-13043-2 
  • Burton's contribution is a paper entitled: "Impact on government: a political perspective."