David Carter (politician)

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The Right Honourable
David Carter
David Carter Senate of Poland 2015 01.JPG
29th Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Assumed office
1 February 2013
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Lockwood Smith
Minister for Primary Industries
In office
14 December 2011 – 29 January 2013
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Himself (portfolios merged)
Succeeded by Nathan Guy
Minister for Local Government
In office
3 August 2012 – 29 January 2013
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Nick Smith
Succeeded by Chris Tremain
Minister of Agriculture
In office
19 November 2008 – 14 December 2011
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Jim Anderton
Succeeded by Himself as Minister for Primary Industries
Minister for Biosecurity
In office
19 November 2008 – 14 December 2011
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Jim Anderton
Succeeded by Himself as Minister for Primary Industries
Minister of Forestry
In office
19 November 2008 – 14 December 2011
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Jim Anderton
Succeeded by Himself as Minister for Primary Industries
Minister for Senior Citizens
In office
31 August 1998 – 10 December 1999
Prime Minister Jenny Shipley
Preceded by Robyn McDonald
Succeeded by Lianne Dalziel
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party List
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1952-04-03) 3 April 1952 (age 63)
Nationality New Zealand
Political party National Party
Alma mater Lincoln University
Occupation Farmer

David Cunningham Carter (born 3 April 1952) is a New Zealand National Party politician and currently Speaker of the House, having previously been a cabinet minister.

Early life[edit]

Carter attended St Bede's College in Christchurch, and has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree from Lincoln University. He has farmed sheep and cattle for over 30 years, and established the first commercial cattle-embryo transplant company in New Zealand in 1974.[1]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
1994–1996 44th Selwyn National
1996–1999 45th Banks Peninsula 41 National
1999–2002 46th List 21 National
2002–2005 47th List 4 National
2005–2008 48th List 8 National
2008–2011 49th List 9 National
2011–2014 50th List 10 National
2014 – present 51st List 3 National

Carter stood in the Lyttelton electorate in the 1993 election as a successor to Gail McIntosh, but was defeated by Labour's Ruth Dyson.[2] Carter was first elected to Parliament in the 1994 by-election in Selwyn, replacing the resigning Ruth Richardson. In the 1996 general election he won the Banks Peninsula electorate against Dyson. In the 1999 election he was defeated by Dyson, but entered Parliament as a list MP. In the 2002 election, he failed to recapture the seat and remained a list MP.

From 1998 until the National Party's defeat in 1999 Carter was Minister for Senior Citizens,[3] Associate Minister of Revenue, and Associate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control. At the very end of National's term in office, he was also Associate Minister of Education.

In 2008, Carter was initially chosen as the National candidate for the resurrected safe National seat of Selwyn, but opposition to this saw the National candidacy up for grabs again. He pulled out and the candidacy was eventually won by Amy Adams, who won the seat. Carter was given a high list placing of nine instead and did not contest an electorate.[4][5] After National's election victory, he took the portfolios of Agriculture, Biosecurity and Forestry.[6]

Minister of Agriculture[edit]

In May 2010, Carter issued a ban on kosher slaughter, rejecting the recommendations of his advisers.[7] Carter held shares in a firm that exports meat, and prior to instituting the ban he met senior managers of the firm who wanted a ban on kosher slaughter to reduce their competition.[8]

Minister of Primary Industries[edit]

After the 2011 election, Carter was appointed Minister of the new Ministry of Primary Industries. In November 2012 he approved the increased squid fishery SQU6T by 140%, despite recommendations from scientists and the Department of Conservation that this would be detrimental to the endangered New Zealand sealion.[9]

Speaker of the House[edit]

On 22 January 2013 the Prime Minister[10] announced that Carter was his preference to replace Lockwood Smith as Speaker of the House. Carter's appointment was not without controversy, and the Labour Party questioned whether he actually wanted the job.[11] As the opposition was not consulted, as per convention, Trevor Mallard was nominated by Labour and the position was put to a vote on 31 January 2013. Carter won by 62 votes to 52.[12] Consistent with the tradition of newly elected speakers, Carter had to be "dragged to the chair" following the election.[13] The office of Speaker entitles Carter to the title The Right Honourable following a reform of the New Zealand Honours System in 2010.[14][15]

Carter cited his intention to continue as Speaker, "if that is the will of Parliament," as the basis for his decision to stand as a list-only candidate in the 2014 general election.[16]

On 10 November 2015, Carter controversially failed to acknowledge offence caused to significant numbers of Labour and Green MPs after John Key had accused them of "backing rapists" during a debate about the Christmas Island detention centre.[17]

The following day, he silenced seven MPs that stood up to say they had taken personal offence to John Key's statement as they were victims of sexual abuse and asked him to apologize. Carter did not believe this was warranted and dismissed some of the seven and the remainder walked out.[18]


  1. ^ Slade, Maria (3 November 2008). "Business backgrounds in short supply". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Part 1: Votes recorded at each polling place (Technical report). Chief Electoral Office. 1993. 
  3. ^ "Appointment of Ministers" (1 September 1998) 131 New Zealand Gazette 3190.
  4. ^ "Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties (2008)". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Trevett, Claire (27 February 2008). "National MP Carter steps aside". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Key's Government" (Press release). The New Zealand Herald. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (30 May 2010). "New Zealand Bans Kosher Slaughtering". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Fisher, David (28 November 2010). "MP Carter makes quick u-turn". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Field, Michael (25 November 2012). "Threat to sea lions ignored". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "PM announces changes to Cabinet line-up" (Press release). The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (of New Zealand). 22 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Labour: Carter wrong man for job". 3 News NZ. 29 January 2013. 
  12. ^ (31 January 2013) 687 NZPD 1
  13. ^ Fairfax NZ News reporters (31 January 2013). "Carter elected Speaker of the House". The Press. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Rules for the Grant, Use and Retention of the Title “The Right Honourable” in New Zealand" (23 September 2010) 124 New Zealand Gazette 3251 at 3285.
  15. ^ "The Right Honourable". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Today in politics: Saturday, May 10". Stuff.co.nz. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Speaker Rules on PM's "Rapist" Comments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMWGkfTU7oU
  18. ^ "A Disgraceful Day in Parliament". TV3 News. 11 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Ruth Richardson
Member of Parliament for Selwyn
In abeyance
Title next held by
Amy Adams
New constituency Member of Parliament for Banks Peninsula
Succeeded by
Ruth Dyson
Political offices
Preceded by
Lockwood Smith
Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
2013 – present
Preceded by
Minister for Senior Citizens
Succeeded by
Lianne Dalziel
Preceded by
Jim Anderton
Minister of Agriculture
Ministries merged
Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Forestry
New title
New Ministry
Minister for Primary Industries
Succeeded by
Nathan Guy
Preceded by
Nick Smith
Minister of Local Government
Succeeded by
Chris Tremain