David Parker (New Zealand politician)

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The Honourable
David Parker
David Parker NZ.jpg
Parker in 2011
31st Attorney-General
In office
19 October 2005 – 20 March 2006
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Preceded by Michael Cullen
Succeeded by Michael Cullen
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party list
Assumed office
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Otago
In office
2002 – 2005
Preceded by Gavan Herlihy
Succeeded by Jacqui Dean
Majority 684 (2.18%)
Personal details
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Nationality New Zealand
Political party Labour
Children 3[1]
Occupation Lawyer
Website davidparker.co.nz

David William Parker (born 1960) is a New Zealand politician, a member of the New Zealand Labour Party and a list MP. He was interim leader of the Labour Party from September to November 2014. He previously served as Minister of State Services, Minister of Energy, Minister for Land Information and Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand.[2]

Before politics[edit]

David Parker was born in Roxburgh and grew up in Dunedin. He attended the University of Otago, studying law and business, and co-founded the Dunedin Community Law Centre.[3]

Before entering politics, Parker worked as a litigation partner in the law firm Anderson Lloyd Caudwell. He later had a business career in the agri-biotechnology field, including with Blis Technologies, where he was a manager.[4][5]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2002–2005 47th Otago 47 Labour
2005–2008 48th List 37 Labour
2008–2011 49th List 17 Labour
2011–2014 50th List 4 Labour
2014–present 51st List 2 Labour

Parker first gained election to Parliament as a Labour member in the 2002 elections, winning an upset victory over National's Gavan Herlihy in the Otago seat. In the 2005 elections the National candidate Jacqui Dean defeated him in his Otago electorate seat, but he returned to the House due to his position on the Labour list. In the 2008 general election Parker and Dean both stood in the resurrected Waitaki electorate, with Dean winning by over 11,000 votes.[6] Nevertheless, due to his list position he was still returned to parliament. In the 2011 election, Parker stood in the Epsom electorate, where he came third behind ACT New Zealand's John Banks and National's Paul Goldsmith, but was again returned as a list MP.[7] In the 2014 election, Parker did not contest an electorate, but was number two on the Labour list.[8]

Attorney-General and Minister[edit]

He served as Attorney-General and Minister of Transport and Energy from 2005 until March 2006. He resigned his position as Attorney-General on 20 March 2006 after an allegation that he had filed an incorrect declaration with the Companies Office on behalf of the property company Queens Park Mews Limited. On 21 March Parker also resigned his place in Cabinet as Minister of Energy, Minister of Transport, and Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues.[9] An inquiry by the Companies Office cleared him of the charge of filing false returns.[10]

Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, re-appointed Parker to the Energy and Climate Change portfolios and to the Land Information portfolio on 2 May 2006. (The Attorney-General portfolio remained with Michael Cullen, and Annette King took over Parker's former Transport portfolio.)

In July 2007 Clark appointed Parker as the acting Minister for the Environment following the resignation of David Benson-Pope.[11]


Following Labour's defeat in the 2008 general election, Parker became the Opposition spokesperson on Conservation, ACC and Shadow Attorney-General. On 15 June 2010, Opposition Leader Phil Goff appointed Parker to be Portfolio Spokesperson for Economic Development, a position formerly held by Shane Jones, and shifted the portfolio of Conservation to Chris Carter.

Parker ran for the party leadership in 2011, but withdrew part-way through the contest to support David Shearer's bid.

Parker then became the Labour spokesperson for Finance and the shadow Attorney-General (from February 2013).

From 17 September 2013, Parker was the deputy leader of the Labour Party. He retained his finance portfolio.

Following the poor performance of the Labour Party in the 2014 general election, and the eventual resignation of David Cunliffe as leader, Parker was appointed interim leader of the Labour Party. He then unsuccessfully ran in the 2014 Labour Party leadership election and he came third in the leadership election behind Grant Robertson.[12]


  1. ^ Small, Vernon (2 April 2011). "David Parker: MP who could be Labour's king". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ministerial List for Announcement on 31 October 2007" (DOC) (Press release). New Zealand Government. 31 October 2007. 
  3. ^ "Candidate profile:David Parker". 3 News. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "About". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hon David Parker". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Waitaki results 2008.
  7. ^ "Official Count Results – Epsom". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Labour List for the 2014 Election Announced" (Press release). New Zealand Labour Party. Scoop. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Parker quits all Cabinet posts". The New Zealand Herald. 21 March 2006. 
  10. ^ Audrey Young (27 April 2006). "Parker heads back into the Cabinet". The New Zealand Herald. 
  11. ^ Rt. Hon Helen Clark, 27 July 2007, Acting Ministers in portfolios, New Zealand Government Press Release, retrieved 25 November 2007.
  12. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/63305825/Andrew-Little-new-Labour-Party-leader-by-a-whisker

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dr Michael Cullen
Succeeded by
Dr Michael Cullen
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Gavan Herlihy
Member of Parliament for Otago
Succeeded by
Jacqui Dean
Political offices
Preceded by
Grant Robertson
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Annette King
Party political offices
Preceded by
Grant Robertson
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Annette King