SPEAKERS | NGĀ KAIKŌRERO
Keynote | Kaikōrero Matua
Born in Roxburgh in 1960, 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 and has experienced both success and failure. He was involved in a number of 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.
He held various Ministerial portfolios in the Helen Clark Labour-led Government including Attorney-General, Energy, Climate Change, Transport, Land Information and State Services. In 2008 he was named by the Listener magazine as Environmentalist of the Year for his work as Minister of Energy and Climate Change. He pioneered New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, then described by many as the most significant environmental reform in NZ for decades.
In opposition his roles included Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and spokesperson on Finance, Trade and Export Growth.
David was named a minister in the Jacinda Ardern-led government after the 2017 election. He was appointed Attorney-General, Minister for Economic Development, Environment, Trade and Export Growth, and Associate Minister of Finance but Minister Phil Twyford assumed the Economic Development role in a minor reshuffle in July.
After the 2020 election, David was reappointed Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister of Finance, as well as being appointed as Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, and Minister of Revenue.
He maintains strong interests in the protection of civil liberties, as well as economic and environmental policy.
David pursues policies which both enhance economic growth and address the growing extremes between rich and poor in New Zealand, while protecting the environment.
David is a keen tramper and skier.