David Clark (New Zealand politician)

Last updated

David Clark

David Clark sawyers bay.jpg
40th Minister of Health
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Jonathan Coleman
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Dunedin North
Assumed office
26 November 2011 (2011-11-26)
Preceded by Pete Hodgson
Personal details
Born (1973-01-05) 5 January 1973 (age 46)
Political party Labour Party
Alma mater
  • Treasury analyst [2]
  • Presbyterian minister [2]
Website www.davidclark.org.nz

David Scott Clark (born 5 January 1973) is a New Zealand Labour Party politician who is the Member of Parliament for Dunedin North. He is the Minister for Health. [3] Previously he has been Opposition Spokesperson for Small Business and Economic Development. [4]

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

New Zealand House of Representatives Sole chamber of New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.

Dunedin North (New Zealand electorate)

Dunedin North is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament (MP) to the New Zealand House of Representatives. It was established for the 1905 election and has existed since. It is currently held by David Clark of the New Zealand Labour Party, who replaced the long-standing representative Pete Hodgson. It is considered a safe Labour seat, with Labour holding the seat for all but one term (1975–1978) since 1928.


Early life

Clark grew up in Beachlands, just south of Auckland, and was schooled in Auckland. [2] He studied at Saint Kentigern College and spent his last year on a school exchange in Germany, immersing himself in the German language. [1]

Beachlands, New Zealand Suburb in Auckland Council, New Zealand

Beachlands is an outer suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, established in the 1920s, where development increased in the 1950s due to its popularity as a beach holiday destination. It is located on the "Pohutukawa Coast" and in close proximity to Maraetai. The two areas have a combined population of 6,768.

Saint Kentigern College

Saint Kentigern College is a private co-educational Presbyterian secondary school in the Suburb of Pakuranga on the eastern side of Auckland, New Zealand, beside the Tamaki Estuary. It is operated by the Saint Kentigern Trust Board which also operates Saint Kentigern Boys' School, Saint Kentigern Girls' School and Saint Kentigern Preschool based in 2 different campuses in Remuera.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

In 1991, Clark moved to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago. He initially studied medicine but abandoned that in favour of pursuing degrees in theology and philosophy. Clark also studied theology and philosophy at Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen. [1] [2]

University of Otago university in New Zealand

The University of Otago is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.

University of Tübingen public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

The University of Tübingen, officially the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, is a public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Tübingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 30 km (19 mi) south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers. As of 2014 about one in three people living in Tübingen is a student.

Ordained in 1997, Clark is a Presbyterian minister. [3] He worked as the Assistant Minister at St Lukes Presbyterian Church in Auckland. [2] He was the celebrant at the civil union of MP Grant Robertson. [3] Clark later returned to the University of Otago and completed a PhD on the work of German/New Zealand refugee and existentialist thinker Helmut Herbert Hermann Rex. He has also worked as a Treasury analyst and the warden of Selwyn College at the University of Otago. [3] [1] Before his election to Parliament, Clark served as deputy chair of the Otago Community Trust. [3]

Grant Robertson New Zealand politician

Grant Murray Robertson is a New Zealand Labour politician who has been the Minister of Finance since 2017 and the Member of Parliament for Wellington Central since 2008.

Helmut Herbert Hermann Rex was a New Zealand Presbyterian theologian and lecturer.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
2011 2014 50th Dunedin North 49 Labour
2014 2017 51st Dunedin North26 Labour
2017 present 52nd Dunedin North9 Labour

Fifth National Government, 20112017

After serving as chairman on the Labour Party Dunedin North electorate committee, Clark was selected by the Labour Party to replace the retiring Pete Hodgson in the electorate. [2] He won the seat at the 2011 election securing 12,976 votes (44.25 percent), 3489 more than his closest rival.

Pete Hodgson New Zealand politician

Peter Colin Hodgson is a New Zealand politician. He is a member of the Labour Party.

2011 New Zealand general election election in New Zealand

The 2011 New Zealand general election on Saturday 26 November 2011 determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.

Clark's maiden parliamentary speech focused on his concern about rising inequality and his passion for social justice. In it, he argued that a more equal society will produce better outcomes, both socially and economically. [5] [6]

During his time as revenue spokesperson, he drew attention to difficulties the dated Inland Revenue computer system was creating for the organisation, and the small amounts that multinational companies were contributing to the tax base. [7] [8] [9] [10]

Clark shot to early prominence as the sponsor of the popular ‘Mondayising’ Bill that saw additional public holidays set aside in years when Waitangi Day and Anzac Day fall on a weekend. [11] This was the first Bill to pass against the Government in four years. [12]

Clark completed an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2013, [13] focusing much of his trip on the priority accorded to the values of fairness and freedom in New Zealand and the United States. [14]

Clark stood again in Dunedin North for the 2014 general election securing 16,315 votes (46.44 percent), 5917 more than his closest rival National List MP Michael Woodhouse, and thus increasing his majority. [15]

Coalition Government, 2017present

David Clark was re-elected in Dunedin North during the 2017 general election, securing 21,259 votes and defeating Woodhouse by 11,754 votes. [16] Clark was elected as a Cabinet Minister by the Labour Party caucus following Labour's formation of a government with New Zealand First and the Greens. [17] He currently serves as Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Finance. [18]

In late April 2018, Clark appointed three new chairs to head Auckland's three district health boards: Pat Snedden for the Auckland District Health Board, Judy McGregor for the Waitemata District Health Board, and Vui Mark Gosche for the Counties Manukau District Health Board. These appointments replace Lester Levy, who had headed all three boards and resigned in December 2017. [19] On 30 April 2018, Clark conceded that the Government would be unable to deliver on its election promise of reducing General practioner fees but indicated that it would be introduced in phases over time. [20] [21]

On 4 May 2018, Clark announced that the Dunedin Public Hospital would be replaced by a new hospital on the site of the former Cadbury factory site and a neighbouring block that included the building occupied by Work and Income. The construction project is estimated to cost NZ$1.4 billion, would involve around a thousand workers, and is expected to be completed by 2026. [22] [23]

In mid-June 2018, Clark received criticism from employees of the Counties Manukau District Health Board for allegedly trying to silence their reports of run-down buildings, asbestos, and overflowing sewage at Middlemore Hospital. Clark has denied these allegations and expressed criticism for staff communicating through the media rather than through official channels. [24] [25] Clark subsequently apologized to Counties Manukau DHB chairman Rabin Rabindran for the handling of the Middlemore saga. [26] That same month, Clark defended the Government's $500 million pay offer to nurses after the national union, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, voted to go on strike. [27]

In mid-July 2018, Clark was forced to publicly defend his decision to go on a family holiday prior to a planned national strike by the Nurses Organisation. [28] On 25 July, Clark in his capacity as Health Minister signed a NZ$173.5 pay equity agreement to pay 5,000 mental health and addiction workers more. Other co-signatories and interested parties included union representatives from the E tū and the Public Service Association as well as the Ministry of Social Development and the Accident Compensation Corporation. [29] [30] In late July, Clark announced that the District Health Boards, Nurses Organisation, and the Ministry of Health had successfully negotiated a joint accord to ensure safe staffing levels for nurses. [31] [32]

In early September 2018, Clark suspended the troubled Oracle IT project to overhaul the District Health Boards' ageing IT systems. The troubled project had cost NZ$100 million. [33] In mid-November, Clark announced that the Government had scrapped plans for a proposed third medical school in the Waikato Region on the grounds that the project would have cost billions to set up and operate. [34] [35] On 19 November, Clark also announced that the Government would establish a NZ$20 million new health centre in the South Island town of Westport. [36]

Personal life

Clark is married to Katrina, and they have three children. His brother, Ben, stood for Labour in the North Shore at the 2011 election, placing second behind Maggie Barry. During his university years Clark was a competitive cyclist and has twice completed the New Zealand Ironman. [37] [38]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Mitchell, Rob (8 April 2018). "National Portrait: David Clark, Health Minister". The Dominion Post . Stuff.co.nz . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Loughrey, David (27 September 2010). "From minister to standing for MP". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "About me". David Clark – New Zealand Labour Party . Retrieved 5 July 2017.
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  5. Clark, David (15 February 2012). "In search of a more equal society". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
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  14. Clark, David (3 June 2013). "Fairness the hallmark of our country". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  15. "Official Count Results – Dunedin North". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  16. "Dunedin North - Official Result". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  17. "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  18. "Hon Dr David Clark". New Zealand Parliament . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  19. "Health minister Dr David Clark names the three new Auckland DHB chairs". New Zealand Herald . 29 April 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
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  21. "Cuts to doctor's fees may be phased in over time". Radio New Zealand. 29 April 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  22. McNeilly, Hamish (4 May 2018). "Popular tourist attraction Cadbury World closing to make way for $1.4 billion Dunedin Hospital". Stuff.co.nz . Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  23. "Dunedin Hospital announcement: What you need to know". Otago Daily Times. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  24. Lynch, Jenna (14 June 2018). "David Clark accused of silencing DHB staff over Middlemore". Newshub . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  25. Moir, Jo (24 April 2018). "Middlemore Hospital: What really went down between health minister and Counties Manukau DHB?". Stuff.co.nz . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  26. Bennett, Lucy (18 June 2018). "Health Minister David Clark 'said sorry' to Counties Manukau DHB chairman Rabin Rabindran over Middlemore Hospital saga, correspondence shows". New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  27. Small, Zane (19 June 2018). "The Govt has 'put everything on the table' for nurses' pay - Health Minister David Clark". Newshub . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  28. Bennett, Lucy (13 July 2018). "Health Minister David Clark defends holiday in lead-up to nurses' strike". New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  29. "Health Minister David Clark signs pay equity agreement". Stuff.co.nz. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  30. Bennett, Lucy (25 July 2018). "Pay equity settlement for mental health and addiction workers signed". New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  31. Moger, Laine (27 July 2018). "Safer staffing levels for nurses agreed, Health Minister David Clark says". Stuff.co.nz . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  32. "DHBs, nurses reach agreement on staffing levels". New Zealand Herald . 27 July 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  33. Bennett, Lucy (4 September 2018). "Health Minister David Clark suspends troubled Oracle DHB IT project". New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  34. "Government pulls plug on Waikato rural med school". Stuff.co.nz. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  35. "Plans for third medical school scrapped: Clark". Otago Daily Times . 15 November 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  36. Walls, Jason (19 November 2018). "Health Minister David Clark has committed $20 million for a new health centre in Westport". New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  37. "Athlete Tracker – IRONMAN.com | Official Site of IRONMAN, IRONMAN 70.3, 5i50, Iron Girl and IRONKIDS | Triathlon Races | Official IRONMAN Merchandise | IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii". IRONMAN.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  38. "Athlete Tracker – IRONMAN.com | Official Site of IRONMAN, IRONMAN 70.3, 5i50, Iron Girl and IRONKIDS | Triathlon Races | Official IRONMAN Merchandise | IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii". IRONMAN.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Pete Hodgson
Member of Parliament for Dunedin North
Political offices
Preceded by
Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health