David Clark (New Zealand politician)

Last updated


David Clark

MP
David Clark sawyers bay.jpg
40th Minister of Health
In office
26 October 2017 2 July 2020
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Jonathan Coleman
Succeeded by Chris Hipkins
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Dunedin North
Assumed office
26 November 2011 (2011-11-26)
Preceded by Pete Hodgson
Majority11,754
Personal details
Born (1973-01-05) 5 January 1973 (age 47)
Political party Labour
Spouse(s)Katrina
Children3
Alma mater
Occupation
  • 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 was the Minister for Health until July 2020. [3] [4] Previously he has been Opposition Spokesperson for Small Business and Economic Development. [5]

Contents

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]

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]

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]

Member of Parliament

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

Fifth National Government, 2011–2017

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.

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. [6] [7]

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. [8] [9] [10] [11]

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. [12] This was the first Bill to pass against the Government in four years. [13]

Clark completed an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2013, [14] focusing much of his trip on the priority accorded to the values of fairness and freedom in New Zealand and the United States. [15]

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. [16]

Coalition Government, 2017–present

David Clark was re-elected in Dunedin North during the 2017 general election, securing 21,259 votes and defeating Woodhouse by 11,754 votes. [17] He 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. [18] He currently serves as Minister of Health. [19]

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. [20] On 30 April 2018, Clark conceded that the Government would be unable to deliver on its election promise of reducing General practitioner fees but indicated that it would be introduced in phases over time. [21] [22]

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. [23] [24]

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. [25] [26] Clark subsequently apologized to Counties Manukau DHB chairman Rabin Rabindran for the handling of the Middlemore saga. [27] 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. [28]

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. [29] On 25 July, Clark in his capacity as Health Minister signed a NZ$173.5 million 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. [30] [31] In late July, he 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. [32] [33]

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. [34] 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. [35] [36] On 19 November, he also announced that the Government would establish a NZ$20 million new health centre in the South Island town of Westport. [37]

COVID-19 pandemic

As Minister of Health, David Clark took a leadership role in the Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. In early April 2020, Clark drew media attention and public criticism when he drove to a Dunedin park two kilometres away from his home to ride a mountain bike trail despite the Government's COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Clark later apologised to Prime Minister Ardern for ignoring official guidelines advising against non-essential travel. [38] [39] [40] [41] During the first week of the country's national lock-down he also drove his family twenty kilometres to a nearby beach for a walk. Prime Minister Ardern subsequently announced that Clark offered his resignation, but due to his role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she did not accept it, instead depriving him of his ministerial role as Associate Finance Minister and demoting him to the bottom of Labour's Cabinet ranking. [42]

In late June 2020, Clark attracted media attention and criticism after he said at a press conference "The director-general (Ashley Bloomfield) has accepted that protocols weren't being followed, he has accepted responsibility for that and has set about putting it right", which was interpreted by some as blaming Bloomfield for the Ministry of Health's mismanagement of quarantine following a recent outbreak stemming from overseas travel. [43] [44] The Spinoff 's editor Toby Manhire opined that Clark's "humility bypass" created problems for Prime Minister Ardern's government. [45] Left-wing commentator Chris Trotter described Clark's handling of the situation as "shameful" and called on Ardern to dismiss him from his position. Right-wing commentator Trish Anderson criticised Clark for not " 'pulling his weight' in the government" and criticised Ardern's perceived inaction against him as a "failure of leadership." [46] Clark's Wikipedia article was also vandalised with remarks attacking his handling of the press conference with Bloomfield. [47] [48]

In early July 2020, Clark announced that he was resigning as Minister of Health, stating that "I've always taken a view that the team must come first ... so I've made the call that it's best for me to step aside." Prime Minister Ardern accepted his resignation, stating that she "accepted Clark's conclusion that his presence in the role was creating an unhelpful distraction from the Government's ongoing response to Covid-19 and wider health reforms." [4] [49]

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. [50] [51]

Related Research Articles

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. The party participates in the international Progressive Alliance.

Michael Cullen (politician) New Zealand politician

Sir Michael John Cullen is a former New Zealand politician. He served as Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, also Minister of Finance, Minister of Tertiary Education, and Attorney-General. He was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1996 until November 2008, when he resigned following a defeat in the general election. He resigned from Parliament in April 2009, to become the deputy chairman of New Zealand Post from 1 November 2009 and chairman from 1 November 2010. On 6 March 2020 he announced that he had resigned from the Lakes and Bay of Plenty district health boards respectively. At the same time he also announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 small-cell lung cancer, which had also spread to his liver.

David Cunliffe New Zealand politician

David Richard Cunliffe is a former New Zealand politician who was Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, serving from September 2013 to September 2014. A former Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for New Lynn, he served as the Minister of Health, Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Minister of Immigration for the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand from October 2007 until November 2008.

David Parker (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

David William Parker is a New Zealand politician, a member of the New Zealand Labour Party and a list MP. He acted as interim leader of the Labour Party from September to November 2014. He serves as Attorney-General, Minister of Economic Development, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Trade and Export Growth in the Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand, and previously served as interim leader of the Labour Party, deputy leader of the Labour Party, and a Minister (2005–2008) in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand.

Shane Jones New Zealand politician

Shane Geoffrey Jones is a New Zealand politician. He has served as a New Zealand First list MP since 2017. Jones was previously a Labour MP from 2005 to 2014.

District health board health provider in New Zealand

District health boards (DHBs) in New Zealand are organisations established by the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000, responsible for ensuring the provision of health and disability services to populations within a defined geographical area. They have existed since 1 January 2001, when the Act came into force. There are 20 DHBs. Initially there were 21 DHBs, and this was reduced to the current 20 organisations in 2010. DHBs receive public funding from the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Crown, based on a formula which takes into account the total number, age, socio-economic status and ethnic mix of their population. DHBs are governed by boards, which are partially elected and partially appointed by the minister of Health.

Andrew Little (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

Andrew James Little is a New Zealand politician and former trade union official serving as Minister of Justice and Courts and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations since 2017. He is also the Minister for the Government Communications Security Bureau and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. Little was previously Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition from 2014 to 2017.

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.

Clare Curran New Zealand politician

Clare Elizabeth Curran is a New Zealand politician who has served as a member of the New Zealand Parliament for Dunedin South since 2008. She was the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media and Associate Minister for the Accident Compensation Corporation in the current Labour-led coalition government. In late August 2019, Curran announced that she would be retiring at the 2020 general election.

Michael Woodhouse New Zealand politician

Michael Allan Woodhouse is a National member of the New Zealand Parliament.

Jacinda Ardern 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is a New Zealand politician who has served as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the Labour Party since 2017. She has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mount Albert since March 2017, having first been elected to the House of Representatives as a list MP in 2008.

2020 New Zealand general election national election in new zealand

The 2020 New Zealand general election will be held after the currently elected 52nd New Zealand Parliament is dissolved or expires. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the election date as Saturday 19 September 2020.

52nd New Zealand Parliament meeting of the New Zealand Parliament

The 52nd New Zealand Parliament is the current legislature that opened on 7 November 2017 following the 2017 general election. The New Zealand Parliament comprises the Sovereign and the House of Representatives, which consists of 120 members. Under section 17 of the Constitution Act 1986, Parliament expires three years "from the day fixed for the return of the writs issued for the last preceding general election of members of the House of Representatives, and no longer." With the date for the return of writs for the general election set at 12 October 2017, the 52nd Parliament must be dissolved on or before 12 October 2020.

Clarke Gayford New Zealand radio and television broadcaster

Clarke Timothy Gayford is a New Zealand radio and television broadcaster, presenter of the fishing documentary show Fish of the Day. He is the partner and fiancé of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand Current government of New Zealand

The Sixth Labour Government has governed New Zealand since 26 October 2017. It is headed by Labour Party leader and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in New Zealand

The COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand is part of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The first case of the disease in New Zealand was reported on 28 February 2020. As of 2 July 2020, the country has had a total of 1,530 cases and 22 people have died from the virus, with cases recorded in all twenty district health board (DHB) areas. The pandemic peaked in early April, with 89 new cases recorded per day and 929 active cases. As of 2 July 2020, the country has 18 active cases, where all have been in managed isolation. The country had no new cases reported between 22 May and 16 June 2020, and no active cases between 8 and 16 June 2020.

Heather Simpson is a New Zealand civil servant who was Chief of Staff for Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark for nine years and who worked with Clark for more than 20 years.

Ayesha Jennifer Verrall is a New Zealand infectious diseases physician and researcher with expertise in tuberculosis and international health. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Otago, Wellington, and since 2019 has been a member of the Capital and Coast District Health Board. During the 2019–20 coronavirus epidemic, she provided the New Zealand Ministry of Health with an independent review and recommendations for its contact tracing approach to COVID-19 cases.

Dame Karen Olive Poutasi is a New Zealand government official.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Mitchell, Rob (8 April 2018). "National Portrait: David Clark, Health Minister". The Dominion Post . Stuff. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. 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 . Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "About me". David Clark – New Zealand Labour Party . Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  4. 1 2 "David Clark resigns as Health Minister: 'It's best for me to step aside'". Radio New Zealand . 2 July 2020. Archived from the original on 2 July 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  5. Mackenzie, Dene (26 February 2013). "Rising star David Clark promoted". Otago Daily Times . Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  6. Clark, David (15 February 2012). "In search of a more equal society". Otago Daily Times . Archived from the original on 17 October 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  7. Mackenzie, Dene (15 February 2012). "MP articulates his vision of social justice". Otago Daily Times . Archived from the original on 16 October 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  8. "6300 caught in IRD privacy breaches". The New Zealand Herald . 29 October 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  9. Pullar-Strecker, Tom (7 May 2012). "Glitch hits IRD website". Stuf . Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  10. Shuttleworth, Kate (29 November 2012). "Dunne must front up over IRD privacy breaches – Labour". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  11. "Labour slams Government over Facebook tax loophole". 3 News. 29 November 2012. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  12. Editorial (18 March 2013). "Editorial: Strong case to 'Mondayise' holidays". The Dominion Post . Archived from the original on 11 December 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  13. Shuttleworth, Kate (17 April 2013). "Mondayising bill passes its final hurdle". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  14. "Labour MP awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship". Dunedin Television. 19 September 2013. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  15. Clark, David (3 June 2013). "Fairness the hallmark of our country". Otago Daily Times . Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  16. "Official Count Results – Dunedin North". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 22 January 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  17. "Dunedin North – Official Result". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 16 January 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  18. "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio New Zealand . 20 October 2017. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  19. "Hon Dr David Clark". New Zealand Parliament. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  20. "Health minister Dr David Clark names the three new Auckland DHB chairs". The New Zealand Herald . 29 April 2018. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  21. "GP fee cut: Govt needs to 'prioritise promises' – Minister". Radio New Zealand. 30 April 2018. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  22. "Cuts to doctor's fees may be phased in over time". Radio New Zealand. 29 April 2018. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  23. McNeilly, Hamish (4 May 2018). "Popular tourist attraction Cadbury World closing to make way for $1.4 billion Dunedin Hospital". Stuff . Archived from the original on 19 August 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  24. "Dunedin Hospital announcement: What you need to know". Otago Daily Times . 4 May 2018. Archived from the original on 14 January 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  25. Lynch, Jenna (14 June 2018). "David Clark accused of silencing DHB staff over Middlemore". Newshub. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  26. Moir, Jo (24 April 2018). "Middlemore Hospital: What really went down between health minister and Counties Manukau DHB?". Stuff . Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  27. Bennett, Lucy (18 June 2018). "Health Minister David Clark 'said sorry' to Counties Manukau DHB chairman Rabin Rabindran over Middlemore Hospital saga, correspondence shows". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 8 September 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  28. Small, Zane (19 June 2018). "The Govt has 'put everything on the table' for nurses' pay – Health Minister David Clark". Newshub. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  29. Bennett, Lucy (13 July 2018). "Health Minister David Clark defends holiday in lead-up to nurses' strike". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  30. "Health Minister David Clark signs pay equity agreement". Stuff . 25 July 2018. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  31. Bennett, Lucy (25 July 2018). "Pay equity settlement for mental health and addiction workers signed". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 13 June 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  32. Moger, Laine (27 July 2018). "Safer staffing levels for nurses agreed, Health Minister David Clark says". Stuff . Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  33. "DHBs, nurses reach agreement on staffing levels". The New Zealand Herald . 27 July 2018. Archived from the original on 29 August 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  34. Bennett, Lucy (4 September 2018). "Health Minister David Clark suspends troubled Oracle DHB IT project". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  35. "Government pulls plug on Waikato rural med school". Stuff . 15 November 2018. Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  36. "Plans for third medical school scrapped: Clark". Otago Daily Times . 15 November 2018. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  37. Walls, Jason (19 November 2018). "Health Minister David Clark has committed $20 million for a new health centre in Westport". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 6 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  38. "PM: David Clark 'needs to be a role model'". Radio New Zealand . 5 April 2020. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  39. Manch, Thomas; Cooke, Henry (2 April 2020). "Health Minister drives to local park to ride his mountain bike, amid coronavirus lockdown". Stuff . Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  40. "Coronavirus Covid 19: David Clark apologises to PM for flouting his own Government's lockdown advice". New Zealand Herald . 3 April 2020. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  41. Sachdeva, Sam (4 April 2020). "Clark's biking calamity a sign of wider confusion". Newsroom . Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  42. "David Clark offers to resign after revealing he took a trip to beach during Covid-19 lockdown". Radio New Zealand . 7 April 2020. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  43. "David Clark throws Ashley Bloomfield under the bus, while Bloomfield looks on". Stuff . 25 June 2020. Archived from the original on 24 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  44. "Covid 19 coronavirus: Health Minister David Clark throws Dr Ashley Bloomfield under the bus - as he stands right behind him". New Zealand Herald . 25 June 2020. Archived from the original on 24 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  45. Manhire, Toby (25 June 2020). "David Clark is not responsible". The Spinoff . Archived from the original on 25 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  46. Ensor, Jamie (25 June 2020). "Health Minister David Clark's behaviour 'shameful', Jacinda Ardern needs to act - commentators". Newshub . Archived from the original on 24 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  47. "Health Minister David Clark's Wikipedia entry edited following controversy with Dr Ashley Bloomfield". New Zealand Herald . 26 June 2020. Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  48. "David Clark's Wikipedia changed". Newshub . 26 June 2020. Archived from the original on 27 June 2020.
  49. Coughlan, Thomas (2 July 2020). "David Clark resigns as Health Minister, will contest general election". Stuff . Archived from the original on 2 July 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  50. "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.
  51. "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
2011–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
2017–2020
Succeeded by
Chris Hipkins