Kelvin Davis (politician)

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Kelvin Davis

Kelvin Davis.jpg
18th Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
Assumed office
1 August 2017
Leader Jacinda Ardern
Preceded byJacinda Ardern
Minister of Corrections
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded by Louise Upston
Minister of Tourism
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded by Paula Bennett
Minister for Crown/Māori Relations
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byOffice created
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
In office
1 August 2017 26 October 2017
LeaderJacinda Ardern
Preceded byJacinda Ardern
Succeeded by Paula Bennett
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Te Tai Tokerau
Assumed office
20 September 2014
Preceded by Hone Harawira
Majority4,807 (19.95%)
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party List
In office
23 May 2014 20 September 2014
Preceded by Shane Jones
In office
8 November 2008 26 November 2011
Personal details
Kelvin Glen Davis

(1967-03-02) 2 March 1967 (age 51)
Kawakawa, New Zealand
Political party Labour Party
Website Labour website

Kelvin Glen Davis (born 2 March 1967) is a New Zealand politician and a member of the House of Representatives who has served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party since 1 August 2017.

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.

Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is the second-most senior politician within the Labour Party in New Zealand. The officeholder deputises for the Leader of the Labour Party at party-specific events. Unlike other political party leaders, the Labour Party's Leader does not have the power to dismiss or appoint their Deputy; both the Leader and Deputy Leader are elected. In all cases where the leadership is vacant, the Deputy Leader shall also serve as Acting Leader until a new leadership election. When the Labour Party forms the Official Opposition the Deputy Leader typically serves as Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

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.


A former teacher, Davis served as a list MP from 2008 to 2011 and again in 2014. He won the electorate of Te Tai Tokerau in the 2014 election. Davis was elected as Labour Deputy Leader two months before the 2017 election, becoming the first deputy of Māori descent. Currently the third ranked member of the Sixth Labour Government, Davis serves as the Minister of Corrections, Minister of Tourism and Minister for Crown/Māori Relations, in addition to an Associate Minister of Education portfolio (Māori Education).

A list MP is a member of parliament (MP) who is elected from a party list rather than from a geographical constituency. Their presence in Parliament is owed to the number of votes that their party won, not to votes received by the MP personally. This occurs only in countries which have an electoral system based on party-list proportional representation.

2008 New Zealand general election election

The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its parliamentary leader John Key, won the largest share of votes and seats, ending nine years of government by the social-democratic Labour Party, led by Helen Clark. Key announced a week later that he would lead a National minority government with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT, United Future and Māori parties. The Governor-General swore Key in as New Zealand's 38th Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. This marked an end to nine years of Labour Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth National Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the Labour Party in the 2017 general election.

Te Tai Tokerau Current New Zealand Māori electorate

Te Tai Tokerau is a New Zealand parliamentary Māori electorate that was created out of the Northern Maori electorate ahead of the first Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) election in 1996. It was first held by Tau Henare representing New Zealand First for one term, and then Dover Samuels of the Labour Party for two terms. From 2005 to 2014, it was held by MP Hone Harawira. Initially a member of the Māori Party, Harawira resigned from both the party and then Parliament, causing the 2011 by-election. He was returned under the Mana Party banner in July 2011 and confirmed at the November 2011 general election. In the 2014 election, he was beaten by Labour's Kelvin Davis, ending the representation of the Mana Party in Parliament.

Early life

Born in Kawakawa on 2 March 1967, [1] and raised in the Bay of Islands, [2] Davis affiliates to the Ngāpuhi iwi. [3] He received his secondary education at the Bay of Islands College from 1980 to 1984. [4] He obtained a Diploma of Teaching from Auckland College of Education (1985–1987) and taught at Koru School in Mangere (1988–1990), Bay of Islands Intermediate School in Kawakawa (1991–1993), before becoming principal of Karetu School (1994–1998). [4] He then held employment with the Education Advisory Service (1998–1999) and the education improvement and development project Te Putahitanga Matauranga (2000). He was then principal of Kaitaia Intermediate School from 2001 to 2007. [4]

Kawakawa, New Zealand Place in Northland Region, New Zealand

Kawakawa is a small town in the Bay of Islands area of the Northland Region of New Zealand. It had a population of 1,221 in 2013, down from 1,347 at the 2006 census and from 1,401 in 2001. Kawakawa developed as a service town when coal was found there in the 1860s, but coal mining ceased in the early 20th century. The economy is now based on farming. The town is named after the kawakawa shrub.

Bay of Islands area in the Northland Region of the North Island of New Zealand

The Bay of Islands is an area on the east coast of the Far North District of the North Island of New Zealand. It is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in the country, and has been renowned internationally for its big-game fishing since American author Zane Grey publicised it in the 1930s. It is 60 km (37 mi) north-west of the city of Whangarei. Cape Reinga, at the northern tip of the country, is about 210 km (130 mi) by road further to the north-west.

Ngāpuhi Māori iwi (tribe) in Aotearoa New Zealand

Ngāpuhi is a Māori iwi located in the Northland region of New Zealand, and centred in the Hokianga, the Bay of Islands, and Whangarei.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
2008 2011 49th List 33 Labour
2014 50th List23 Labour
2014 2017 51st Te Tai Tokerau 18 Labour
2017 present 52nd Te Tai Tokerau2 Labour
Davis in 2009 Kelvin Davis, Labour party MP (cropped).jpg
Davis in 2009

In the 2008 general election Davis stood for Labour in the Te Tai Tokerau seat. He was defeated by the incumbent Hone Harawira of the Mana Party, but was still elected into the 49th New Zealand Parliament by way of the party list. [5]

Hone Harawira New Zealand politician

Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira is a New Zealand Māori activist and former parliamentarian. He was elected to the New Zealand Parliament for the Māori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau in the 2005 general election as the Māori Party candidate. His resignation caused the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, held on 25 June 2011, which he won with a majority of 1117. As Leader of the Mana Movement and Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau, he sat on the front bench in the New Zealand House of Representatives until losing the seat in the 2014 general election.

The Mana Movement is a New Zealand political party led by Hone Harawira which was formed in April 2011, following his resignation from the Māori Party. Harawira won the by-election in Te Tai Tokerau of 25 June 2011 for the Mana Party, and retained the seat during the 2011 general election but lost it in 2014 and 2017 to Labour Party candidate, Kelvin Davis.

49th New Zealand Parliament

The 49th New Zealand Parliament was elected at the 2008 election. It comprised 122 members, including an overhang of two seats caused by the Māori Party having won two more electorate seats than its share of the party vote would otherwise have given it. The Parliament served from 2008 until the November 2011 election.

He was Labour's candidate in the 2011 Te Tai Tokerau by-election and was again defeated by Harawira. He unsuccessfully contested the seat at the general election later in the year. [6] After placing second to Harawira three times and losing his seat at the 2011 election, Davis announced his retirement from politics. [3]

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.

Davis was selected as Labour's candidate for Te Tai Tokerau in the 2014 election. [7] Owing to Shane Jones' resignation from Parliament at the end of May 2014, Davis was eligible to take his place as he was the highest ranking non-MP in Labour's 2011 party list. [8] He was declared elected to parliament on 23 May 2014. [9]

2014 New Zealand general election

The 2014 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 20 September 2014 to determine the membership of the 51st New Zealand Parliament.

Shane Jones New Zealand politician

Shane Geoffrey Jones is a New Zealand politician for the New Zealand First party. He has served as a list MP since 23 September 2017.

The Mana Party formed a coalition with the Internet Party just prior to the 2014 general election. The coalition was registered with the Electoral Commission as the Internet Party and Mana Movement in July 2014, allowing it to contest the party vote. [10] The Internet Party was founded by controversial online millionaire Kim Dotcom, and this strategic coalition resulted in Davis getting endorsements from Winston Peters of New Zealand First [11] and the Prime Minister, John Key of the National Party. [12] Even the electorate's candidate for the Māori Party, Te Hira Paenga, reminded voters of the importance of strategic voting. [13] In his fourth challenge in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, Davis ousted Harawira, which ended the representation of the Mana Party in Parliament. [14]

Following his election, Davis became Labour's corrections spokesperson. In 2015, Davis criticised private prison provider Serco's management of inmates, alleging 'corruption' at the Mount Eden remand facility. Following an inquiry, Serco lost its contract to run the facility and Minister of Corrections Sam Lotu-Iiga was relieved of his post. [15] [3] Davis also criticized the Australian government for its incarceration of New Zealand expatriates facing deportation. Davis has also drawn attention to the disproportionate number of Māori in the New Zealand prison system; with Māori comprising 50.9% of the prison population despite making up 15% of New Zealand's population. [16]

Deputy Leader

On 1 August 2017, Davis was appointed as the new Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, serving under Jacinda Ardern. [3] On 1 September 2017, Ardern corrected Davis after he publicly stated that Labour would campaign on a capital gains tax policy during the 2020 general election rather than implementing it mid-term. [17] [18] On 19 September, Davis indicated that he was willing to sacrifice his position as Deputy Prime Minister in order for Labour to form a coalition government with either New Zealand First or the Green Party. [19] During the 2017 election on 23 September, Davis was re-elected in Te Tai Tokerau and defeated Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira by 4,807 votes. [20]

Following the 2017 election, Davis was appointed Minister for Crown/Māori Relations, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Tourism, and Associate Minister of Education in the Sixth Labour Government. [21]

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  1. Taylor, Alister (1998) [1991]. New Zealand Who’s Who Aotearoa. Wellington: Alister Taylor. ISBN   0-908578-24-5.
  2. "Kelvin Davis". New Zealand Labour Party . Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Davison, Isaac (1 August 2017). "Who is Labour's new deputy leader Kelvin Davis?". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 "Kelvin Davis". Ngati Manu . Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  5. 2008 Election Results
  6. Chapman, Kate (10 May 2011). "Labour contesting Tai Tokerau by-election". . Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  7. "Candidates - Labour Party". 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  8. Vernon Small and Michael Fox (22 April 2014). "Shane Jones 'to quit Labour'". Stuff.
  9. "New list MP for New Zealand Labour Party". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  10. "Registration of Internet Party and MANA Movement logo". Electoral Commission. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  11. Bennett, Adam (21 September 2014). "Election 2014: Winston Peters hits out at National after big poll surge". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  12. McQuillan, Laura (17 September 2014). "Key's subtle endorsement for Kelvin Davis". Newstalk ZB . Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  13. "Davis picking up endorsements". Radio Waatea. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  14. Smith, Simon (20 September 2014). "Davis' win a critical blow for Harawira, Internet Mana". . Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  15. Moir, Jo (28 July 2016). "Labour's Kelvin Davis says Mt Eden prison guard revelations are 'corruption'". . Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  16. White, Di (8 August 2017). "Kelvin Davis is NZ's best hope for prison reform in decades". The Spinoff. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  17. Kirk, Stacey (1 September 2017). "Jacinda Ardern tells Kelvin Davis off over capital gains tax comments". . Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  18. "Kelvin Davis says he's clearer on the party's policies now". Radio New Zealand. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  19. "Kelvin Davis will sacrifice top job". Māori Television. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  20. "Te Tai Tokerau - Official Result". Election Commission. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  21. "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet . Retrieved 26 October 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Jacinda Ardern
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Paula Bennett
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jacinda Ardern
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Hone Harawira
Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau
Political offices
Preceded by
Louise Upston
Minister of Corrections
Preceded by
Paula Bennett
Minister of Tourism
New ministerial post Minister for Crown/Māori Relations