|Member of the New Zealand Parliament |
30 November 2011
|Preceded by||Allan Peachey|
|Born||25 February 1976|
|Political party||National Party|
Rachel Trimble(m. 2016)
|Relations||Simon Bridges (brother-in-law)|
|Committees||Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade|
|Portfolio||Spokesperson for customs. Associate spokesperson for housing (social). Associate spokesperson for social development.|
Simon David O'Connor(born 25 February 1976) is a New Zealand politician and a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a member of the National Party and is spokesperson for customs, and associate spokesperson for housing (social) and social development. He is also Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade committee.
O'Connor was raised in Whangarei, the eldest of three children, where he attended St Mary's Primary School and Pompallier College.
He was a keen fencer and was president of the Auckland University Fencing Club.
He completed training to be a Catholic priest, which involved working on the island of Taveuni in Fiji for two years at a vocational training centre, prison chaplaincy at Mount Eden Prison, military chaplaincy at Waiouru Army Base, and spending time with people in hospitals and hospices. He didn't seek ordination, deciding instead to study and pursue a career in politics.
He has completed four degrees including a Bachelor of Geography and Political Studies, an Honours in Political Studies looking at the works of Rene Girard, a Bachelor of Theology, and a Master of Arts in Political Studies. He has also worked as a contracts manager for Southern Cross Insurance.
He was the chairperson of Monarchy New Zealand between 2010 and 2012 and remains a board member.
|New Zealand Parliament|
O'Connor has been involved in the National Party since 2005, and was Deputy Chair of the Northern Region of the National Party prior to seeking the National Party nomination for Maungakiekie in 2008. He lost the selection contest to Sam Lotu-Iiga, who went on to win the seat. However, O'Connor was appointed as a list candidate for National in the 2008 general election and was selected as National's candidate in the Tāmaki electorate following the withdrawal of sitting MP Allan Peachey shortly before the 2011 elections.
From October 2014 to August 2017 he was Chair of the Health Select Committee where he chaired the then-largest enquiry in New Zealand Parliament's history, into euthanasia. He has also served as Deputy Chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee and spokesperson for corrections.
In terms of conscience votes, in 2012 O'Connor opposed raising the drinking age from 18, and in 2013 opposed the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand.In 2015 he opposed a bill which would ban street prostitution, in 2016 supported a bill to allow Easter Sunday trading, and in 2017 opposed the End of Life Choice Bill.
In August 2015, O'Connor uploaded a Facebook video in which he looked at the 40 alternative flag designs shortlisted by the Flag Consideration Panel and responded with "no" to each flag until he turned to the current flag and said "yes".
On 10 September 2017, two weeks before the general election and on World Suicide Prevention Day, O'Connor posted on Facebook that it was "strange" how Labour leader Jacinda Ardern was "concerned about youth suicide" but was "happy to encourage the suicide of the elderly, disabled, and sick" by way of her support of the End of Life Choice Bill.The post was condemned by some politicians and social media.
During the 2017 general election in September, O'Connor was re-elected in the Tāmaki electorate, defeating Labour candidate Sam McDonald by 15,042 votes.
In February 2018, as part of his responsibilities as Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee Chair, he travelled to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit New Zealand troops.
In March 2020, he attracted attention for a statement he made as part of his speech in opposition to the third reading of the Abortion Legislation Bill, where he repeated a quotation from the Bible in Latin: "Mihi vindicta: ego retribuam, dicit Dominus," which is translated as "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” The contrast between this and the criticisms of the bill's opponents in the speech given in support of it by Amy Adams was noted by journalist Richard Harman as a public expression of deep divisions on the issue between liberals and conservatives within the National Party caucus.
On 10 December 2016, he married Rachel Trimble, the sister of fellow National MP Simon Bridgesand has five step children.
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|New Zealand Parliament|
| Member of Parliament for Tāmaki |