Questions for the Labour leadership candidates: David Parker

  • 06/11/2014

Four people are vying for the chance to take the reins of the Labour Party and bring it back from one of its worst election losses in history.

The four candidates – Grant Robertson, Nanaia Mahuta, Andrew Little and David Parker – are currently travelling across the country meeting with party members to convince them why they're the best to take Labour's top job. As part of the 3 News coverage of the race, the candidates were given a list of 10 questions to answer.

David Parker is the last in the series, which also featured Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta and Grant Robertson earlier this week.

What do you believe went wrong for Labour in the election?

We lost the vital connection with too many New Zealanders. To reconnect we must unite firstly ourselves and then the country around a common purpose. We can't emphasise everything. I know the road I want to lead Labour on. I will elevate economic fairness; a fair go and a fair share; a rising tide that lifts all boats, not just the super yachts. That's what used to drive Labour and it needs to be updated for today. It starts with reconnecting with working New Zealanders.

Why are you the best person to lead Labour?

I bring credibility. I bring the experience needed to take on John Key.

I have been a leader in law, in business, and in politics. In law I was a managing partner of the South Island’s largest law firm. I have appeared in every court in the land.

In business I took innovative companies from start up to stock exchange listings.

I've been a Minister – Attorney General, Climate Change, Energy, State Services and Lands.

In Opposition, I have restored our fiscal credibility. As Leader I will restore our electability.

What has been your best moment as an MP?

Producing a credible alternative budget that showed that all our promises were paid for, plus we were in surplus.

What has been your worst moment as an MP?

Our election loss - we cannot succeed as a subset of a subset of a subset.

Where is your favourite hidden spot in your hometown? Why is it so great?

Tunnel Beach [near Dunedin] is a beautiful small white sand beach, surrounded by towering cliffs, accessed by a tunnel carved by an early settler for his daughters.

If elected, what will your first priority be?

Reaching outwards to the New Zealanders who we have lost our connection with.

What’s your idea of the perfect summer holiday?

A hot, dry Central Otago day lying on a tarpaulin next to a clean river, listening to the birds, the buzzing of insects and popping of broom pods as I lazily read a good book.

What is your long-term vision for the Labour Party?

A party that New Zealanders are proud to vote for because it stands for opportunity, prosperity and fairness.

What is one skill or talent you have that not many people know about?

I'm a pretty good builder.

When did you know you wanted to get into politics?

I'm not one of those people who was born to be a politician, but I've always been interested in the economic, social and environmental issues that democracy balances. I'm proud that New Zealand has got one of the oldest unbroken democracies in the world and of the role that Labour – New Zealand's oldest political party - serves in it. I've come to the realisation that my life experience and skills mean I have something to offer.

3 News

source: newshub archive