Last Year – 1
As Attorney General David Parker retains his role near the top of the Power List. He also holds the Environment, Revenue, Oceans and Fisheries, and associate Finance ministerial portfolios, as well as being a Labour list MP.
Presiding over the Covid legal response to the pandemic, he was also the first MP to test positive for Covid in February 2022. The various implications of the Covid legislation and the government\s overall approach to the pandemic, including in particular the lengthy Auckland lockdown, has lead to some heated criticism and dimmed the initial glow of glory from locking the borders for those senior Ministers fronting the key aspects of the crisis.
Perhaps his most significant recent role has been attempts’ to unravel the complex mess of decision-making in the Resource Management arena from the country’s surplus of local authorities, a problem in desperate need of a lasting solution. The Attorney General is preparing to – at last – truly reform the RMA in what the Environmental Defence Society says is “arguably the most important environmental review panel of our times.”
Most recently he has also been involved as Deputy Finance Minister in moves to block foreign investors buying into key infrastructure assets, military technology companies and media groups.
But as senior law minister he continues to have a powerful influence over the appointments processes to both the Bench and Bar, noting that the 2019 QC appointments would reflect his view on a reduced number to the ranks of QCs.