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Family Background:

  • Third son of eight children
  • Family business in Bridge Construction


  • AFS Scholar to US, Junior Scholarship, 1st Class Honours, Degree Civil Engineering
  • PhD Canterbury University - Thesis on NZ Landslides

Work and Business Experience:

  • Local Government Engineering, Consulting Engineering, Equipment Hire Business

Community Service:

  • First stood for Council while at High School, three years as District Councillor
  • Strong involvement in sporting and youth organisations.


  • MP for Tasman (1990-1996) | MP for Nelson (1996-2020)
  • Minister for the Environment | Minister for Building and Construction
  • Former Minister of Conservation, Education, Corrections, Local Government, ACC and Climate Change Issues
  • Former Associate Minister of Immigration, Treaty Negotiations and Social Welfare.


  • Kayaking, tennis, tramping, fishing, rugby
  • Completed 1995 Coast to Coast with Rt Hon Bill English
  • Kayaked Cook Strait 1999 with Rt Hon Bill English
  • Completed Rainbow Rage in March 2000