Parliamentary career

David was first elected to Parliament in the 1994 by-election as the Member for Selwyn. He was the Junior Government Whip in 1996 and was promoted to a Minister outside Cabinet in 1998.

Ministerial responsibilities included Minister for Senior Citizens, Associate Minister for Food Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control, Associate Minister for Revenue, and Associate Minister for Education. From 1999 he was the National Party spokesman for Finance, Housing, and Tourism. In 2002 he was made the spokesman for Agriculture, and chaired the Primary Production Select Committee. Following the 2008 General Election, David’s Ministerial responsibilities included Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity and Minister of Forestry.

David was appointed Minister for Primary Industries following the 2011 General Election and Minister of Local Government in early 2012. His interest in local government stems from a long family history in local body politics, with his father serving on the Christchurch City Council for nearly 40 years.


David was born in 1952 and attended St Bede's College in Christchurch. He completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Lincoln University before embarking on a farming and business career.

Previous career

By 1974 David had established New Zealand's first commercial cattle embryo transplant company.  He was instrumental in seeing cattle breeds such as Simmental, Charolais and Limousin established in both New Zealand and Australia.

During the 1980s, David continued his involvement in the agriculture sector, establishing the Avon Park Simmental Stud and serving as the President of the Simmental Cattle Breeders' Society of New Zealand.

Outside of Parliament

Outside of Parliament and his role of Speaker, David farms beef and sheep properties on Banks Peninsula and Cheviot in North Canterbury.  In his spare time, he is a keen aviator and an enthusiastic runner.  In recent years, he has completed the Paris and New York marathons.

Latest news by Rt Hon David Carter

See full archives

Contact Rt Hon David Carter