The New Zealand First Team
Denis O'Rourke, Candidate for Banks Peninsula
Denis O'Rourke has lived his whole life in Christchurch, 35 years on Mount Pleasant, and grew up in Waltham in a well provided-for home, but having seen around him the effects of poverty, inadequate education opportunities and sub-standard health facilities on poor households.
He has therefore always strived for a fairer more egalitarian society, and also believes in a realistic balance between the need for environmental sustainability and a prosperous job-rich economy, based on a fair minimum living wage, excellent access to free high-quality public services, and a reduction in the tax burden especially for low-income people – including the removal of GST from household rates and staple foods.
He is an experienced lawyer businessman and politician: 30 years a barrister and solicitor,15 years a Christchurch City Councillor, 6 years a New Zealand First MP, and with many former directorships in commercial companies and crown agencies, including Christchurch International Airport, Transwaste Canterbury, and Postbank, and also the Disputes Tribunal, the Legal Aid Review Panel, and as chairman of the Recovered Materials Foundation. He is currently serving as a member of the Board of Maritime New Zealand, a member of the Electricity Rulings Panel, chairman of the Central Plains Water Trust, and a member of the Resource Management Reference Group providing advice to government on the revision of the Resource Management Act.
He has a long-standing interest and expertise in environmental sustainability issues, especially water, waste and recycling, and he promoted practical consensus-based climate change policies in the 51 st parliament. Other specialist areas include housing, in which he seeks to assist first home buyers and second-chancers into homeownership by reintroducing state loan-funding on easy terms. Another priority is for government investment in new employment opportunities in sustainable industries and in new areas such as the arts, film and entertainment, and especially by investing in scientific research in areas where we can excel, developing new technology-based industries.
He also believes in putting New Zealand’s people first by maintaining strong border security, developing stronger regional economies through New Zealand First’s Regional Development Fund, better-targeted government assistance for the development of small and medium business, and an immigration policy strictly targeted to genuine labour and skills shortages, while always looking after the elderly and all vulnerable groups.
He is a very strong debater and is proud of New Zealand First’s independent and ideology-free policies, as well as its proven ability to work well with other parties for a stable government that gets things done, and believes that this is a time for voters to focus on it as a party that can be relied upon to deliver continuity, security and prosperity, as well as a healthy environment.