David Parker has been appointed New Zealand’s new Minister of Transport following the resignation of Michael Wood yesterday.
As Transport Minister, Parker will be responsible for the country’s transport system and how it will achieve emissions targets and grow the economy. He will also oversee a range of other functions that cater to Kiwi road users’ and travelers’ best interests.
He will continue his other roles as New Zealand’s Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Minster of Revenue, and Associate Minister of Finance.
Wood was appointed Minister of Transport in November 2020 but resigned yesterday after it was discovered he had shares in multiple organisations that produced conflicts of interest with his role.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was alerted of Wood’s investments in the JM Fairey Trust the day before. Wood is both a trustee and beneficiary of the trust which holds shares in Chorus, Spark, and the National Australia Bank, parent of the Bank of New Zealand.
Earlier in June, Wood was stood down by the Prime Minister after he failed to disclose shares in Auckland International Airport.
To ensure future Ministers don’t get caught up in similar circumstances in the future, Hipkins announced that he will “tighten up” the process in which they disclose their shareholdings.
“New Zealanders expect and deserve very high standards from Ministers,” Hipkins said in a statement.
“Ministers, for whom it is an honour to have such a role, need to ensure they manage their affairs to the highest standards.”
Wood’s other roles as a Minister have also been redistributed with Carmel Sepuloni becoming Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety and Minister for Auckland, Andrew Little becoming the Minister of Immigration, and Kiri Allan becoming the Associate Finance Minister.