Hon Damien O'Connor
First elected to Parliament in 1993, Damien served as a Minister in both the fifth and sixth Labour Governments and was Spokesperson in Opposition for a variety of roles, including Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Tourism, Immigration and Health. He is the Minister of Agriculture and Minister for Biosecurity, Food Safety, and Rural Communities. He is also the Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth.
Damien has a background in farming and adventure tourism, which drives his view that we need well-paid, sustainable jobs and industry growth to improve our future. He is a passionate advocate for rural communities and for a thriving agricultural sector.
Damien is an active sportsman, having represented Buller at athletics and has won the West Coast Young Farmer of the Year award. He enjoys sports including skiing, white water rafting, jet boating, motorsports and playing rugby for the New Zealand Parliamentary Team.
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