Hon. Damien O'Connor

Minister of Agriculture & Associate Minister of Trade and Export Growth - New Zealand Government

Hon Damien O'Connor is the New Zealand Government's Minister of Agriculture. He is also Minister for Biosecurity, Food Safety and Rural Communities and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth. First elected to Parliament in 1993 he has served as a Minister in both the fifth and sixth Labour Governments, and Spokesperson in Opposition for a variety of roles including Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Tourism, Immigration and Health. Minister O'Connor is a passionate advocate for thriving rural communities and believes New Zealand's ability to sustainably produce high-quality, nutritious food for a growing global population is crucial to the country's economic future. His background in farming and adventure tourism drives his view that New Zealand needs well-paid, sustainable jobs and industry value growth for a better future for all. An active sportsman he has represented Buller at athletics and enjoys skiing, white water rafting, jet boating, motorsports and playing rugby for the New Zealand Parliamentary Team. He has won West Coast Young Farmer of the Year and is also the MP for West Coast- Tasman.


8:45 – 9:05 AM

State of the Nation

The Minister will talk about the Coalition Governments trade priorities, including how trade can be more inclusive and of greater benefit to our wider society, thereby getting more public support for trade. We will then explore what are the trade-offs when doing Free Trade Agreements and what is the focus for the Government once we have a high coverage of FTA's with trading partners?