about

About Chris

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Chris was born in 1956 and grew up in Wellington. After college, he attended Victoria University, Wellington, graduating with a BA in Latin and French and a Masters Degree in Law. Chris has practised law in Wellington for over 25 years, first in a firm called Brandons where he was a partner for a number of years then, from 1990 – 2002, as a partner at Bell Gully in Wellington. In 2003 Chris became a barrister sole.

Over the years, Chris has represented clients in all of New Zealand’s Courts and Tribunals, including nine appearances in the Privy Council. He is currently a member of the Rules Committee of the High Court which regulates court procedures in New Zealand. For many years he maintained his links to academic life through part-time teaching at Victoria University’s Law Faculty.

Chris served on Creative New Zealand’s Board for six years and Chaired the Arts Board from 1998 – 2001. He was also Trustee of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Foundation and is well known for his sponsorship of the arts.

Chris entered Parliament in 2005 and at various stages of his career he has been a Branch, Electorate and Regional Chair of the National Party. He continues to sit on the Rules Committee of the National Party and as the Chairman of the Policy Consultation Committee.

Chris was appointed Attorney-General, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage following the 2008 election. He was reappointed to these positions in 2011 and was also made Associate Minister of Maori Affairs.

After the 2014 election, Chris was reappointed Attorney-General, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Associate Minister of Maori Development he was also made the Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service and Minister Responsible for the GCSB.

portfolios

Portfolios

Chris holds a number of Ministerial responsibilities in the National-led Government and serves as a member of Cabinet.

Attorney-General

Attorney-General

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NZ Security Intelligence Service & GCSB

NZ Security Intelligence Service & GCSB

Minister View Details
Treaty Negotiations

Treaty Negotiations

Minister View Details
Maori Development

Maori Development

Associate Minister View Details
Attorney-General

Attorney-General

As Attorney-General, I am Minister responsible for the Crown Law Office and the Parliamentary Counsel Office. I am also senior law officer of the Crown, which means I am the principal legal adviser to the Government with similar responsibilities to those of any legal adviser towards a client. My role includes giving legal advice and encouraging Ministerial colleagues to seek appropriate legal advice in the course of Government decision-making. In addition, I have overall responsibility for the conduct of all legal proceedings involving the Crown.

The Solicitor-General is junior law officer of the Crown and Chief Executive of Crown Law. This is a politically neutral public service position.

NZ Security Intelligence Service & GCSB

NZ Security Intelligence Service & GCSB

Minister
Treaty Negotiations

Treaty Negotiations

Minister

Treaty settlements are as much about recognition and healing as they are about recompense. Settlements address our past and invest in a common future.

This work has been my responsibility as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations since 2008. Good progress has been made to resolve historical grievances in that time.

After three years of steady acceleration, the government has now reached an unprecedented pace in the settlement of historic Treaty claims. This is a result of the government’s goal of reaching full and final settlements in a timely fashion, and a recognition that New Zealanders want to see these historical grievances settled so we can move on – as one country.

Maori Development

Maori Development

Associate Minister

Contact

Get in touch with my Parliament Office