Hon David Bennett

Member of Parliament for Hamilton East | Minister for Food Safety | Minister of Veterans’ Affairs | Minister for Racing

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David is:

  • ​Minister of Food Safety
  • Minister of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Minister of Racing

Growing up on a dairy farm in Te Awamutu, David grew to be passionate about the Waikato. After finishing his secondary education at Hamilton catholic school, St Johns, David went to Victoria University and completed a double degree in law and accounting.

​David’s first job was back in the mighty Waikato, at Hamilton’s KPMG as an accountant.

​However, it wasn’t long before David returned to dairy farming in Te Awamutu. He became a member of the Waikato branch of Federated Farmers, and took on the position of chairman of the Young Farmers. As the chair, David oversaw reforms within the organisation.

​David realised there was a need for Waikato to have an Expressway, so he entered central Government politics in 2005. As a backbencher he chaired the Transport and Industrial Select Committee, and took the opportunity to pitch the Waikato Expressway under the Roads of National Significance, which is three years away from completion.

​David has also been a strong advocate for immigration and how they enhance our multi-cultural part of the world.

In the Bill English-led Government, David was promoted to the position of Minister, Hamilton’s first in 33 years. As Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, David announced the Government was going to make the repatriation policy equitable, and bringing home the bodies of loved ones who had been buried overseas from 1955 to 1971. As Minister of Food Safety he is overseeing the world’s first manuka honey science definition. Finally, in the role of Minister of Racing he is bringing in the first change to racing in ten years, with the drafting of the Racefields legislation.

​In his spare time he enjoys playing football, tennis and squash. David believes fitness is an essential element of keeping the mind fresh in the political game. He still has his dairy farm in Te Awamutu which he also grows figs on.