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CV for Hon Richard (Rick) Barker

Hon Richard (Rick) Barker

Nationality: New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 444 2 555
Language: English
Current Position: Consultant

Current Work

  • Chief Crown Negotiator on behalf of the Government with the Hauraki and Maratuahu collectives for the 10 pare Hauraki iwi and Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, having completed negotiations for Te Atiawa, and Ngaruahine in Taranaki and Rangitane ki Wairarapa, to bring about an enduring settlement of outstanding grievances under the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Hawke's Bay Regional Council Deputy Chair, elected October 2013 to represent the Hastings constituency.
  • Industrial relations negotiations including contracts and personal grievances settlements.
  • Business consulting; locating investment opportunities.

Summary of Professional Competencies

  • Experience in leadership at varied levels, at political level as Party Whip, as Minister and Associate Minister. Prior to joining politics also held senior roles in a number of New Zealand union organisations.
    Strategic thinker and proven ability to drive change for improved policy outcomes.
  • Excellent analytical and research skills, including recent experience whilst studying towards Master of Public Policy.
  • Excellent negotiation and relationship management – both nationally and internationally.
  • An ethical and sensitive approach to understanding cultural, religious, ethnic, gender and disability issues.
  • A reputation as a high achiever with exceptional work ethic.

Areas of Substantial Knowledge

  • Parliament Process: as a Government Minister, Senior Whip and member of range of parliamentary committees.
  • Justice and Border Control: as a Minister for Courts (5 years), Associate Minister of Justice (four years) and Minister of Customs (3 years).
  • Social Services: range of Minister and Associate Minister roles between 2002 – 2008.

Areas of Expertise


  • Relationship Management
  • Media & Risk Management


  • Strategy
  • Public Speaker

Tactical Negotiator

  • Change Agent
  • Government Process

Political Experience 1993 - 2011

Elected a Member of Parliament in 1993 and over recent years has held a number of key roles both inside and outside of cabinet.

Recent Roles

  • Senior Labour Whip
  • Assistant Speaker House of Representatives
  • Member of Parliamentary Service Committee
  • Parliament Business Committee
  • Parliament Standing Orders Committee
  • Member, Law and Order Committee
  • Spokesperson, Courts,
  • Spokesperson, Veterans’ Affairs
  • Assistant Speaker

Key Parliamentary Roles

  • Minister of Customs, Aug 2002 - Oct 2005
  • Minister for Courts, Oct 2003 - Nov 2008
  • Minister of Veteran’s Affairs, Oct 2005 - Nov 2008
  • Minister of Internal Affairs, Oct 2005 - Nov 2008
  • Minister of Civil Defence, Oct 2005 - Nov 2008
  • Minister for Small Business, Dec 2004 - Oct 2005
  • Minister of Youth Affairs, Nov 2004 - Dec 2004
  • Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Aug 2004 - Oct 2005
  • Associate Minister of Social Development and Employment, May 2003 - Oct 2005
  • Associate Minister of Justice, Aug 2002 - Oct 2005 Nov 2007 – Nov 2008
  • Senior Government Whip, 1999 - 2002
  • Member of the Officers of Parliament Select Committee, Mar 1997 - Oct 1999
  • Junior Government Whip, 1996 - 1999

Example of Key Achievements during Political Career

Minister for Courts, October 2003 - November 2008

  • Played a key role in taking a poorly funded and dispirited Courts system and refocused it to a service focused organisation. Secured baseline funding to enable a significant programme of work to upgrade Court facilities which included building an extensive Court facility in Auckland.
  • Sign off Minister for the design and funding for the construction of the new Supreme Court opened in 2010.
  • Through tactical encouragement assisted the Department of Courts to take Information Technology back “in house” and develop a rigorous strategic plan. This included passing legislation for infringements to be filed electronically saving millions of manual paper possessing per annum.
  • Successfully achieved support to pass legislation for the use of video conferencing in Courts and over saw the digitalisation of a centrally run transcription service that resulted in a 30% plus reduction in Court time for long cases.

Minister of Veteran’s Affairs, October 2005 - November 2008

  • Signed with the Minister of Defence the historic Memorandum of Understandings with the Ex Vietnam Services Association and the New Zealand Returned Services Association settling decades of grievances.
  • Initiated the re-write of the War Pensions Act 1954, largely untouched since it was passed. This work was led by Sir Geoffrey Palmer and a Bill will come to the House a Bill that reflects consequences of conflict and the States responsibility in a modern context.

Minister of Civil Defence, October 2005 - November 2008

  • Oversaw increased funding and reorganisation of Civil Defence at the national level resulting in a strengthened capability to respond to national disasters.
  • Required the running of two simulated national disasters exercises to test and prove Civil Defences capability. Exercises such as these had not been carried out for a decades.

Associate Minister of Justice, August 2002 - October 2005

Successfully negotiated with political parties an agreement to legislate and overhaul the depositions process for trials. This has reduced the number of oral depositions by 97% speeding up the trial process for both victims and defendants and freeing up court rooms for all other cases in the queue.

Responsible for advising the Governor General in the exercise of the Royal Prerogative if Mercy.

Minister of Customs, August 2002 - October 2005

  • Successful in securing funding to increase staff numbers and invest in modern x-ray equipment to key ports within New Zealand to assist the organisation to face emerging threats and the new trade environment. The increase to Customs baseline also allowed the establishment of key posts in Washington and Beijing.
  • Gained support for the legislation for obtaining funding for the New Customs Service Trade Security Programme. Took part in New Zealand Customs providing an assurance to the United States Homeland Security on the security of cargo out of New Zealand in the form of a bilateral Trade Security Agreement. This agreement was unique at the time of signing and was to become world best practice.

Conference and Seminar Presentations – International

  • Leading a seminar for Whips of the Fiji Parliament hosted in Melbourne 2016
  • International Observer for the elections in Fiji September 2014
  • International Observer for the elections in Guinea Bissau April 2014
  • International Observer for the Referendum on the political status of the Falkland Islands March 2013
  • Presenter to the Papua New Guinea Induction Programme for new MPs (Port Moresby, August 2012) focusing on; separation of powers, the role of an MP, the role of opposition and Parliamentary processes.
  • Presenter at The Vanuatu MP induction programme (Port Villa November 2012), focusing on; separation of powers, the role of the legislature and executive, Parliamentary processes, role of the opposition, select committee, House procedures including questions, urgent debates and inquiries, and the role of individual the MP in and out of the House.
  • Presenter at the Parliamentary Seminar, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (2011), Topics included: Ethics and Accountability of Members, Parliamentary Privileges, Roles of the Residing Office and other officials, and the Role of the Opposition.
  • Presenter at Australian New Zealand School of Government, Executive Master of Public Administration Course - The Role of Political Advisors in Ministerial Offices, 2011
  • Lead the New Zealand delegation to monitor the elections in Timor L’este August 2001

Previous Career Experience

  • Executive Member, NZ Council of Trade Unions and Federation of Labour
  • National Secretary, Service Workers’ Union
  • Secretary, Northern Hotel, Hospitality and Restaurant Workers’ Union
  • Secretary, Otago Hotel Workers’ Union
  • Various roles in hospitality, agriculture, construction and transport

Professional Qualifications

  • Masters of Public Policy, Victoria University, Wellington, 2011
  • Qualified Resource Management Act hearings panelist.