A Christian upbringing has instilled a strong sense of social
justice in Dunedin North MP David Clark, who yesterday
pledged to fight for greater equality for New Zealanders.
Delivering his maiden speech in Parliament, Dr Clark, also a
Presbyterian minister, said his motives for becoming a member
of Parliament were partly based on creating greater equality.
• In search of a more
"Sadly, New Zealand has rushed towards greater inequality
over the last 30 years.
The truly wealthy have grabbed a disproportionately large
slice of the economic growth pie - at the expense of other
"We need a broad-based and progressive taxation system that
preserves the Kiwi dream of a country where a little talent
and much hard work provide real opportunities to better one's
Disparities in wealth created strange distortions and
inefficiencies, he said.
That some people had many opportunities while others had few
did not feel right to him.
"For me, this is a gut level response rooted in firmly held
In his speech, Dr Clark acknowledged he had been elected to a
life of public service. The service to which he had been
elected was leadership, which involved listening, discerning,
assisting and decision-making but should never be confused
Politicians ought not to hide behind the term "service"
awaiting a mandate of majority support on every issue,
forgetting, or never realising, the public had elected the
politicians to do a job in good faith on their behalf.
Politicians did not exist to rubber-stamp what the electorate
had already decided but to articulate and share a vision of a
While acknowledging the country's dependence upon the primary
sector, Dunedin's technology firms also received a mention in
the speech - including Taylormade and Scott Technology.
However, there were other "weightless exporters" locally
which illustrated the potential to commercialise science
developed at the University of Otago.
"We need more of this if we are going to prosper as a