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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

This page provides profile and contact information for Councillor David Benson-Pope.


David was born in St Kilda and educated at St Clair, Tahuna, King’s High, and Otago University, graduating with an Honours Degree in Languages and Classics. He is the former Head of Languages and Outdoor Education at Bayfield High School.

David was a Dunedin City Councillor from 1986 – 1999 and MP for Dunedin South until 2008.

During his time in parliament, David held the following Ministerial Positions:

  • Minister of Fisheries
  • Associate Justice Minister
  • Minister Responsible for the Law Commission
  • Associate Minister for the Environment
  • Associate Minister of Education (Schools)
  • Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office
  • Minister for Social Development and Employment
  • Minister for the Environment

His other Parliamentary Responsibilities included:

  • Extensive Select Committee membership
  • Trustee of the Norman Kirk Memorial Trust 2002-2006
  • Chair of the New Zealand/German Parliamentary Friendship Group 2001 - 2006
  • Senior Government Whip 2002-2004

David is well known for his strong support of and involvement in many environmental upgrades and urban design initiatives such as the St Clair Hot-Salt-Water Pool, the redevelopment of the Railway Station and Law Courts, improvements in the Octagon, George and Princes Streets, the Exchange and Portobello, and landscape improvements at Bayfield Park and Portobello Road. He also helped facilitate improved facilities at King’s, Queen’s and Bayfield High schools. David chairs the Dunedin Heritage Fund and was instrumental in the successful campaign to bring our Historic Courthouse back to life.

David was the first chairman of City Forests Ltd, and is a former Chair of the Otago Youth Adventure Trust and the Spirit of Adventure Trust (Otago).

David is committed to working in the best interests of Dunedin and Dunedin people.

David has been appointed Chair of the Planning and Regulatory Committee and a member of the Consent Hearings and District Liquor Licensing Committees, and is a member of the Panel hearing submissions on Dunedin’s Second Generation District Plan.

Committee Membership

Councillor Benson-Pope is a member of the following Committees:

  • Planning and Environment Committee - Chair
  • Council
  • Community and Culture Committee
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Infrastructure Services and Networks Committee
  • Dunedin Heritage Fund Committee - Chair
  • Hearings Committee
  • District Licensing Committee
  • Keep Dunedin Beautiful
  • Maori Participation Working Party
  • Tertiary Precinct Planning Group
  • The Dunedin 2GP Hearings Panel – Te Paepae Kaiwawao Motuhake O Te 2GP
  • Te Ao Tūroa Partnership
David Benson-Pope.jpg

Cr David Benson-Pope

Contact details

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