Trevor Mallard

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Photo of Trevor Mallard
Parl. Electorate List Pos. Party
41st Hamilton West Labour
42nd Hamilton West Labour
44th Pencarrow Labour
45th Hutt South None Labour
46th Hutt South 12 Labour
47th Hutt South 12 Labour

Trevor Colin Mallard (born 17 June 1954) is a New Zealand politician. He is currently a member of Cabinet, holding a number of ministerial and associate ministerial portfolios. He has a relatively high public profile, and is regarded as one of the government's more effective debaters, although has often been the focus controversy.

Mallard was born in Wellington, where he received his education. After gaining a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree from Victoria University in 1974, he trained as a teacher at the Wellington College of Education. He subsequently held a number of teaching jobs in Wellington and the King Country. While teaching, Mallard became involved in the PPTA, the national secondary school teacher's union. He was secretary of the PPTA's King Country branch from 1979 to 1984.

Mallard had joined the Labour Party in 1972, while still at university. He held a number of internal party positions until, in the election of 1984, he was elected as the party's MP for Hamilton West. Although he was re-elected in the 1987 elections, he lost his seat in the election of 1990. Returning to the Wellington area, he contested the seat of Pencarrow in the 1993 elections and was successful. He has retained that seat ever since, although it is now known as Hutt South.

When Labour won the 1999 elections, Mallard was appointed to Cabinet. He was made Minister of Education, Minister of State Services, and Minister for Sport and Recreation. In connection with his Education role, he also became Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office, and in connection with his Sport role, he also became Minister for the America's Cup (which New Zealand held at the time). In 2004, Mallard also became Co-ordinating Minister for Race Relations, and Minister of Energy.

Mallard had been involved in a number of controversial disputes during his ministerial career. In particular, his handling of the education portfolio has been strongly criticised by teachers' unions, including the PPTA. In his first term as minister, he was strongly criticised by teachers during a long-running strike action over salaries, and in his second term, he had been criticised for a program of school closures in rural districts. To some people, Mallard is a strong, decisive administrator who "takes no nonsense", while others see him as tactless and overly confrontational.

Mallard is married, and has three children. He lives in Wainuiomata, a suburb of Lower Hutt. He is interested in outdoor recreation, including rugby and mountain biking.

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