Simon Upton

Keynote speaker

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton

Mr Upton is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Rhodes Scholar, with degrees in English literature, music and law from the University of Auckland, and an MLitt in political philosophy from Oxford University. He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council in 1999.

A Member of Parliament between 1981 and 2000, Mr Upton held a variety of Ministerial portfolios including Environment, Research, Biosecurity, Health and State Services between 1990 and 1999.

After leaving Parliament, Mr Upton moved to Paris to chair the Round Table on Sustainable Development at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  In 2005, he returned to New Zealand to pursue a number of private sector roles while continuing to chair the Round Table.

In April 2010, he returned to the OECD full-time as Environment Director, a post he held for seven years until returning to take up the role of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

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