Born in Christchurch, Denis has a LLB from Canterbury University.
Denis is an experienced lawyer with special expertise in legal drafting, statutory interpretation, and commercial law, and has served on the boards of several companies and government agencies including Christchurch Transport, Postbank, Recovered Materials Foundation, Meta NZ, Transwaste Canterbury, Christchurch International Airport, the Disputes Tribunal and the Legal Aid Review Panel.
Denis has extensive local government experience as he was a Christchurch City Councillor for 15 years from 1989 to 2004, where he chaired the Sustainable Transport and Utilities Committee.
Denis has a strong egalitarian philosophy, believing in policies upholding public benefit over private interests, the personal rights of individuals without discrimination or privilege, and with NZ’s strategic resources being for the benefit of all of its citizens.
Protection of publicly owned assets:
Denis opposed the sale of Lyttelton Port Company Limited shares by the Christchurch City Council and the sale of Southpower’s retail business. Prevention of the sale of strategic publicly owned assets especially power companies is a primary objective.
Elderly peoples interests:
Enhancing the Gold Card with a discount on power bills, and improvements in the rate of superannuation are urgent priorities. Retention of the 65 years qualifying age is also essential.
Sustainable economic development:
Denis currently chairs Central Plains Water Trust, leading the sustainable use of water for advanced agriculture through its Sustainable Farming Protocol. New Zealand must move into the 21st century by investing much more in scientific research, agricultural diversity and renewable energy.
Jobs for the young:
Every young person must have a genuine opportunity for a job and the skills required to earn a good living. More resources are needed job training and work experience programmes.
Control of food prices:
Companies with a dominant position in the supply of food such as Fonterra must be subject to rigorous control. A revamp of the Commerce Commission is needed so that it has the powers to achieve fair food pricing.
New Zealand does not have a comprehensive written constitution. This carries potential risks and uncertainties for political stability and personal rights. A review is needed but the incorporation of the Treaty of Waitangi into it is inappropriate and would entrench Maori separatism.