Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Benson-Pope was born in Dunedin and educated at the University of Otago and at the Christchurch College of Education. While studying education, he served as President of the Students' Association at the college, and National President of the Student Teachers' Association of New Zealand. Working as a teacher, he also became involved in the teachers' unions.
In October 1986, Benson-Pope successfully stood for election to the Dunedin City Council. In the 1999 elections, he entered national politics, successfully contesting the Dunedin South electorate for the Labour Party.
In 2002, Benson-Pope became his party's Senior Whip. In 2004, in the wake of a reshuffle, he entered Cabinet, becoming Minister of Fisheries, Minister Responsible for the Law Commission, Associate Minister of Justice, and Associate Minister for the Environment. He was responsible for drafting the legislation for civil unions in New Zealand.
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