In 1987 Parker received a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council grant to be artist in residence at The Quarry arts centre in Whangarei, where he worked alongside artist Shona Rapira Davies. In 1992 he was one of 14 artists invited to make work for the New Zealand exhibition at Seville Expo '92; the exhibition was subsequently shown in Amsterdam and toured New Zealand as Treasures of the Underworld.
In 1995 Parker was commissioned by Malcolm Harrison to create an anchorstone, titled G8, for a large-scale installation in New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings. In 2003 he was invited to demonstrate at the Second World Ceramic Biennale in Icheon, Korea, and in 2006 he was elected as a member of the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva.
Parker was awarded the Premier award in the Portage Ceramic Awards in 2002. In 2011 he was recognised by Objectspace as their inaugural Master of Craft, with a touring survey exhibition and accompanying publication.
Parker’s work is held in collections throughout New Zealand and Australia, including The Dowse Art Museum, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Otago Museum, the Suter Art Gallery in Nelson, the Whangarei Art Museum and the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.