Jo Hayes’ maiden speech

I was in parliament for Jo Hayes’ maiden speech yesterday.

It was a very moving occasion, topped off by her family singing a waiata when she finished.

Kei āku nui, kei āku rahi, kei āku whakateitei ki te whenua, āku tamarahi ki te rangi.  Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

I rere mai i nga pā tūwatawata ō tōku Matua Paikea Ariki Apanui, ka tirotiro noa ki nga pae maunga o Hikurangi rāua ko Whetumatarau, hei manu taiko, hei manu taki o ngā waiora o Waiapu rāua ko Awatere hei oranga mō nga uri whakatipu o Hinerupe rāua ko Awatere.

Kei tāku tua, kei tāku aro, āku whakaruruhau Te Whānau a Tūwhakairiora rāua ko Te Whānau o Te Aotaihi, kua eke noa i runga te waka o Horouta, he mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa.

Te kuku o tōku manawa Te Whānau Apanui rāua ko Te Whānau o Rangihuna,  ngā uri whakatipu o Porourangi tēnā koutou katoa.

From the whenua of my father Paikea Ariki Apanui,I look to the mountains of Hikurangi and Whetumatarau as they keep watch over the eternal rivers of Waiapū and Awatere whose sacred waters flow through and give sustenance to my marae of Hinerupe and Awatere.  I am guided by my hapū, Te whānau a  Tūwhakairiora and Te whānau o Te Aotaihī and transported on my sacred waka of Horouta.  I acknowledge my Apanui and Rangihuna whānau of Ngāti Porou.

I rere mai i nga pā tūwatawata ō tōku Whaea Te Arorangi Karaitiana, ka tirotiro hoki ki nga pae maunga o Rangitumau rātou ko Ruapehu ko Tararua, hei manu taki, hei manu taiko o ngā waiora o Ruamahanga rātou ko Whanganui ko Waipoua hei oranga mō nga uri whakatipu o Te Oreore, rātou ko Te Puke ko Akura hoki.

Kei tāku aro, kei tāku tua, āku whakaruruhau ō Ngāti Hāmua, rātou ko Te Uenuku, ko Akura, kua eke noa i runga ngā waka o Kurahaupo rātou ko Aotea, ko Takitimu, he mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa.

Te kuku o tōku manawa Rangitāne o Wairarapa, Te Ati Haunui ā Pāpārangi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa ka mihi matakuikui ano hoki ki ngā uri whakatipu o Te Whānau Karaitiana rātou ko Te Whānau Te Whareponga, ko Te Whānau Herewini tēnā koutou katoa.

From the lands of my mother Te Arorangi Karaitiana the mountains of Rangitumau, Ruapehu and Tararua make way for the flow of knowledge and strength from my rivers of Ruamahanga, Whanganui and Waipoua.  I take shelter in the arms my marae Te Oreore, Te Puke and Akura knowing full well that the whānau and hapū of Ngati Hāmua, Te Uenuku and Akura work to support my iwi of Rangitāne o Wairarapa, Te Ati Haunui ā Pāpārangi and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa.  From my waka of Kurahaupo, Aotea and Takitimu I acknowledge my Karaitiana, Te Whareponga and Herewini Whanau.

Mr Speaker, Tena koe and thank you for inviting me to speak my first words in this House. I am privileged and humbled that I am able to do this in front of my superiors and my peers, my whānau and friends here and at home, and surrounded by the taonga that represents the many wars the people of this nation fought on our behalf so we could live in peace in this our whenua – Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Key, tena koe tōku rangatira. I am ecstatic to be joining the National caucus team under your outstanding leadership, I bring to you and the National caucus my can-do attitude, my loyalty, and my ability to work diligently within the team and for the people of this country.

Mr Speaker, I wish to mihi to our coalition parties, my whānaunga and co-leader of the Maori Party, the Honourable Tariana Turia, co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, and the Honourable Dr Pita Sharples; the leader of United Future, the Honourable Peter Dunne, and the leader of Act New Zealand, the Honourable John Banks. 

I also want to mihi the leaders and members of Parliament from the Opposition benches, and the press gallery.

Mr Speaker, I started my life in the small rural town of Eketahuna the second child of PK and Kate Apanui. My father worked on Te Hoe station in Alfredton and played rugby for Eketahuna and the under 21 Wairarapa Bush side.  As a child my parents moved from Eketahuna to yet a smaller rural town of Rangiwahia.  It was here where I spent my childhood.  Both my parents dedicated their lives to ensuring we had kai on our table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads.  We were poor in money, yet rich in love and support for each other. 

Yes Mr Speaker, I come to Parliament from a tight knit whānau with a background of hard work and an attitude that nothing is insurmountable.  My father believed that if one worked hard, one would reap their just rewards.  He knew that our world would be so different to his and so he instilled the whakatauki (proverb) E Tipu E Rea from our tūpuna and one of the first Maori MPs Sir Apirana Ngata.  Those words encouraged us to take hold and learn the ways of the Pakeha world while holding on to our Maori world.  My father modelled that whakatauki throughout his life – he wanted our future to be one of reaping the rewards that we all worked hard for.

Mr Speaker in 1997 my father succumbed to cancer and is buried at Ᾱkura in Masterton and I miss him dearly because I was his wild child – turned good.
I am fortunate to have my mother in the gallery this afternoon along with my whānau, extended whānau, hapū, and Iwi.  Mum was the disciplinarian and educationalist of my parents and today she is a Nan but also a Great Nan and a kuia for Wairarapa, and a member of the Wairarapa kaumatua group.  Kia ora Mum, kia ora whānau whānui.

Mr Speaker, it wasn’t until I left home that my life changed dramatically.  At age 22 I became an unmarried mother, on the domestic purposes benefit with little to no education qualifications.  It was this fright that changed me forever and I adopted the saying “if it has to be, then it’s up to me”. So I started a successful re-education programme which persists.

Along the way I met my soulmate, a man who took me and my son into his life and has believed in us. A man who at times says little but does a lot. A man who I am proud to have by my side, and one whom I am proud to stand by his side.  We are equal partners in everything we do and I love him to bits. Mr Speaker please meet my husband, Pat. Kia Ora Pat

Our son’s Mat and Ben, who are unable to be here today, have bought immense pleasure and pride to our lives as we have watched them and guided them towards adulthood.  They are now men of the world with all the lessons that that brings.  Thanks to my daughter-in-law Shan for producing two beautiful mokopuna, Carter and Eli. For it is them who carry the future of all our tomorrows and Nani J loves you.

Mr Speaker, I have been blessed with a number of opportunities in my life, but these would have been for nought had it not been for the people that I have met along the way. And there are too many to mention here but you all know who you are and I thank you for your support and guidance.

To my friends who have come here today to support me and to those who are watching at home, I thank you all for without you even knowing it your influence and support of me has been invaluable.

Mr Speaker, as you can see I come to Parliament having walked many roads and learned many lessons yet still I want more, because I haven’t finished yet.

My past has shaped my future, my family is my foundation, my mokopuna keep me real, and my friends continue to support me on the many journeys I have made and are yet to make.

Mr Speaker, today I take the road less travelled than others and one where I can utilise my skills and experience and learn new ones. I come to Parliament after contesting the 2011 election in the Dunedin South electorate and winning the party vote – a historical feat for the National Party and one that I am most proud.  I thank the Dunedin electorate teams and send you my heartfelt thanks to Robyn Broughton, Pippa Newstead, the Young Nats, and volunteers

Mr Speaker, I bring a wealth of experience, both community and professional.  I was one of the first school boards of trustees to take on the Tomorrow’s Schools challenge, serving for a number of years at our local primary schools as chair and treasurer.  Then later as deputy chair of FAHS Feilding High School.

I bring my professionalism in the health, education, welfare, business, and rural sectors.  I have worked in the community and for the community, I have worked for government agencies and in local government, and throughout my career I have taken people with me as the journey has not been about me alone.

Mr Speaker, I am proud to be a member of National and I want to thank our party president Peter Goodfellow, the board with a special mention to regional chairs Kate Haslett and Roger Bridge, electorate chairs Ele Ludemen and Malcolm Plimmer, and the service centre staff for all their hard work.

Most importantly though I pay tribute to the many volunteers and party supporters that make this party a great party to be a member of and to be a servant of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mr Speaker, as the newest National MP, I bring a rigid determination to make a difference for all people of Aotearoa New Zealand and to be an outstanding hardworking National member of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, ka mutu taku korero tuatahi kei roto i tenei whare.

Nā reira koutou, kua rāmenemene mai i runga i te whakaaro kotahi, ara te whare tāwharau nei.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Jo has worked very hard and waited a long time to get to parliament.

She brings a wealth of experience including something she didn’t mention – when she was young she did an apprenticeship in arc welding.

Best of all she brings the knowledge of the importance of loving family and the value of hard work.

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