Good people


Yesterday I was in parliament’s public gallery for six valedictory speeches.

National MPs Shane Ardern, Phil Heatley, Paul Hutchison, Eric Roy and Tony Ryall, and Labour’s Ross Robertson delivered their reflections on their time in parliament.

All were very different but there was one similarity – all had come to parliament, motivated by their desire to serve their constituents and improve their country.

Politicians in general are often derided. Sometimes individuals deserve that derision.

But listening to all the speeches yesterday reminded me that most are good people and most do good work, some in smaller ways, others are able to achieve something bigger.

It also reminded me that there is a lot of common ground on ultimate goals. The divisions are often much less about where we’re going and far more about how to get there.

Paul Hutchison won’t seek re-election


National’s MP for Hunua, Dr Paul Hutchison has announced he won’t be seeking re-election next year.

“It has been a privilege to be part of a strong team led by John Key. He has overseen New Zealand emerge from the global financial crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes to become one of the strongest economies in the OECD,” Dr Hutchison said.

“I advised the Prime Minister over a year ago that I would not seek re-election next year. I look forward to spending more time with my family, including my two younger girls aged 12 and 13. I am also excited about the prospect of future professional opportunities in New Zealand or overseas.

“Until the election I will continue to work hard for the people of Hunua. Important projects include health – such as better secondary care in our local community – education, agriculture, and reaching a fair and just settlement with Ngāti Te Ata.”

Dr Hutchison was first elected in the seat of Port Waikato in 1999 and has increased his majority each election from 3915 (43.2 per cent) to 16797 (64.3 per cent) in 2011.

“I’m proud to see policies I have worked on and initiated come to reality,” Dr Hutchison said. “These include the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, more support for scientists, science innovation and its commercialisation, a research centre to reduce on-farm greenhouse emissions, and the appointment of a Chief Scientist. If New Zealand is to move forward sustainably, we must keep lifting our game in science.

“I started select committee inquiries on disability services, immunisation, prostate cancer, clinical trials, and innovation. These have seen positive policy changes. I hope to continue as chair of the Health Select Committee for the rest of this term. I’m pleased we have cross-party support to see our inquiry into improving children’s health outcomes and preventing child abuse (with a focus from preconception to three years) impacting on future policy.

“It is a great pleasure working with and for the people of Franklin/Hunua. I’d like to thank them for their on-going support. Their community spirit and service to others is the finest I have seen anywhere in the world.”

 Paul has been a popular and effective MP.
His announcement opens up an opportunity for a new MP in a blue seat.
As I said about Cam Calder’s announcement this morning that he won’t be seeking re-election,  this provides an opportunity for rejuvenation which is healthy for the party.

Parliament showing respect – UPDATED


I have just started listening to the debate on the marriage equality Bill.

It is good to find that MPs are listening respectfully – as they should –  to speakers who have a range of views on the issue.

You can listen here.

UPDATE: The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading 78 – 40. UPDATE: 80 – 40.

I was impressed by the reason and sincerity of speeches on both sides of the debate.

Update: Kiwiblog has who voted how.

Dr Paul Hutchison’s speech:

%d bloggers like this: