NZPA reports that Clem Simich is retiring after 16 years in Parliament.
Clem is hugely respected by pretty much all MPs for his fairness and manner as Deputy Speaker. He makes what can be a very tough job look easy.
I also remember with regret that his proposal (or the proposal from the Select Committee he chaired) to move the Beehive back and extend Parliament House to its intended full size never got implemented. That would have allowed Bowen House to be let go on and get Parliament back onto one site.
Clem’s low key style often led people to under-estimate him. However I recall working with him a bit on the 2001/02 boundary changes and Clem was just a mine of information. Where I had to look up polling place results, Clem could just point to an area and talk authoritatively on how good or bad that area was for National and Labour.
I also recall being the the huge party in the Grand Hall at Parliament to celebrate the passing of the Civil Unions Act and Clem was one of only a handful of National MPs to vote for it. So many people were going up to him and thanking him for his support, and he got huge cheers when he spoke to the crowd.
His retirement is an inevitable part of National’s ongoing renewal, so this means only 45 MPs standing for re-election, which means there could be quite a big intake in 2008 on current polls.Tags: Clem Simich, National