A valedictory and a maiden

December 15th, 2010 at 7:01 am by David Farrar

I can’t recall the last time Parliament had a and a valedictory speech on the same day. First NZPA report on the valedictory of :

“It was beyond my wildest dreams when, 14 years ago, a girl born in Shanghai who grew up in a Hong Kong apartment where eight families shared a kitchen and bathroom, made an historic maiden speech in Parliament,” she said. …

“My political career has been an all-consuming one,” she said.

“It would not have been possible without my husband Sammy’s unrelenting support. As a consequence, his business interests were severely curtailed.”

“The playing field is far from being equal, but anything is possible if one works hard for it…nowadays it is accepted that Asian New Zealanders can succeed in the highest office.”

“It is time to turn a page in my life’s journey, to focus on personal and family priorities.

“The journey has been a remarkable one and it is time for me to exit political life.

“Sammy, I am coming home.”

I’m personally very sad to see Pansy go in these circumstances. I’ve known her since 1996, and she has always been delightfully cheerful and down to earth – has never let being an MP go to her head.

Pansy used to live in my apartment block so when I worked at Parliament, I’d sometimes get a lift in with her. We used to joke about the ghost of Muldoon haunting our apartment block (he used to live here also).

I was also the regional liasion to the Wellington Asian Committee for a couple of years, when I was Regional Deputy Chair. They were a powerhouse wheb it came to organising events and functions. It was always amusing as they planned a function and went around the committee, asking people how many tickets to a yum cha or the like they could sell for say $50 each. Most people would commit to selling 30 – 50 places each. Pansy would often take on responsibility for 100 places, and then when it came to me, I would sheeplishly commit to two tickets!

I often reflected that the only thing more surreal than me being the regional liasion to the Asian Committee, was that I also was regional liasion to the women’s committee also πŸ™‚

So a sad farewell to Pansy, with the contrast being the maiden speech of Mana MP Kris Faafoi:

This is not the first time I have spoken in the House of Representatives.

In 1994 as a spirited 18 year old Jim Anderton chose me as his Youth MP.

That September day I arrived not realising I had to give a speech.

Flustered and nervous I scrambled to write something on the spot.

I also recall a young – well spoken – ginger headed Youth MP from up the line.

He spoke enthusiastically and seemed comfortable in his surroundings.

16 years on Darren nothing has changed!

Some say Darren is still a Youth MP πŸ™‚

I didn’t know Kris had been a Youth MP. Knowing this, his switch from journalism to politics is more logical.

Can I take this opportunity to also acknowledge the other candidates in the recent by-election.

In particular I would like to acknowledge the Honourable Hekia Parata and Jan Logie.

On the whole the mood on the hustings was genuinely friendly.

Mana is one of the few electorates where spontaneous Pacific Island dancing is not an uncommon happening at campaign events.

I’m sure we are all glad my former TV colleagues did not make it to many of those.


Dad – I don’t know how you did it – but when I went hunting through your Wairarapa College yearbook and noticed your nickname was Romeo – it sounds like you did OK.

My mother Metita – left as part of a repatriation scheme – she didn’t know she was leaving Tokelau until the day she left.

They departed their homeland as 16 year olds – they left behind their loved ones, their culture, their religion to seek a better life in New Zealand.

Through hard work and sacrifice – and some help from the state – they toiled to make sure their hard work counted for something.

My parents wanted to ensure their three sons and daughter were raised as New Zealanders – they also wanted us to hold on to the important aspects of their way of life from the Pacific.

One reason I always like maiden speeches, is they are a reminder of the families behind an MP, and the incredible sacrifices parents make for their children.

Last week I got a letter of congratulations from Ward Clarke – my High School Principal.

I have two vivid memories of Mr Clark.

He espoused the value of the afternoon nap.

And each year he delivered us this quote from William Penn which inspired me and which I would like to share as I come to an end -.

I expect to pass through life but once.

If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.

A very nice touching speech. Well done Kris.

11 Responses to “A valedictory and a maiden”

  1. Murray (8,822 comments) says:

    Phil Short Term Memory Goff is thrashing Wong like its going to save his “leadership”. Someone obviously never mentioned glass houses to him or any of the other socialists who think they have a moral high ground.

    Wong move Goof.

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  2. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    It’s good she has gone, it was clear that she either couldn’t work out the rules for travel and keep them (ie keep control of her EA) or she had flaunted them.
    So either she should have resigned or been sacked.

    Now lets have a good look at the other 119 MP’s too.
    Maybe there are a few more who should resign or be sacked in all the parties.
    Pity we can’t look at the previous parliamentary term for those that have stayed on!

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  3. tvb (5,510 comments) says:

    So Pansy Wong goes beck to obscurity. Parliamentary life is hard on personal lives and all members sympathsise with that, especially marriages and alcohol abuse – which seemed to be the norm in past years.

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  4. Murray (8,822 comments) says:

    Big Norm was an alckie?

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  5. GPT1 (2,155 comments) says:

    Quite right re. Pansy. It is personally very sad to see her go. She is a highly likeable person with an excellent sense of humour.

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  6. BeaB (2,512 comments) says:

    But let’s all be thrilled to bits she paid back the princely sum of less than $500 for her huge rort in 2008!

    Can you imagine her being in China and refusing to attend any kind of official function because she had to be on holiday if the taxpayer was paying. The Chineses would have thought she – and NZ – was mad.

    As for Creepy Pete’s banner: I was invited mid-morning to a factory opening in the depths of China and, by the afternoon event, an enormous banner – 15 metres long printed with my name and position in red and gold – was strung across the factory frontage.

    It is time Goff fronted up with evidence for his accusations of a cover-up. What is being covered up? The AG has said any offences have been minor and the rules are far too complex. Just sitting in the front row or visiting with business people hardly constitutes corruption. Goff would be better off deciding whether he is going to resign when he is rolled – if his party of weaklings ever gets round to it.

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  7. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    wakey wakey BeaB…you’d still have to be a total fuckwit to think her rorting wasn’t systemic and that they owe the taxpayer wayyy more than 5 hundy.

    so you’re not a total fuckwit are you ?

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  8. RobbieBlack (223 comments) says:

    Shanghai girls are weird, believe me, they are.

    And I could be even more mean, but I won’t.

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  9. Rex Widerstrom (5,113 comments) says:

    So we’ve swapped one entitled ethnic trougher for another. And DPF wants us to wipe a tear from the corner of our eye?

    Yeah, right after I’ve wiped the bit of sick from the corner of my mouth.

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  10. Sean (313 comments) says:

    So that will presumably be the last we hear of either of these two…

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  11. reid (21,405 comments) says:

    Pansy wasn’t a high flyer but ice breakers seldom are. I have always rated her for her quite dedication and you need MPs like that just as much as you need the loud ones.

    Fact is, Liarbore have portrayed her as someone she’s not and Liarbore knows it too but they did it anyway. Hodgson is retiring and I think also he genuinely broke it: i.e. it wasn’t a planned operation until the rest saw how big the first hit was and I think Hodgson was also surprised from his reactions immediately afterward. They weren’t planned but then he did some research and the nasty little man found an angle. True or not, who cares, eh Liarbore.

    Pansy thank you. I rate your service highly and I wish you well.

    As far as Kris goes, isn’t it interesting he became a journo. I wonder why Anderton picked him, also. Another interesting question. Yes.

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