Peter Tapsell RIP

April 7th, 2012 at 9:11 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Sir , the first Maori Speaker of the House, has died at home in Ruatoria, aged 82.

Sir Peter, who entered Parliament in 1981 as the Labour MP for what was then the Eastern Maori electorate, held the role of Speaker from 1993 to 1996.

Before becoming Speaker, Sir Peter held the portfolios of  internal affairs, arts, police, civil defence, science and forestry.

He retired from politics in 1996.

Sir Peter, who was an orthopaedic surgeon before becoming an MP, was awarded a MBE in 1968 for services to medicine and the Maori people.

Sir Peter was a very dignified Speaker, and a rarity – he was a Speaker from an opposition party.

An absolute gentleman, whom few people would ever have a bad word about.

Condolences as always to his family.

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16 Responses to “Peter Tapsell RIP”

  1. tvb (4,307 comments) says:

    He represented the conservative side of the Labour Party but was more a “cross bencher” in outlook. He loved being Speaker though he got the position in a narrow Parliament that eased things for Bolger politically.

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  2. JC (942 comments) says:

    I remember when Peter was vying for selection of the seat of Eastern Maori in 1981 and being astonished at the calibre of himself and the other candidates. There were, I think, three other candidates and their resumes and profiles read like selected success stories.. but here’s the thing.. I got the distinct impression these guys would have sat comfortably in a National caucas of the time.

    JC

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  3. tvb (4,307 comments) says:

    There was a time when the Labour Party was the only career option for a Maori hence their Maori MPs were conservative and did not rock the boat too much. That suited the Labour Party just fine as they did not have to hand out a serious job and generally fobbed off their Maori MPs with minor portfolios like Maori Affairs.

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  4. SHG (375 comments) says:

    Peter Tapsell was a successful and respected orthapaedic surgeon and an MBE before he entered politics. It’s not like he needed a “career option”.

    I knew Peter Tapsell for my entire life and regarded him with the utmost respect. However I am feeling quite emotional about his death and am not going to post any personal stories.

    I do find it interesting, however, that the only side of NZ’s political spectrum paying tribute to Peter Tapsell right now is the right. I see that Kiwiblog, Whaleoil, and No Minister have all paid their respects today; the left is silent. Even Red Alert is ignoring Tapsell’s death.

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  5. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Possibly Labour folk do not remember him too fondly for jumping ship to become the Speaker to make Bolger’s government a bit safer.

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  6. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Probably Labour folk still remember the Tolpuddle Martyrs Milky?

    Possibly that is their current problem perhaps? :)

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  7. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    The trouble all started with the French Revolution, I reckon.

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  8. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Surely Spartacus and the Slaves Revolt Milky? :)

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  9. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Seriously though. I put it all down to giving the vote to women/poofs/darker people/non land owners etc.

    Once you open the gates its bloody hard to close them! :)

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  10. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Peter Tapsell was as about as far removed from a labour politician of today as you can get.

    He had a job before he became a politician
    He was hetrosexual
    He was a family man.
    He had other means of income other than the public purse
    etc etc

    thats why you’ve heard nothing from the left

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  11. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    You sound a bit like that Aussie CEO sacked for saying it all went downhill once NZ let women have vote!

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  12. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Is he still looking for a job Milky?

    Sounds like my kind of man!

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  13. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Read about him here:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/6707740/Aussie-quits-after-retard-comments

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  14. David Garrett (6,905 comments) says:

    Paul East: Well said …and dont the bastards on the left have looooong memories and hold grudges bitterly?

    I was involved with Labour at activisit level at that time. I remember Tapsell’s Speakership as characterising fairness, impartiality, and the respect of all members..compared with some of the non-entities since, and in particular one screeching harridan, he was a giant among men.

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  15. DJP6-25 (1,345 comments) says:

    I never heard a bad thing about him when he was alive. One of the rare examples of a nice guy who was also effective. RIP.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  16. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Thanks Milky. :)

    Won’t offer him a job.

    Never hire jokers under 5’8″.

    They all suffer from small mans disease! :)

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