What’s been the most rewarding part of the past year?
Representing the local constituents in Dunedin North and being able to make a difference in specific situations where they have fallen through the cracks for one reason or another, or the system hasn’t quite served them properly, and having the ability to intervene and raise questions with local agencies or the relevant minister and to get the support they need for their circumstance.
The private member’s bills have been pretty satisfying, too, particularly getting the one Mondayising Waitangi Day and Anzac Day through to select committee and hopefully beyond.
I don’t think the Monday issue is a big issue, but I do think the change mooted by Clark is sensible.
What MP outside your party impresses you?
Kevin Hague [Green]. Kevin is impressive in that he has been able to walk a line where he is seen as very reasonable, but also is able to challenge injustices where he sees them.
I have a lot of time for Kevin Hague also. He’s very good at working with others to advance issues he believes in.
Name one of your heroes outside politics.
I guess this sounds a bit cheesy but ultimately the Biblical Jesus is something of a hero to me, unsurprising given that I’ve got a background as a minister of religion. He was someone who stood up for the poor and vulnerable and was concerned about social justice issues and not afraid to take on the authorities of the day to ensure fairer outcomes for those who were struggling.
I wonder how many ministers or ex-ministers have been MPs over the years? I can think of half a dozen at least.