What highlights have you had in the past year?
The first was being asked to chair the finance and expenditure committee. It’s a big step up and quite an honour if I look at other members in Parliament who have been offered the opportunity over the years to choose FEC. The other, and I wouldn’t put one before the other, being able to negotiate support for my member’s bill once it came out of the ballot with Act, United Future and New Zealand First to get my gang patch bill over the line [banning gang patches in Government- and local government-owned buildings]. I’ve received support from those parties to see it all the way into law.
On other MPs:
What other MP makes people’s lives better and does their party impress you and why?
There’s a number of them … Probably the one that I respect the most of other parties would be Te Ururoa Flavell. I find him to be a man of great dignity and respect and a lot of integrity and honesty. His electorate of Waiariki and Rotorua overlap. We work quite closely together on a number of local issues. I have a lot of respect for him because of the gravitas and dignity he brings to the job in Wellington, but the human side to his politics I see on a pretty regular basis around our electorate.
I also think Flavell is a very good MP.
How are you unwinding over summer?
My wife’s a Kiwi too but all my kids were born overseas so when we chose to come home it was so my children could do the stuff I did when I was growing up. Our holiday this year is going to be around camping and beaches. I want them to be able to enjoy for the whole of the school holiday all of the pursuits you can have around water in New Zealand which, by the way, nobody owns. We are going to be camping in and around beaches in the Gisborne area, a bit in the Bay of Plenty and for a week we are heading off into the bush to do a little bit of hunting and walking and staying in a hut away from everybody else.
Sounds like a great family summer.
Do you mean you want Tim Groser’s job [Trade Negotiations Minister]?
I don’t think anybody could do Tim Groser’s job but I would love an opportunity to do more in an area I have done a bit of work in before.
The translation is “Hell, yes”