Parliament is not a place for dreamers who run and hide away when their dreams are crushed.
It is a place where negotiation happens, where consensus takes place, where change can happen if you know how the system works, and you are prepared to stick at it for the long haul.
When my bill came back from the select committee it was “gutted”. That’s right, there is no denying it.
But I wasn’t about to pull out on those communities who desperately need change. So I started working with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon Chris Tremain, on how to advance the many issues that my bill sought to address.
The result? Well, it is a broad package of class 4 gambling reforms – and while my bill has been plucked within an inch of its life, we have been promised that many of its precious plumes will be tucked away in a new home, within the regulatory and legislative reforms proposed by the Government.
The changes announced by Mr Tremain this week are a direct result of my bill, which was a catalyst for action. We raised the issue, we put it on the agenda, and this wider package is the result of our hard work.
What Flavell is saying is it is easy to grand-stand and make speeches on an issue. It is far harder to actually work with MPs and the Government to get legislative and policy reform.
The Mana Party is very good at being outraged and making speeches. but can they play a constructive role in Government?