Walker steps down

July 1st, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

First-term Green MP has decided to withdraw from the party’s list, effectively stepping down as a MP at the September election.

“Unfortunately, a recent unexpected change in my family life has made it very difficult for me to continue as a Green MP”, Ms Walker said.

“Under these circumstances, I have chosen to put my family first and withdraw myself from the Green Party list.”

That is a real surprise, but family does come first, and Holly has my best wishes in looking after her family.

I always found Holly someone very willing to engage respectfully, and a very pleasant person to deal with.

Holly was No 12 on the Green Party list. Everyone below her moves up one. This increases the chance of James Shaw becoming an MP. It also increased the chance of Steffan Browning holding on.

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35 Responses to “Walker steps down”

  1. CHFR (229 comments) says:

    I am always suspicious when someone uses family as a reason for stepping down. I prefer to think she woke up one morning and lost her ability to doublethink.

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  2. tvb (4,424 comments) says:

    It what she stands for is what counts in politics. Being charming or nice at some beltway function matters little to people outside Wellington.

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  3. david (2,557 comments) says:

    I would need to be convinced that we have had good value for something north of a Million dollars spent on her. (assuming support costs are about 100% of salary)

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  4. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    @ CHFR – I understand that Ms Walker’s reason is particularly valid; it’s certainly not what I was initially thinking.

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  5. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    Politics is tough on families and I respect her for putting hers first.

    I am less impressed that she will continue to stand as a candidate in Hutt South to court the party vote.

    Lots of people stand in seats they can’t win. Many stand knowing they won’t win although they’d be delighted if they did.

    I think this is the first time a sitting MP has stood in a seat with no intention of returning to parliament.

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  6. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I’m sure Holly’s reasons are valid and she’s obviously prioritised. There are major time commitments being an MP and many choose to people put family first.

    On Twitter yesterday there was some discussion on parent MPs not having enough support.

    @stephanierodgrs

    What does @hollyrwalker’s resignation tell us about how accessible/accommodating working in Parliament is for parents of young children?

    Shorter sitting hours. Greater flexibility for parents to not be in the House at all hours. A 24/7 creche

    It’s not that simple. A 24/7 creche at Parliament wouldn’t cover the time and travel requirements away from Parliament. And 24/7 would be far more than was necessary. Many working people don’t have things laid on for them like that.

    One workaround is job sharing and working part time but that’s tricky with democratically elected MPs. ere’s no provision for part time MPs (although some seem to work that way).

    They know what the job requirements are before they put themselves forward to be elected or put on a party list.

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  7. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I am less impressed that she will continue to stand as a candidate in Hutt South to court the party vote.

    Yes, this is odd. Paul Goldsmith tries not to get votes in Epsom but expects to get in on the list. But standing for an electorate not wanting to get elected is an odd way of doing democracy.

    As other parties do Greens manipulate the system to suit themselves.

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  8. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    I stood three times seeking the party vote, knowing I wouldn’t win and certainly hoping not because it would have been bloody inconvenient.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, given that we have been saddled with this ridiculous voting system. Getting MPs you didn’t vote for is how it is meant to work.

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  9. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    As Home Paddock says it’s unusual because a sitting MP is standing in an electorate with no intention of getting in.

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  10. Tarquin North (298 comments) says:

    Be good if a few more would follow. Perhaps Gareth could teleport to another galaxy?

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  11. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    It’s certainly unusual, but I don’t see why it is wrong just because she is a sitting MP, but it’s ok for everyone else.

    If you’re saying it is wrong for anyone to stand with no intention of winning, then I don’t agree and probably most of the candidates in the election are in this category.

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  12. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    CHFR

    I am always suspicious when someone uses family as a reason for stepping down.

    Indeed, perhaps she worked out socialism always fails and that selling it using other peoples money is doomed to failure ?

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  13. CHFR (229 comments) says:

    Pete maybe it is time we faced the fact that being an MP is not suited to having a young family, sucked it up and then got into politics when the kids have grown up. Why should we have a creche available just wait till you are a bit older to suckle from the teat.

    I am saying this as a politically passionate mother of an 8 year old. I work from home to make sure I am here for her and if, heaven forbid, I wanted to enter parliament I would make sure she was old enough to handle the fallout of my decision.

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  14. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    CHFR – I agree. I got set upon on Twitter yesterday for suggesting similar.

    There are a lot of jobs that can impact significantly on raising kids, that’s simple reality. Parents have to make choices all the time.

    It may mean that women are less likely to stand for Parliament but there’s little that can be done that can change that.

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  15. Steve Wrathall (284 comments) says:

    Probably worked out like most new parents that the green agenda makes no sense. You know: cloth nappies, public transport, wonder how that worked out.

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  16. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    The salary of an MP who is not seeking re-election stops on the day of the General Election.

    The salary of an MP who is defeated at the election is paid another three months salary.

    By continuing to stand for Parliament, Walker will pick up another $36,000.

    Selfish bitch.

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  17. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    David, you mention she is 12 on the list. Is that the old list or the list for this year?

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  18. Maggy Wassilieff (394 comments) says:

    @Steve Wrathall… I think you missed out demand breast-feeding, elimination communication (in case you are finding those hemp nappies a chore), and neural enrichment.

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  19. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Barnsley – 112 on both the 2011 list and this year’s list.

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  20. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    Chris 9.44 am … are you very sure that’s still the case? I understood the rule had been changed so that all MPs, when they leave Parliament for whatever reason, receive three months salary so as to help their transition into a ‘normal’ life … as to whether that’s fair and reasonable well, that’s another matter.

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  21. G152 (342 comments) says:

    As I recall there were a number of National and Labour women who had families while in Parliament and successfully reared the children.

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  22. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Chris2 (737 comments) says:
    July 1st, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Oh, and if you were presented with a legal way of earning $36,000 dollars, you’d say no, because you’re ‘good like that’. DOH!

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  23. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Whoops, I’ll try again – Barnsley – 12 on both the 2011 list and this year’s list.

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  24. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ G152 (100 comments) says:
    July 1st, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Holly had every intention of continuing and running in this years election, however recent circumstances have made it very difficult to continue with those plans. She is putting her family first in an ‘unforeseen’ situation. She should be applauded for doing that, its a pity more parent’s didn’t, and maybe we wouldn’t have the social problems we have. She is being a good role model, something that appears to be rather lacking in some of our politicians.

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  25. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Ross Miller: Unless they have changed it since I left in 2010 – and I don’t think they have – your pay ceases from the day you stop being an MP. I actually think there should be some sort of redundancy pay…the mortgage still needs to be paid when your income suddenly ceases…

    And here we have Judith the sage; she who has all sorts of inside connections to left wing parties (although she is of course a huge victims advocate) letting us know that “Holly’s” reasons for stepping down are OK..

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  26. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    “I think this is the first time a sitting MP has stood in a seat with no intention of returning to parliament.”

    John Boscawen retired last election but still stood for Tamaki.

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  27. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    DG, I don’t often disagree with you but why should an MP receive any sort of redundancy or transition payment? Yes the mortgage has to be paid. I still have bills to pay at the end of a contract but I don’t get a transition payment. MP’s generally know the length of their “contract” and when it might end. They receive a generous salary (well, the MP’s on the left do because 99% of them would never earn that much in a real job) so should surely be able to plan ahead to cover a month or 2 of transition time. If they can’t miss a single day of salary and meet their obligations then they’ve probably over extended themselves and if they can’t manage their own expenses, then I don’t think they’re fit for parliament.

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  28. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Zapper: Even as I wrote my piece I thought “hold on a minute…no poor miner or factory worker gets anything either”…I find it hard to disagree with you…

    It’s an idiot: there you go, yet another example of me changing my mind when exposed to a good argument…(On another thread it’s whatever it is accused me of never being open to other opinions/arguments)…especially from anonymous commenters…

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  29. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    The salary of an MP who is not seeking re-election stops on the day of the General Election.

    The salary of an MP who is defeated at the election is paid another three months salary.

    Not true. This used to be the case. But it hasn’t been the law since 1986.

    MPs who retire at an election, or who lose re-election, get 3 months salary.

    An MP who resigns between elections stops being paid from the moment they resign.

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  30. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    Holly Molly – NZ is going to struggle now….

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  31. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett (6,029 comments) says:
    July 1st, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Why do you need to know? All the information you need is in her press release, anything else is just plain nosiness on your part. You’re pretty good at wanting to know all the nitty gritty details about everyone aren’t you? Something a bit suspicious about that, if you ask me. Most people are just interested to know her and her family will be okay … and then there’s you!

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  32. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    she’s not giving specifics. She just threw our voting supporters under the bus with a nebulous reason excusing her decision not to stand. She’s a coward.

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  33. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    She will be a huge loss to the wise guidance of the future of Godzone! :)

    Thank God other members of the “Unable To Win An Electorate” party are brave enough to step up into the huge chasm she has left! :)

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  34. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    I mean: “her voting supporters”. Not, “Ours”. Fucked if I’d ever vote Green.

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  35. Johnboy (16,597 comments) says:

    Freudian slip Moniquie? :)

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