Maiden Speeches Day II

Got the final seat in the gallery for Pita Sharples’ maiden speech. Some good common sense there. At the end his supporters in the Gallery rose and did a thundering waiata and haka. It was very cool to see such passion about having got him into Parliament.

Then we had Maryan Street. I thought she was the best of the four new Labour MPs, even though she got annoying with it being an inaugural, not a maiden speech. Good God – let’s also lobby the ICC to ban the term from cricket, why not.

Paula Bennett’s speech I loved. It was so personal and about her and her life. She spoke about her pride in being Maori, her pride in also being European but most of all her pride in being a New Zealander. Also how she became a solo mother at 18, and how proud she is of her daughter (who was in the gallery) who is also now 18.

Labour’s Darien Fenton spoke. I have to admit I didn’t listen that closely to the Labour ones. She mentioned unions a lot, as another Labour MP did yesterday.

Chris Finlayson’s speech was a great pleasure. Chris was a very successful lawyer and orator before becoming an MP, and showed it in the House. He wonderfully managed to praise and insult Margaret Wilson at the same time (by saying he hoped we would not be losing her as Speaker to become a Supreme Court judge) and bitch-slapped Michael Cullen not once, but three times. Each time by praising one of Dr Cullen’s colleagues such as congratulating David Parker on being appointed Attorney-General and say he looks forward to some good law reform now that we have a lawyer as Attorney-General, not a former history teacher 🙂

Chris also spoke on an issue dear to my heart – about how National has inherited both a liberal and a conservative heritage from the parties which formed us in 1936, and that liberalism and conservatism can work together to produce great outcomes, rejecting that liberalism somehow belongs to the left. Like Chris I am proud to be a liberal conservative!

Then we had Bob Clarkson. Bob was Bob. He detailed his life from his first business deal aged 8, to deciding to stand for Parliament. His line of “When I was 30 I got married,” Mr Clarkson told Parliament. “After 11 years I asked my wife what she wanted for Christmas and she said a divorce. I wasn’t thinking of something quite so expensive.” absolutely brought the house down. I could see Don Brash almost falling out of his chair with laughter. Bob also got in a nice line or two about how Peters threw everything at him, yet he still won and Winston lost.

Again as the speeches are placed on Hansard, I’ll link to them. Interestingly I noted that the Hansard staff were not actually writing anything down during the maidens. I suppose because you don’t have interjections, they can rely on the MP’s supplied speech notes as being a full transcript.

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