Dr Cam Calder MP

It is somewhat ironic that Cam Calder will probably be sworn in as an MP today, while David Shearer can’t be sworn in until the writ is returned in the by-election on the 24th of June.

Dr Calder is is the third medical doctor in Parliament – all of them in National. He replaces a non medical Dr Worth.

The Herald profiles him, including one incident:

New MP Cam Calder’s decision 25 years ago to quit being a dentist and become a doctor instead was confirmed soon after by a freak accident in which he lost the sight in one eye.

It takes some persuading before he reveals details, but eventually out comes a tale of a trip to the beach with some friends in France and bottles of corked beer. He insists it was an “abstemious” occasion, but warm beer was put in a bucket of ice and then Dr Calder knocked the bucket and one of the corks shot out and hit him in the eye, blinding it.


He also takes credit for being among those “importing” petanque to New Zealand, setting up the NZ Petanque Association.

He discovered the sport’s pleasures on his big OE in the 1970s, when he hitchhiked around Australia, then travelled through to Britain, where he lived for 13 years.

Further to this, on ZB last night was praising Calder as the best correspondent he had dealt with, in any code. High praise indeed.

His decision to enter politics was because he was concerned about the future his children would inherit. He chose National, partly because he saw John Key as being inclusive.

He says he will do whatever the powers tell him, but has a particular interest in men’s health. One of his wishes is for men to be offered “man-ograms” – similar to the breast-screening scheme – to increase testing for prostate cancer.

Prostrate cancer is indeed a silent killer.

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