The Herald spent a day with David Seymour:
David Seymour takes after his mother, Vickie, says Nicola.
“He is intelligent, compassionate and driven. Vickie was incredibly special and gorgeous to look at. She had a huge personality.
“She was determined and she would never take no for an answer. She was passionate about education – she would be so proud David is the under-secretary for education.”
Victoria Seymour was 50 years old when she died from liver cancer, 10 years ago. Seymour was 24. He admired his mother’s tenacity and insight.
“My mum was a strong individualist – she was one of the last people in the Western world to contract polio. She was told she wouldn’t be able to work, go to university, have children or drive a car – but she did all those things.
“What she showed to me was you can overcome anything if you are determined to.”
24 is an awfully young age to lose your mother.
Before she died, Vickie recorded a DVD message for each of her three sons’ future partners.
Seymour says it has taken years to process his mother’s death and he still hasn’t watched it.
“I am saving that because I haven’t got a partner locked in yet.
God that would be an emotional thing to watch one day.
Seymour strongly supports euthanasia, although his mother’s death didn’t factor in his views.
“Mum died very comfortably in palliative care and for a lot of people that works. But I am worried about those people for whom it doesn’t. I believe people should have choice. I think it’s barbaric in 2017 that some people are trying to impose their values on others.”
Which is the crox of the debate – allowing individuals to decide what is best for them.
He left school with a bursary at the end of the sixth form to study engineering at Auckland University because he wanted to meet girls. “It wasn’t the smartest strategy,” he adds.
Considering the gender ratio in Engineering, no it wasn’t!
Seymour rents a two-storey house in Remuera with three flatmates.
The white stone house has no garden and feels like a student flat with minimal furnishings. There are no photos or paintings in the lounge, just a huge heat pump, a big TV and a wall of books.
David may be one of the poorest people living in Remuera!
Seymour is keen to show off his tidy bedroom – he says he made his bed for our benefit. His seven suits, “one for each day of the week”, are hanging neatly in the open wardrobe and his shoes are stacked in rows.
He has recently rekindled the flame with Rachel Morton, former TV3 reporter and now senior adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett.
“I think Rachel has tremendous tenacity – the way she has got all her jobs – mostly by bloody mindedness and harassing people. She has enormous self-belief and drive.
Rachel was one of the first television reporters to interview me. Can’t quite recall what it was about – something to do with the Internet.