Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Politicians lying low over holidays in some favourite Kiwi spots

Bay of Islands. Photo / Thinkstock
Bay of Islands. Photo / Thinkstock

Those with a hankering to get away from politics around holiday spots this summer are just as likely to bump into an MP or a Cabinet Minister.

A straw poll of Parliamentarians found most were opting for a modest summer break at or near home while the House is in recess until January 29.

Labour leader David Shearer is in an old caravan parked in a remote Northland paddock.

"It is pretty primitive but perfect for escaping the pressures of politics. For me, summer in New Zealand is really magic and my wife and two teenage children really enjoy the tranquility up here."

Shearer said members of his extended family often joined him at the caravan for barbecues and a few beers.

Hekia Parata's press secretary Julie Ash said the beleaguered Education Minister was also having a low-key break close to home. "She's holidaying on the East Cape hanging out with family and friends.

She's in Ruatoria and Gisborne."

Health Minister Tony Ryall has his feet up with his family in the Bay of Plenty, and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is travelling around the South Island and Stewart Island.

One further afield is Prime Minister John Key who is once again spending a couple of weeks at his Hawaiian holiday home. Daughter Stephie is there from Europe and son Max is taking a friend.

United Future leader Peter Dunne kicked off his holidays with a tour of Wairarapa wineries. After that he's back to Wellington for a few days before taking a two-week family break.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is another politician staying put. "I'm staying home in Dunedin and not flying anywhere, swimming as much as possible, practising my ukulele, bass and crocheting a tasteful - insofar as that is possible - black and blue blanket. Summer in the south is long, lazy and perfect."

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is splitting his time between catching up on work and taking a few trips within New Zealand.

"New Zealand is good enough for me for a holiday and it also means I can get a bit of work done as well."

MP Brendan Horan was expelled from the New Zealand First caucus at the start of the month but he doesn't plan on getting away from it all. The Mt Maunganui resident reckons he already lives in one of the most beautiful places.

"Friends and family want to come to us during the holidays and who could blame them, the Bay of Plenty is stunning. I am happy hosting a few barbecues and parties at home."

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is catching up on DIY jobs at home in Auckland and tending to his business interests.

"I spend so much time travelling that this is my time to be with family and friends," he said. "It is also the time when I like to catch up on odd jobs around the house that I have ignored all year."

Acting Prime Minister Bill English said most New Zealanders enjoyed a break from politics - and politicians - over the Christmas and New Year period. He intended to relax with friends and family at home in Southland.

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 19 Dec 2014 05:28:19 Processing Time: 346ms