MP trades Parliament for stint in Russell bar

Call centre operator, forecourt attendant and now waiter - Northland MP Mike Sabin's latest stint as "MP on the Job" saw him serving punters at Russell's Duke of Marlborough Hotel.

The National MP ended up serving former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, who has a home in Russell and was out with husband Burton.

Mr Sabin said he was more nervous than usual while serving the Shipleys' table. "I think it must have shown, as when they left, Dame Jenny came up to me and suggested I shouldn't give up my day job, which was hopefully more of an endorsement of my day job," he said.

Mr Sabin's day started with a meeting with members of the Tourism Bay of Islands Group and other industry representatives including Shane Lloyd, recently appointed chair of the Northland Economic Advisory Group.

He then spent the evening working as a barman and waiter, opened the Russell Sports Club AGM and chatted with American guests at a Thanksgiving dinner. "It was a very busy, but fantastic night. It was very entertaining, and once again gave me a great perspective and deep respect for those working in hospitality.

It was full on."

The Duke was named New Zealand's best country hotel in the Hospitality Association awards and the best large business at the Westpac Business Excellence Awards.

- Northern Advocate

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