Do you have a personal goal for 2014?
To exercise. Before getting into Parliament, I used to walk everywhere. And now we're always in such a hurry that I'm driving everywhere. I know exercise is good for you, and it would make me work better. I always feel like I'm slacking. It's been tragic, but it's one of the things I'm looking forward to on holiday because I've done none in the last two years. I do walking, if I get really keen I do a bit of running. And on a really good day if I get to go out in the surf, that would be great.
What was a personal highlight of 2013?
There's two really. One was getting to go to Sri Lanka and getting an insight into what's happening there. But the kind of "yes" moment would have been getting the select committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services. That's an area I've been associated with for a really long time and I'm really passionate about it. No one's been asking and it hasn't been on the agenda. Getting it on the agenda felt like a huge victory.
There'd been the crisis in Auckland with the helpline where the public response had been so quick that I think Government realised that it was in their interests to actually take this a bit more seriously. Similarly, in Wellington, Rape Crisis were looking to close their doors and there was the terrible situation with Hell's Pizza having to assuage their guilt [by donating] to keep the organisation afloat. We still haven't got the funding increase, but I'm confident that we will get that.
Do you have a bill in the private member's ballot?
Yes I do, and I have several back-ups. The one in the ballot is related to equal pay, that I've picked up from Catherine Delahunty who had it last term. It's so that companies or businesses of a certain size make the information available so that people can find out if there's equal pay in their workplace.
What MP from another party impressed you and why?
Obviously Louisa [Wall], for shepherding through marriage equality in the way that she did - it was pitch perfect. I've enjoyed working with Alfred Ngaro around the sexual violence work, through the select committee. Obviously I think he's in the wrong party, but I do think he's got a heart for people.
If Russel Norman and Metiria Turei wanted to shout you to dinner for being a diligent MP, where would you go?
I haven't been to Martin Bosley's and would quite like to.
What has been your most memorable holiday job?
The most fun one was working in kitchens in Australia. I was working in a restaurant in Sydney, and I loved that, it's just really creative and fast, [with] really fun people. I started off kitchen-handing, until the other chef got fired, and I was made chef. I'm a bit out of practice, but I really do love cooking.
Do you have a specialty dish?
I have an eggplant parmigiana which is a bit of a winner.
Did you have a special beach as a child?
I'm from Invercargill, so most of my childhood was spent in the bush. But it would be Oreti Beach. It's one of the biggest beaches in the country, or perhaps that's just my childhood memory, that it looks huge. I remember parties at the beach, freezing late night swims and screaming around in the sand dunes.
Where overseas would you really like to visit?
Spain. Because of the architecture, the food, the music and the sangria. It just looks like a really exciting place to go.
Can you recommend a film, book or album you've enjoyed in the last year?
Living in Porirua, I would have to say Aaradhna's latest album. What a voice.
How will you be spending the summer break?
At home. The Kapiti Coast is a place of such natural beauty. I [spent] Christmas with family in Carterton, and I'm looking forward to learning to paddle board. Kite surfing's coming on and off the list. It depends on the day - sometimes I'm like "yes", and then I remember how unco-ordinated I am.