Otaki MP Nathan Guy writes about his father Malcolm Guy, who died on Saturday aged 80

My dad had a massive influence on me getting into politics.

As I write this I am still coming to terms with his passing.

As a teenager I would often meet Dad at the Horowhenua County Council offices in Bath St (now the New World car park) to catch a lift home after rugby practice.


I would look up at the photos on the wall while I waited and would see my grandfather Duncan Guy who had 19 years as chairman, and wonder what the future might hold for me.

Dad would "download" in the car on the way home about his day.

Normally he would talk over the tough decisions that he had made.

The more I heard the more interested I became.

Often I would answer the phone at home when he was out from some pretty irate ratepayers.

I enjoyed listening to their views and writing up a summary for Dad of the actions I thought he should take.

I will always remember sitting in the chamber when Dad became chairman of the County Council when the vote was evenly split and it was down to a coin toss, which he won.

I've always taken "heads" ever since that historic day.

He was elected the first mayor of Horowhenua District following amalgamation in 1989.
One of his toughest jobs was making 20 people redundant when roading and maintenance work was outsourced.

He always had a natural ability to bring people with him.

He engaged and listened to those with another point of view.

He was a master of inclusiveness but would always stand up for what he believed in.

While he had strong rural roots, he was equally at ease in a big crowd at Waikanae discussing water reticulation.

When he decided to hang up the mayoral chains he was presented with a carved tokotoko stick from Muaupoko Iwi for his leadership in the restoration of Lake Horowhenua.

He also had a long association with Ngati Raukawa through our local Kereru Marae.

After I returned from Massey University to get more involved in the family farm he talked me into running for the district council.

He said you can do a full days work on the farm, shower up and be at the meeting for a 4.15pm start.

My experiences of eight years around the council table gave me the confidence to run for Parliament.

It was a big decision for Erica and me to make and Dad became my number one supporter, often tuning in to watch question time in Parliament on TV.

Dad was such a role model for me.

I remember he would often be in the muddy cattle yards in the morning and transform into a suit and tie ready to chair a meeting or deliver a speech in the afternoon.

He was extremely well supported by my mother Betty.

She didn't like the limelight but was immensely proud of him.

They recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.

It was fitting last year that Mum received a community service award at the Council Civic Honours.

She, like so many others in our community, makes things happen below the radar.

I'm privileged to have had such a wonderful mentor in my Dad Malcolm.

He was a pioneering farmer and I wouldn't be where I am today without his encouraging advice and wisdom.

Last week I was visiting Waiopehu College and stood and admired the four kauri trees near the auditorium that I helped plant with Dad when he was the Education Board representative to the college in the 1980s.

I will continue to watch them grow and gather strength from these taonga.

Rest in peace Malcolm Guy, QSM, JP.

You will never be forgotten and the photos and memories will live on in our community forever.