National's new Selwyn MP, Nicola Grigg, paid tribute in her maiden speech tonight to her great grandmother, Mary Grigg, who was National's first woman MP.
She had been elected to the Mid-Canterbury electorate after her husband, Arthur, was killed in action in 1941.
"Almost 80 years ago this newly widowed mother of three stood in this chamber hammering the Fraser Government on some of the very issues that have led me here – farming, rural communities and women," said Grigg.
Grigg also paid tribute to another forebear, Sir John Hall, a former premier; and three former National women from her region: Dame Jenny Shipley, Ruth Richardson and Amy Adams.
Grigg was a press secretary to Sir Bill English when he was finance minister in the John Key government then went to work for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
She admitted to having left Parliament in December not long after being elected "a bundle of nerves, self-doubt and with a well-advanced case of imposter syndrome."
"I was quite sure I wasn't going to be able to handle the hours, the workload, the pressures, the expectations of this role – and I dreaded returning."
But she had spent the summer reading and American psychologist and researcher Dr Brene Brown and her book Daring Greatly, inspired by Theodore Roosevelt's Man in the Arena speech in 1910, in which he said: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
Grigg said it was "nerve-wracking and uncomfortable entering the political arena and the public eye."
"But now we are in that arena, we cannot be afraid to take risks, make unpopular decisions, confront big issues – and sometimes fail - with all the backlash and embarrassment that comes with that.
"Any holder of public office must dare greatly. And now more so than ever."
She wore a feathered cloak given to her family by Ngati Kere, Ngati Hinetewai and Ngati Pihere of Porangahau in about 1854.
She acknowledged Ngai Tahu as tangata whenua in Selwyn and said with the 200th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi signing just 20 years away "we should all be looking to that milestone with a view of achieving a fair and equitable society."
National's North Shore MP, Simon Watts, followed Grigg.
He was deputy chief financial officer at the Waitemata District Health Board – and also became an ambulance officer for St John.
"As an ambulance office for St John, I've been into homes with black mould on the walls, treated children with breathing problems in overcrowded housing, self-harm due to mental health and I've been with colleagues on the roadside as we try to save yet another life blighted by drugs and crime."
He said that working simultaneously at both ends of the health system opened his eyes to the importance of a bold vision and co-ordinated approach.
"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 21 months old – I've had a lifetime association with a system that's blessed with passionate professionals yet plagued by broken decision-making.
"It's time to fix that."
He said he worked for an investment bank abroad during the global financial crisis.
"I saw that people in glass towers can be heroes too; they can work around the clock to save the livelihoods of people they've never met."
He said right now New Zealand had a housing crisis and there was plenty of land to build on.
"There are no excuses for a lack of vision … I want action backed by decisive, informed decision-making," said Watts.
"The answers and leadership will come from our communities, our entrepreneurs, our workers and, yes, our Government."
He believed in limited government but that meant focusing on the things only government could do - "regulate, legislate, investigate, but also cajole, inspire and lead".