The diverse style of National's new MPs was on display yesterday when an accomplished lawyer, a solo mum and a self-made businessman with a famous left testicle all made their maiden speeches at Parliament.

National list MPs Chris Finlayson and Paula Bennett, and Tauranga MP Bob Clarkson launched their parliamentary careers alongside Labour list MPs Maryan Street and Darien Fenton.

Chris Finlayson

Considered one of the likely stars among National's new MPs, Mr Finlayson made use of his legal background and focused his speech on constitutional and legal issues.

He said today's politicians were not showing enough respect for the Judiciary and too often promoted badly drafted legislation.

"Lawyers would make less money and judges' lives would be easier if the work product of Parliament was improved," he said.

Paula Bennett

The 36-year-old spoke of how she had found herself, at age 17, an uneducated, unemployed solo mother.

"It was not an easy time and I found myself living day to day with my primary focus being one of survival. But I also had a strong sense of self responsibility. I felt it was my decision to have my daughter and as such it was my responsibility to raise and support her - not the taxpayers'."

Ms Bennett, from West Auckland, said she wanted to be a good role model to daughter Ana, now 18, and had worked in various jobs before attending university and studying social policy as an adult student.

"I didn't ever think I would be a member of the House of Representatives but I did know that I would not lead a passive life. I was always going to be an active participant and since I have such an aversion to physical activity and was never going to be a Silver Fern, I had to participate with my brain and my mouth."

Bob Clarkson

The developer who defeated NZ First leader Winston Peters to win the Tauranga seat was careful to avoid referring to his left testicle; his tendency to do so during the election campaign ended with a very public caution from leader Don Brash. But the MP - known as Bob the Builder - still filled his speech with one-liners.

"When I was 30 I got married," Mr Clarkson told Parliament. "After 11 years I asked my wife what she wanted for Christmas and she said a divorce. I wasn't thinking of something quite so expensive."

Mr Clarkson, now married to his second wife Martha, also tackled some serious issues, such as roading, but still managed to sneak in some humour.

"Forget speed, that is not the killer. The Right Honourable Helen Clark will confirm that speed does not kill," he told the House.

Maryan Street

One of four Labour MPs who were former Labour Party presidents, the new MP said the way a society treated minorities had recently taken on new relevance in New Zealand.

"As a lesbian I have often been the subject of others' efforts to push me to the margins, to erode my legitimacy as a citizen and to belittle my efforts and achievements," she said.

Describing her address as her "inaugural" rather than maiden speech, she also lashed out at critics of "political correctness", saying they undermine democracy.

"The shabby, slovenly thinking behind the detractors of what is pejoratively termed 'political correctness' must be seen for the crass political opportunism that it is." Darien Fenton Told Parliament of her grandfather, Frederick Frost, who was a Labour MP for New Plymouth in the Savage and Fraser Governments and supporter of workers' rights and the union movement.