Key Points:

Claire Trevett continues our series on Parliament's new MPs, based on their maiden speeches.

Nikki Kaye

Auckland Central MP, National Party.

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New Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye said the chance to reform Auckland's regional governance was a "once in a generation opportunity" which if done right would be a critical legacy of the National government.

Ms Kaye's win of the Auckland Central seat ended former Labour MP Judith Tizard's 12-year hold on the seat and put it in National hands for the first time.

In her maiden speech, Ms Kaye said the issue of Auckland's governance was often raised with her, and one of the first tasks she would face would be dealing with recommendations from the Royal Commission inquiry into whether Auckland should become a "supercity".

"We cannot afford to get it wrong. The reform will require strong leadership from local and central government politicians. If people revert to preciously protecting their patch, then Aucklanders and New Zealanders will suffer and a once in a generation opportunity will be lost."

She said the solution needed to balance a simpler structure while still ensuring community representation, and spoke about the diversity of her electorate and the different needs within it - from the apartment dwellers in the inner city to those living with the raw beauty and infrastructure needs of Great Barrier Island and the "Waihetians" - those from Waiheke Island.

"Waiheke faces a delicate balance between sensible development and preservation of the natural environment."

Ms Kaye has also promised to make the environment a focus as the local MP.

She took a gentle swipe at the Act Party's stance on the emissions trading scheme, saying she would work with others - including the Green Party - on environmental issues.

"There are people who think that the environment is an issue that can be put aside when times are tough. I would ask those people to look deeper and realise that from a social and economic point of view, our environment is the most precious asset we have."

She was also frank about her personal life, describing her parents' breakup when she was 7 years old as a defining moment in her life.

However, she said she had ended up with a "diverse, bubbly, challenging and sometimes manic" extended family of half-brothers and sisters, as well as step-siblings.

"I am not judgmental about how families should be structured - if it works, it works."

The second youngest MP in this term of Parliament, the 28-year-old Ms Kaye said to her generation would fall the task of coping with a new set of problems brought about by medical and technological advances.

While the information age had brought "immense power" so too had it brought challenges, such as ethical issues and privacy concerns."Most people would applaud when they see genetics providing information that can help treat diseases such as cancer. However, our ability to obtain information about children not born yet is an example where not all of society may be on the same page. This Parliament and future Parliaments will grapple with these issues."

Ms Kaye has been a member of the National Party since 1999, including time as President of the Young Nats and a stint working in National's research unit in 2002, before leaving for her OE. In the United Kingdom she was a contract policy advisor for local government until joining the centre-right grouping, International Young Democratic Union. She then worked for the Halifax Bank of Scotland in information technology. With a science degree in genetics and experience consulting in information technology, she said she hoped to contribute in these areas.

Nikki Kaye won the Auckland Central seat with a majority of 1497 over Labour's Judith Tizard, who had held the seat since 1996. She is on the education and science, and local government and environment select committees.

Todd McClay

MP Rotorua, National Party.

Vital Statistics:

Took the Rotorua seat off Labour's Steve Chadwick by 5065 votes. On foreign affairs, defence and trade, and the social services select committees.

Background:

Married with four children aged 1 to 10. Spent much of his working life overseas with the European Parliament where jobs included chief of staff to the leader of the British Conservatives and policy adviser.

Has also acted as policy adviser to the Irish Fianna Fail Political Group. In the private sector, he was founder and chief executive of the European Generic Medicines Association and a political adviser for lobby groups.

Was ambassador for Niue and the Cook Islands to the European Union from 2001 to 2007. Has honorary Cook Islands citizenship and is completing a masters degree in international public law.

Personal:

Born in Rotorua, his father was a school principal as well as the school bus driver in Reporoa. He spent his childhood in Taupo. While he had jobs - cleaning cars, cutting firewood in the bush and working in a sawmill for Carter Holt Harvey - he mainly spent his time hunting, fishing and playing rugby. He confessed to having little interest in politics.

In his own words:

"Many years ago, New Zealand society was based on the structure of the family. Neighbours knew and liked each other. Rural communities were strong and perhaps life was simpler. When a school needed a new swimming pool or a small community needed a hall, funds were raised to buy timber and cement. Now funds are raised for resource consent and development levies and many of our children no longer know how to catch a fish or climb a tree."

Raymond Huo

List MP, Labour

Vital statistics:

Labour's first Chinese MP. A certainty for Parliament with a high list ranking at number 21. Did not stand in an electorate. On finance and expenditure select committee. Labour's spokesman for statistics, the Law Commission. Married with two children.

Background:

First job in New Zealand was as a journalist with The New Zealand Herald. A lawyer, he says his most famous battle was against the Volcanic Cones Society, which tried to stop one of Huo's clients from developing a piece of land by using a 1915 law.

Personal:

Immigrated in 1994. He was son of a doctor and nurse, who had moved to a rural town in China to help fight schistosoma. Toward the end of the Cultural Revolution, his father - an "intellectual" - was ordered to stand at the gates of the hospital for an hour, three times a day with a white board stating "counter-revolutionary medical expert". Mr Huo - then 5 - joined him with a smaller whiteboard saying "little counter-revolutionary medical expert".

He said he secretly believed it was his little sign that ended the Cultural Revolution soon afterward.

In his own words:

"In hindsight, my journey to this House stretches back to my birth in that small rural town, from that small stage I once shared with my father and from the desire for free will that I inherited from my parents. That experience was relevant. It influenced and will continue to influence my politics and world outlook. I have learned to be resilient, I have learned to be kind, caring and more philosophical when confronting difficulties. To those who asked of my 'secret weapon' behind successful careers in Beijing and now New Zealand, I say it is simple: Double your efforts and halve your expectations."