Bill in works to make domestic violence a factor at sentencing — but first, the beach.

What's your personal goal for 2014?

Other than political goals, I have two sons who will be doing NCEA next year, so I'll be supporting them to get the best results they can.

What was a personal highlight of 2013?

Working with organisations like Plunket and Barnardos on my paid leave bill to keep the issue alive.


What select committee business did you enjoy most last year?

The paid parental leave bill, partly because it involved a lot of finance work. People don't necessarily see me as someone who understands finances that well, and I think I've shown through that committee process and working with officials that I understand finances very well.

Do you have a bill in the private member's ballot?

Yes - to make domestic violence an aggravating factor at sentencing. It was an issue promoted by former Family Court Judge Peter Boshier because it will help that court when dealing with custody and other cases [by ascertaining] from a person's court records whether there was any element of domestic violence in any of the charges. He felt it was relevant to their work, but they were working blind on it. They had to make a guess as to whether "male vs female" charges were domestic violence or not.

Have you spoken to Justice Minister Judith Collins about it?

[Laughs]. I haven't, but I know Family Court judges have and it hasn't been something she wanted to pursue.

Which MP from another party has impressed you?

Tracey Martin from NZ First. She is very direct and clear about what she wants to achieve, and works hard to achieve it.


If David Cunliffe shouted you to dinner for being a diligent MP, where would you go?

That teppanyaki restaurant in Hamilton [Daikoku]. We'd be entertained by the acrobatic chef, as well as eat good food.

Who else would you take?

Pam Corkery. I don't know her very well, but she was someone I admired in her broadcasting role but didn't particularly admire in her role as MP. I'd be interested to talk to her about why that was.

Most memorable holiday job?

Picking oranges in Greece when I was doing my OE. I was about 18. It was winter in Greece, so this was not the Greece everyone else gets to enjoy. It was memorable for meeting other people in a way you wouldn't know them just from travelling - working with them in a relentlessly boring and hard physical job, you got to know people in a different way.


Your favourite childhood beach?

Mt Maunganui. It was the beach we could get to for a week every year. Mum had to take all of us away for a week while my dad stayed to milk the cows.

Favourite overseas place to visit?

On my OE, I spent a good couple of years wandering around parts of the world I wanted to see. But I haven't spent any time in Latin America.

Can you recommend a favourite film, book or album?

It would have to be a book because I don't get time to go to films. I read Fifty Shades of Feminism - a collection of contributions from women around the globe.


How are you spending the holidays?

Same way I do every year. We go to our bach at Waihi Beach and stay there for as long as we possibly can.