Elections are focused so much on parties and their leaders that we are inclined to forget every election brings new people into Parliament. Today we meet three of them through their diaries of their first week. More diaries of new MPs are online.

We believe it is important to get to know the personalities behind the new names in the new Parliament.

It is one of the downsides of MMP that members can come and go from party lists without a byelection to introduce them to the public.

So read the first-week diaries of these newbies today in the knowledge that one or two of them are likely to be names we hear often in the years ahead, while others may not make a mark. Is it possible already to pick those who might?


All will have been enthralled by Parliament this week. Though they have yet to assemble in the chamber - the next Parliament cannot be sworn in until the election results have been formally returned to the Clerk of the House - the newcomers who attended their first caucus this week have explored Parliament Buildings and felt the meaning of the phrase "corridors of power".

The old building in particular, where three levels of offices surround the debating chamber, has history in its bones. If a visitor needs reminding of the famous New Zealanders who have walked these floors, their portraits are on the walls.

Our diarists talk about their initiation sessions with Parliament's officers, where they also met the new MPs from other parties.

Parliament is a civilising place for new members fresh from the heat of partisan campaigns. They discover their opponents are not dark agents of evil but friendly and decent human beings with different views.

Soon enough they will be cast into the bear pit where their parties do battle under the eyes of the public, press and television cameras. They will find themselves obliged to sit there when the chamber is nearly empty but for members speaking to an obscure bill. They will be assigned to select committees dealing with hard legislative detail and they will be on caucus committees. Their careers will take different trajectories, but they will always be the class of 2017.