You'd be forgiven for not knowing which party new MP Erica Stanford belonged to, given the focus of her maiden speech on conservation, sustainability and marriage based on love, not gender.

"It has always bothered me that environmental protection is cast as somehow a left-wing issue," the National MP for East Coast Bays said.

"I, for one, don't believe that capitalism and environmental protection can't sit together. Environmental protection is a priority for all of us."

The mother-of-two began her speech by poking fun at the baby-faced look of fellow National MP Simeon Brown, by saying how pleased she was to see a beautiful baby bouncing on the knee of the Speaker during a debate last week.


"The Member from Pakuranga certainly seemed to enjoy his time on the big chair."

She said rival political parties should work with each other to find enduring, practical solutions.

"I am interested in what works. We need to co-operate across sectors and across parties so that the good work of one government is not undone by the next."

She had met the students at charter school Vanguard Military Academy, which had helped wayward students get their lives back on track.

"That's why I find it very troubling indeed that this Government plans to shut down these schools purely on the basis of rigid political ideology.

"I come to this House with an open mind. My outlook is not restricted by the blinkers of inflexible political ideology."

She said her views were formed by a range of jobs, including as an export manager and a reality TV producer.

"My skills in reality television will hold me in good stead for my time in this House. Whether that be for the Neighbours at War across the floor, the explosive drama of the 'Marriage at First Sight' between New Zealand First and the Greens, or this Parliament's special edition of Survivor with the Member from Epsom."

Her focus would be on the growth in East Coast Bays - the schools that are nearing capacity, better transport solutions, and cleaning up the waterways that "feed into the beaches that our kids swim in".

She said she loved how the notion of "normal" can be drastically changed in a single generation.

"It will be normal for [my children] to have a young female Prime Minister. It will be normal for them to have their marriages defined by love and not gender. And it will be normal for them to think about sustainability in every aspect of their lives.

"We must be ambitious in our thinking and be aspirational about what we can achieve. Open to the world, not fearful of it. Flexible in our approach and focused on what works, wherever the ideas may come from."